Top Obama adviser knocks Pawlenty
June 9th, 2011
03:09 PM ET
3 years ago

Top Obama adviser knocks Pawlenty

Washington (CNN) – Top Obama adviser David Axelrod hit Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty over his "Google Test" strategy to help the economic recovery in America, tying his economic plans to those of former President George W. Bush.

"What he should Google is 'job growth for the last decade,'" Axelrod told the Huffington Post in an article published Thursday. "What he should Google is 'what happened to income for the last decade,' when in many ways the policies that he prescribed were the governing theory."

Pawlenty outlined his plan to spur economic growth through tax reform and spending cuts during a speech Tuesday in Chicago, the site of the president's reelection campaign. His proposals included lower tax rates, a temporary spending freeze and a "Google Test" aimed at encouraging private enterprise.

"If you can find a good or service on the internet, then the federal government probably doesn't need to be doing it," Pawlenty said.

He referenced the government printing office, Amtrak and Fannie and Freddie. Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant later said he is open to ending government funding for those programs.

Axelrod, who stepped down as White House senior adviser earlier this year to reprise his role as chief strategist and top political adviser for the 2012 reelection campaign, also used the test to jab Pawlenty's record as governor of Minnesota.

"Then he should also Google 'budget deficits in the state of Minnesota.' And what he'll find is, when he left, he left a projected deficit of $6.2 billion, which doesn't exactly qualify him as an expert on fiscal responsibility," Axelrod said.

Team Pawlenty pushed back Thursday against those critical of the governor's record, which he continually touts in campaign stops. In response to Axelrod's comments, Pawlenty's spokesman knocked Obama's record.

"President Obama's team is content with anemic growth and trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see," Conant told CNN. "Frankly, we're not going to be lectured by somebody who helped rack up trillions in new debt and accepts pathetic economic growth as the best America can do."


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    Sure Pawlenty and all these right wing bought corporate thugs in the republican party want to bring private enterprise into the scene. OOPs! Up goes the costs and who gets the profits? Just what they bought and paid for republicans have promised business.

    June 9, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. XWngLady

    Uhh the debt was racked up to help stabilize an economy that was in free-fall thanks to the Republicans. AND anemic growth is better than no growth. If you had a deficit when you left as Governor, then you have NO ROOM TO KNOCK anyone. We are only 2 years and 4 months into a term that will last 4 whole years. WAAAAAAY to early to be knocking Pres. Obama for not waving his magic wand over the economy and making everything alright. Its getting better. Its not going to get better overnight.

    June 9, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. PALINHOPE

    Shut up traitor you only goe to whom will pay you the most. You know OBAMA is bad for this country. Do not in any way bad mouth, SARAH PALIN. SHE WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. PALIN 2012.

    June 9, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "What he should Google is 'job growth for the last decade,'" Axelrod told the Huffington Post in an article published Thursday. "What he should Google is 'what happened to income for the last decade,' when in many ways the policies that he prescribed were the governing theory."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    I miss having Axelrod near Obama in DC.
    But I understood how well he was being placed for the Obama campaign.
    Being removed from the WH allows Axelrod to speak his mind without fearing that it would reflect on the President one way or another.

    June 9, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. deb

    Tim Pawlenty is a lier!!!! The Bush Administration and GOP are the "Culprits" of our Economic Crash of the Half Century!!! Americans sat their an listen to "Bush and all republicans,lie about Iraq and WMD to frighten the American People into a foolish war to kill Saddam. 10 yrs later,5000 of our young soldiers have lost their lives,because of it!!!!!! SHAMEFULL TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!!! The majority of Americans are not "Stupid" Pawlenty!!!! Tell the truth!!!!!

    June 9, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. BlackPanthers2020

    Since CNN never wants to print articles about the evils that are being perpetrated against the American people by the republican party , we have no recourse but to do it for you !

    June 9, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. diridi

    Listen Pawlenty is plane stupid and idiot.....

    June 9, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. bb

    And most people thought Bush was a puppet president. Limp-noodle Pawlenty would be a pushover by every body including the door man. And this is the best the GOP can find, in a country our size????

