Bush praises 2012 candidate
May 24th, 2011
10:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Bush praises 2012 candidate

(CNN) – Just because he's not running for president doesn't mean former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can't wade into the presidential waters.

Bush lent support to Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty Tuesday via Twitter.

"I admire truth telling and t-paw sure did it to open his campaign," Bush wrote in a Tweet before linking to an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

In his presidential announcement Monday in Iowa, Pawlenty called for means testing for Social Security beneficiaries and reduced ethanol subsidies, an unpopular position among conservatives in the Hawkeye State.

"The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out. We need to do it gradually. We need to do it fairly. But we need to do it," the former two-term Minnesota governor said. "Conventional wisdom says you can't talk about ethanol in Iowa or Social Security in Florida or financial reform on Wall Street. But someone has to say it."

Tuesday's piece in The Wall Street Journal praised Pawlenty for "refusing to stick to the script for candidates looking to harvest votes in February's Iowa caucuses."

"Mr. Pawlenty has passed an early test of fortitude," the piece reads.

Persistent rumors that Bush may seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 prompted him to release a statement Sunday, again saying he will not run.

"While I am flattered by everyone's encouragement, my decision has not changed," Bush said in the statement. "I will not be a candidate for president in 2012."

His decision leaves many in the Bush clan in search of a candidate to support in the next election. Some had hoped to back Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who announced Sunday he would not run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who is considering a run for president, visited former President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush at their compound in Kennebunkport, Maine Monday. Pawlenty met with the former president at his office in Houston, Texas a few weeks ago.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Jeb Bush • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Jess C

    Yes, we need another Bush like we need an outbreak of a bad rash.

    May 24, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Rob

    I watched T. Pawlenty on CSpan yesterday and he adds absolutely NOTHING to the equation. He is a parrot reciting lines, but with a personality that if "flat line."

    If Bush is excited by him. . . does not say much.

    May 24, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. K3Citizen

    You know we are in trouble when a Bush endorses someone. It would be like Jeffery Dahmer endorsing John Wayne Gacy as pervert of the century.

    May 24, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Federal subsidies for big oil are just fine. Federal subsidies for corn farmers who produce ethanol is not. The oil subsidies cost ten times what the ethanol subsidies do. The ethanol subsidies help keep the price of energy from impacting food prices, which corn plays a major role. The problem with ethanol subsidies is that the money goes to farmers, not any large campaign donors to the Republican Party.

    Q: What on earth can the GOTP be thinking?
    A: It is what Roger Ailes is thinking. He runs the Republican Party. He has no friends who are farmers, people.

    May 24, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. James

    T Paw is a joke. The funniest thing I ever saw was a grown man on Faux News before the 'debate', continually call him T-Paw. As if he were a rap star. At first I had no idea who he was talking about. His co-anchor and guest could barely hold in the laughter at his use of the name. Are they really trying to give this guy 'street cred'? Do they think calling him T Paw will garner youth votes? It is as patronizing as putting Steel at the helm.

    May 24, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. A disgusted former Republican

    Why are republicans so willing to support loser candidates for President? T Paw is about as stupid as they come!

    May 24, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Kenzh

    Jeb Bush should run. The country need another Bush to finish the job his brother started, kill 4500 more Americans and further bankrupt America in another war for oil. Hey I think Libya is calling. Mission accomplished!

    May 24, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. realitybites

    And Bush's credibility has just plummeted. Kinda reminds me of when McCain, the first Republican I might have voted for, introduced a particular schreeching harpy from AS and sealed his doom as well as besmirched his own credibility and character. It's not too late to repent Jeb. Not that I would have EVER voted for you. Come to the light, Carol Anne! You are flirting dangerously w/ evil and you could be lost forever.

    May 24, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. James

    J Bush and T Paw should start a boy band. They could still annoy America without doing as much damage.

    May 24, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Roger Ailes isn't happy with Republican picks, he called Palin an idiot and then walked back on it, but he was right. Ailes sees how the Republican candidates are cashing in at Fox at his expense and that wasn't his plan for hiring them, he's allowed himself to be taken.

    May 24, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. GI Joe

    ANY ONE the Bush's endorse will AUTOMATICALLY tell me they are corporatists.

    NO NO NO NO NO - in fact HELL NO

    May 24, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Aaron

    If a Bush recommends Pawlenty, you can be sure that Pawlenty is the one to finish off the country. W did his best at destroying the U.S., but we were tougher than he expected.

    May 24, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. GSMITH

    The biggest joke in 2012, is why anybody would vote for Barack Obama. The Republicans have many great candidates that will defeat President Obama.

    May 24, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Southington Library Reference Dept.

    Go eat another cheeseburger Jeb and leave the country to the grown-ups.

    May 24, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Only Logic

    Isn't it strange how no one talks much about Pawlenty's stint as governor of MN? Yes, we know he was there, but very little is said about what he accomplished. Would you care to guess why? Just like every other Republican governor in recent history, he was a divisive figure and he left the state's economy in shambles.

    Can somone please explain in clear, logical, empirically supported terms why the country should vote for the party that has a track record of failing policies and virtually no economic successes?

    May 24, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Realistic

    T-Paw started by lying or twisting the truth so much it became a pretzel. Politicians can not tell the truth or is able to tell the truth and we the voters do not really trust what comes out of a polticians mouth.So no matter what a poltician says or a wnna be poltiician says, we voters will doubt it.So to get the truth, we trust CNN because atleast CNN is non bias unlike Faux.

    May 24, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. j

    George I, ole "read my lips, no new taxes"-– George II , cut taxes, especially for the rich; turned an economy in the black to a sea of red ink and the worst recession ever; allowed wall street to run amuck when regulators were told to look the other way; gave us the Iraq war (for oil) falsely touting " weapons of mass destruction"--– All we need now is Jeb.

    May 24, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    an endorsement by a Bush? Yikes. That should tell anyone with an IQ of at least room temperature to go another direction. T Paw looking America in the eye....and lying his butt off. Yawns a plenty with Pawlenty.

    May 24, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. j

    Rudy NYC, You nailed it !!!!!

    May 24, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. FM

    Here is where GOP are making the matter worse. As shaky as the contenders field is, choosing one person over the others at this stage, complicates the entire process!

    May 24, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. GrogInOhio

    Here's a couple of "truths".... Oil companies do NOT need taxpayer subsidies, the I35 bridge collapsed on T-Paw's watch and Minnesota is in the deepest debt its ever seen. Wonder why we haven't that from T-Paw?

    May 24, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Bill

    Pawlenty will never be president. Next.

    May 24, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. once upon a horse

    I have relatives that live in Minnesota and they are NOT impressed with Pawlenty in the least. They said he left their state in a huge deficit and tried to balance the budget there on the backs of the lower and middle class. used money out of the education funds there and took stimulus dollars after slamming the president for having them available. Sounds to me like a typical GOP candidate. If he's going to run on "truth" though he will need to tell the enitre truth. I saw last night a former govenor of Minnesota, a Republican, take him to task and say he was bad for the country. The plot yet thickens.

    May 24, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. BB

    OK – file that one under 'Who cares'...

    May 24, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. ted

    Who cares what the Bush family thinks? They have hurt this countries "Financial" status so much with the 8 years of "Plundering our assets for Iraq? Trillions of dollars spent looking for WMD,and saying, Obamas fault? Mean while,Wallstreet and Banks gambling our savings away???? Jeb,he,s the man to listen to???? LOL

    May 24, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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