Pawlenty hits Bachmann over ‘non-existent’ record
July 10th, 2011
01:13 PM ET
3 years ago

Pawlenty hits Bachmann over ‘non-existent’ record

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty went after fellow Minnesotan and White House hopeful Michele Bachmann over what he called her “non-existent” Congressional record Sunday.

In his sharpest comments to date, Pawlenty said his history as governor of Minnesota makes him more qualified than the congresswoman to be president.

“I like Congresswoman Bachmann. I’ve campaigned for her. I respect her, but her record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent,” Pawlenty said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Although the two-term former governor has contrasted their records before, this was his most direct shot at Bachmann.

“We’re not looking for folks who just have speech capabilities,” Pawlenty said. “We’re looking for who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. I have done that; she hasn’t.”

Bachmann responded to the comments Sunday, saying the 2012 election should focus on the future of the U.S. "instead of negativity."

"I want to focus on my accomplishments," Bachmann said in a statement. "People can count on me as a fighter; I am proud of my record of fighting with resolve, and without apology, for our free markets, for sane fiscal policies, and in opposition to the advancement of the big government left."

Pawlenty has painted himself as the serious, results-oriented candidate, even adopting the campaign slogan “results, not rhetoric.”

But he recognized his campaign needs to show “significant progress” in the next 60 days, especially given his low standing in polls of Iowa voters.

“I’m confident in the Iowa straw poll that we will” demonstrate improvement, Pawlenty said of the high stakes survey of potential 2012 candidates. “As my record in Minnesota gets out, I think we’ll have a campaign that’s going to be prevailing not just in the straw poll, but in the Iowa caucuses and beyond.”


Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    this will be fun – watch them eat each other up, and tell the truth about each other.

    July 10, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Any thing for a buck - time to end GOPorate greed.

    Paw-lease, the Repub base cares nothing for a "legitimate " record, if they did their fox media celebrities wouldn't be so rich, heck they only use the term "legitimate" when they want to trash something.

    July 10, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Crazy Harry

    I gotta think that Bachmanns record of nothing is better than Pawlenty's record of running the state of Minnesota into the ground.

    July 10, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Sas

    well, hopefully Tim will have a strong enough spinal cord to standby his comments when he and Bachmann stand on the same stage in the next debate.

    July 10, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Michele Bachmann has to be pleased with the way her campaign is going. The Democrats are gunning for her, the other Republican candidates are gunning for her and her poll numbers are high. She is a serious contender and she has strong momentum going forward.

    But saying she does not have much of a record does not mean she is unelectable. Her record is more substantial than the guy she would be replacing in the White House. She would also have the " This can be a historic election" bump. It would be very cool for the first woman President to be a Republican.

    July 10, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Excoastie

    Since Minnesota is the first state to face total collapse, think they both should go home and rethink their political futures.

    July 10, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Sorensen

    She is a small town, mediocre tax-lawyer, so what does he expect?
    Not that Polenti is any better himself. You should not throw stones when etc. etc.

    July 10, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Cardog

    While I could never vote for a Teapublican, no matter what their stance may be, I have to agree with Governor Pawlenty when he says that Michelle Bachmann has no record of achievements in congress. and all she can supply is oratory. Again, you have to wonder how Michelle Bachmann was elected three times to congress by her district in Minnesota??? Being Fundamentalist Christians does not make her and her husband bad people, only mis-guided in their sense of what's right and wrong in today's world.
    As we get closer to the time for the Teapublicans to choose their nominee, we all will see even clearer what this lady has to offer their party. Also as we get closer, we all will see the Teapublican sharks come out and there will be no mercy to people like Mitt Romney and John Huntsman. If indeed Michelle Bachmann is placed in the political grinder, it will be deservedly so. She has no shame in telling lies, voicing made-up history and both her and her husband are indeed religious bigots.

    July 10, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Roscoe

    It's funny to see two people with lousy records try and talk up their accomplishments. People from MN have to be hiding their faces in shame.

    July 10, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Martha in CF

    The Republicans have no one out there. Plain and simple.......The people who voted in the Repubs on 2010 are wishing they hadn't voted the Repubs in.................Get to work all of you who have been elected and quit playing Russian roulette with our lives...................................

    July 10, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. CarmenSo

    Pawlenty has painted himself as the serious, results-oriented candidate, even adopting the campaign slogan “results, not rhetoric.”

    Ha! I guess bad results are still results.

    July 10, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Dream on Pawlenty....

    July 10, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Indy

    It is beyond comprehension how Pawlenty and Bachmann think they have anything to offer after their dismal records in MN. Since the only plans Republicans have is to slam the President and blame Obama for everything wrong in the world today I guess a big mouth is all that is required to be a Republican candidate.

    July 10, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Louisiana Man

    Pawlenty's imaginary accomplishments are so vast and infinite and his ego so enormous that they are in garish contrast to each other.
    Another GOPer illusionist with his pocket full of miracles and pixie dust to fix our problems with a wing and a prayer.
    If he has the answers, he should have jumped into the ring in 2004 after his boy and his cronies bankrupted our country with two worthless wars, unfunded Medicare Rx, tax cuts and gazillions more transgressions.

    July 10, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. NVIZEON

    In this climate of paparazzi politics its not substance but salaciousness that sells candidates. Sad but true.

    July 10, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. bobcat2u

    Let the bloodbath begin. Republicans after republicans. To me , that is just funnier than a screen door in a submarine. It's going to be like--I can destroy this country faster and better than you can. And I promise if you elect me president, there will be a chicken in every pot and a private jet in every rich mans hangar. And of course you won't have to pay any extra taxes. That's what we have the little people for.

    July 10, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    BULLY goes after Bachmann and not Romney. But then he went after her too when she wasn't there to defend herself. I think I sense a pattern here. :)

    July 10, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Jenn

    Repubs fighting with each other, LOVE IT!

    July 10, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Pallin2112

    This should be interesting. Kinda like zombies eating other zombies. You still end up watching the walking dead.

    July 10, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. MB Seattle

    Not a fan of either but the truth be spoken.

    July 10, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Tex71

    Pawlenty definitely has a point – unlike Bachmann, he is sane, well-educated and a serious politician; he works the Tea Party base with professional cynicism, using them as a power source. Bachmann is truly one of them: a rabid, ignorant lunatic. None of this justifies Pawlenty's efforts (as a good Republican) to betray the spirit of America as envisioned by our founders – all in the name of greed: the past decade has been an enormous push to finally, once and for all, put 100% of the wealth and freedom securely in the hands of the wealthiest few.

    July 10, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Sam

    I'm no fan of either Pawlenty or Bachmann, but I have to give Pawlenty credit for calling it like it is. Bachmann's record as a Congresswoman is undistinguished...unless you count her schilling and posturing for the Tea Party. That, however, is ultimately going to end up being her undoing.

    July 10, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. BDub

    If you want to consider not voting 'yes' for unconstitutional legislation, then sure. Hardly a slam. More senators and congressmen and congresswomen should vote no. They vowed to uphold the Constitution, after all.

    July 10, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. duke13

    I love this! The pot calling the kettle black. Neither Bachmann or Pawlenty are qualified for anything other than feeding from the Government trough.

    July 10, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. tommytd

    “We’re not looking for folks who just have speech capabilities,” Pawlenty said. “We’re looking for who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. I have done that; she hasn’t.”

    NOT TO WORRY...NOBODY IN WASHINGTON IS DOING THIS EITHER!

    July 10, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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