    June 9, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. kayla

    let the games begin

    June 9, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Bill

    Here we are 3 years later and every dimwitted dem is still trying to win by using the name George W. Face it. Obama has failed

    June 9, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Paul

    Can the Pawlenty team say these things with a straight face? These are Reagan, Bush I and BushII deficits created by the very backward thinking Pawlenty prescribes. His policies will lead to bigger deficits and history proves it!

    June 9, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Jilli

    OUCH!!!! That's gotta stink, eh Timmy?

    June 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    I Googled 'Pawlenty'; got 'About 10,700,000 results (0.11 seconds) '. I guess we don't need Timmy.

    June 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. The Greedy Old Pigs, and Little Timmy, Too, Have Declared Class War on America!

    The mask is off now, as Little Timmy is clearly positioning himself to be the new Little Lord Georgie Bush. Timmy is advocating the same insane stupid Friedman/Rand cult nonsense that history has repeatedly disproved. Rather than put on his big boy pants and admit those policies are proven failures, little timmy pretends this time it will be different as he doubles down on Bush's failure. There is NO WAY 5% growth is achievable under his plan and even conservative economists have pointed this out. A vote for Timmy would be a vote to return to the Buscho era of the Greedy Old Pigs ripping off America.

    June 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. stevegee

    Are you better off than you were two years ago? NObama!

    Vote Republican in 2012.

    June 9, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Bill from GA

    Seriously, it's about time Axelrod and company go on the offensive. Much of their economic record shows incredible progress from where they started (for example, 750,000 jobs LOST per month). For those who can only say, where's the 8% unemployment, get real. The repugs have NOTHING to offer, except tax cuts and deregulate business, ad that hasn't worked too well lately.

    June 9, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    President Obama's team is content with anemic growth and trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see," Conant told CNN. "Frankly, we're not going to be lectured by somebody who helped rack up trillions in new debt and accepts pathetic economic growth as the best America can do."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Anemic grwoth in spite of all the selfishly motivated blocking by the Rethugs, yet growth nonetheless. The economy has been steadily improving , and unemployment steadily declining with a recent exception.
    Insofar as the trillions in new debt: did you include Iraqui war costs that your boy unconstitutionally failed to reflect on his balance sheet? Did you know that we were left in a near-Depression and our debts still came due? And that we had to revent the total collapse of the auto industry so that the country would'nt follow soon behind it? That took money.
    What has your tam proposed? Tax-cuts for the wealthy; the dismantling of Medicare; re-instating deregulation of the guilty parties, and going back to child laborand the 80-hour work week.
    You're late for class, take a seat!

    June 9, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've read: 'What has your man proposed'. Pardon me.

    June 9, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Pravaa

    Romney is the final nominee. All others are in it as a waste of time or to push some future book deals or something else or worse delusional. 2012 will be very close between Obama and Romney like 2004.

    June 9, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Irma in North Carolina

    Its about time somebody stats calling these republicans on the carpet and getting the truth out there.

    June 9, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. ntu

    Just don't let T-Paw do to the US what he did to Minnesota. Balancing a budget by shifting payments and calling taxes "fees" has not worked. His balanced budget turned overnight to a huge deficit – only an accountant can appreciate things like he says – and semantics are not reality.

    June 9, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. GG

    Quote "Helped rack the trillions in new debt" yeah right, just forget about the BIG HOLE that Bush created in the first place and some how think that should come out of Obama pocket. It's simple as this imagine your $1000 loan business with five employees collapsed, what would you do to get your $1000 business back on its feet after 8 years in business? Do you think you can borrow only a $100 and get back your business in 2 years?

    June 9, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Pete

    Obama inherited a ship that was 3/4 under water from an air headed TEXAN.Pawlenty should stand back and learn,given history that the Repubs run up massive deficits,that is fact:Reagan,Bush Sr,Bush Jr just do a little research.Repubs also had some of the highest tax rates on record,known fact also.Remember :READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES,he was a repub too,ha ha.Clinton had the right idea,so does Obama,tax the RICH!!

    June 9, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. David

    There it is. The Obama administration is worried about Tim Pawlenty. Excellent.

    June 9, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Ken, AZ

    Axelrod is telling it like it is while team Pawlenty is pushing their BIG lie. It seems that every time a republican is questioned about their plan, they can neither explain it or defend it. They continue to want to increase the debt by cutting taxes and paying for it by eliminating all social programs. The answer is not to destroy but to build.

    June 9, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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