Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) - In front of a friendly group of conservatives, Tim Pawlenty once again did what he declined to do while standing next to Mitt Romney in Monday’s GOP debate: go on the attack against his presidential rival.
At the RightOnline conference in Minneapolis on Saturday, the former Minnesota governor and presidential candidate re-stated a fresh line he’s recently used: that the former Massachusetts governor is a “co-conspirator” in the nation’s health care law that conservatives love to hate.
“If we’re going to have political charges against Barack Obama about health care reform, we better do it with somebody that is not a co-conspirator in the charge,” Pawlenty said, repeating the phrase he’d used previously this week.
And once again, the line was delivered from afar, as Romney is not attending the weekend conference.
In last week’s first 2012 presidential debate in New Hampshire - sponsored by CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader - Pawlenty declined to criticize Romney while the two men were on stage with five other candidates.
Since then, Pawlenty has acknowledged that not going after Romney in the debate was a missed opportunity.
When asked about the incident on Fox News' Hannity Thursday, Pawlenty partly said he "should have been much more clear” at pointing out how the health care law passed in Massachusetts during Romney’s administration contributed to the nation’s health care law.
During his speech, Pawlenty also re-stated a full-throated defense of conservative values.
He talked about a government that “crowds into our lives” and takes over functions previously reserved for families, communities or entrepreneurs; he pushed themes he’s recently delivered on a so-called “Truth Tour,” such as phasing out ethanol subsidies in Iowa or telling seniors and young people in Florida “what it’s really going to take to fix social security”; and he bragged about being the first Minnesota governor to shut down state government in 150 years over taxes and spending, and confronting bus drivers and other transit workers over public employee pensions and benefits.
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What a very small little man.
Pawlenty the Pretender is a GIANT when he's all by his lonesome but he looked like a terrified mouse when he was one on one with Mitt Romney!
What Courage, what Honer !
Pawlenty , from working man to Boss Man !
The right-wingers are starting to swift-boat their own. Maybe the Koch brothers have selected the winner but just want to play it out to create the illusion that the Republicans can arrive at a reasonable choice.
decisions that families should be allowed to make...you mean like decisions for whatever the reason like abortion....right to life issues when being able to die with dignity....for gays to marry or adopt, you mean decisions like that tim??? stop coming down hard on your running mate mitt romney
the more jabs Tim takes at Mitt while Mitt is not there just makes him look even weaker as a leader. When he's making his jabs the next time, someone from the crowd should yell out "WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY THIS TO HIS FACE?" and see what he says. Maybe Howard Stern's guy might be available to do it, he shows no fear at calling folks out.
What a backstabber. He should have told Mitt romney to his face. Wuss. We do not need this type of president who talks smack behind a person's back. Lack of character.
What happened on Monday night? Lose your voice?
Fine example of leadership.
Pawlenty's right about one thing – government is worming itself into our lives more and more – like requiring doctors to do an ultrasound, and requiring a woman to view it before she can obtain a legal abortion. He's also right that he blew an opportunity when he did not take on Romney during the debate – he's like the online bully who is only mouthy when the victim isn't around – essentially a coward.
This guy isn`t serious abouting winning the nomination. He must be hoping to come in second.
Even after somehow having been a Governor, this guy lacks the fire in the belly required to COMPETE.
Regardless of a citizen`s political affiliation, EVERY American wants aWinner`s attitude in the Oval Office.
Tim Pawlenty doesn`t have it.
He's a coward - will he tweet his entire campaign to avoid confrontation with Mittens? He peed himself on stage the other night. Be Gone, TPaw.
This man is a coward, he could not say anything to Mitt Romney's face when he was given the chance not once but twice. It dosen't matte what he does not, after the fact, he has already shown what he is made of. That together with the fact that he left the State of Minnesota in a mess proves that he is not worthy of the office of the Presidency. The whole bunch are losers.
Interesting. Given a national audience where he could have shown the cajones to make his claims to Romney's face, he declined – multiple times.
This guy is just another clown in the Republican car...
Another clueless Republican...he has no idea what it feels like to be an unemployed or underemployed middle class worker. The GOP campaigned on creating jobs in 2010. So what have they done? They voting on their right wing agenda – A GOP state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims." In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life. But vote for jobs? Not for a billion dollars...
What a spineless WIMP!!!! He was standing right next to Romney and said nothing during the GOP debate and now when Romney is not around he start criticizing his health plan initiative.
WHAT A TOTALLY SPINELESS WIMP!!!!!!
Pawlently with your poll numbers I'd keep my mouth shut. Your embarrassing yourself. PALIN 2012
Pawlenty is pretty good attacking Romney's back. It is too bad that the spineless wuss doesn't have to the courage to say the same things to his face. T-Paw is a follower not a leader.
This guy is a joke. Can someone explain to me what has mitt done since 2008 when he couldnt beat mccain to be the front runner, lol.