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. David

    This guys a joke. The mess in Minnesota and the unwillingness to compromise is his making.

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

    To Bachmann and Pawlenty: While I can't wait to vote for a new President, be assured NEITHER one of you will make it to the final showdown.

    July 10, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. bob

    Tweedledee and Tweedledum(b)...

    July 10, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Phil T. Listener

    He'll be "clarifying" his statement soon, just as he did in the debate with his remarks about Romney.

    July 10, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. A Realist

    He's right but so what?

    He's still running for 2nd place – Vice President. He still lacks the Courage to Stand up against the guy that stands most directly in his way to the Republican nomination.

    Tim, unfortunately for you, your party has systematically allowed the GOP to get lulled into appealing to the "low information" voter. You've dumbed down the discussion for more than 12 years. In that environment, the GOP primary voters will listen more to an unaccomplished liar like Michele Bachmann.

    July 10, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Pat in IL

    I'm glad to hear a republican say at least one thing that I can agree with completely.

    July 10, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. John

    I Like this a Republican that telling the truth for once. There Is Only One thing I don't understand. Don't get me wrong because I don't think Michele Bachmann Is Qualified to be President either. And yes you are just like every other Republican , When you where GOV of Minnesota you let the State In Billions dollars In dept. And you had Bridges Fallen down. Because Republican don't spend money that need fix , they only spend money on WARS and lot of It. Like the Two the Republican got us In now have cost Trillions of dollars and now you Republican want to keep are American Troops there longer , and either Country even want us there now. Haven't enough American troops die all ready, they don't need to be there any longer bring them home. They shouldn't have gone Into Iraq any how , there where no WMD there any how It just another LIE the Republican tell all the Time. No MR Pawlenty you shouldn't be President either or may be you are even worst.

    July 10, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Sam I Am

    This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Neither candidate has much substance, or much more talent than the ability to read a speech written by someone else (In Bachman's case, badly-written). Watch for these two to become irrelevant very quickly. Like Palin, if Bachman was your standard middle-aged white man, no one would be paying any attention to her. Like Palin, her message is garbled, without substance of any kind, and full of errors that she gets outraged about when someone dares challenge her stupidity and lack of education. See ya!

    July 10, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Clyde

    As much as I loathe Pawlenty (and all republicans really) he has a point. we have a president serving now that ran on rhetoric rather than real legislativem accomplishment and he's proven to be a dismal leader,

    July 10, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Jilli

    Pawlenty doesn't have much of a record worth bragging about – he left Minnesota in shambles.

    July 10, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. logic in LA

    Neither deserve the job. Neither has given one piece of evidence that they have a solution to any of our problems.
    They are very competent at back-stabbing, name calling and delivering mis-information, but that helps no one except themselves.

    July 10, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. independent

    One has no record, the other destroyed the budget of his state. Hmmm. Which one do we want...is there another choice?

    July 10, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent”

    Good point she will win the primary same comments Obama faced who won Obama

    July 10, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. meb

    He says that now. Once they are face to face he will do his tap dance and back track on this like he did with Romney.

    July 10, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. mario

    michele is awoman with no substance she is a fallower we need a leader she is also tainted when its to her advantage she welcomes entilements she is a flake

    July 10, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Name king

    Hey I too think Pawlenty is right, backman is a ideological lunatic, but he's pretty close. He keep saying Obama spend too much, first of all who had 2 trillion dollar in 2 wars, 1 trillion in Medicare part D, 1 trillion in homeland security, and 5 trillion dollars in the bush tax cut, none of which wasnt payed for. Now where did that bill went. Did it magically disappear. Was it put on the bush budget. This is almost 10 trillion in debt from those programs alone. Some one have to challenge these repugs on these shameless lies. Obama spent a total of 1 trillion in stimulous, unemployment benefits and tax cut, how the hell that adds up to 10 trillion, can the president stop the entitlement programs, is this what the repugs want. We are at the lowest in tax revenue in 60 years. It's a reason why this haven't happen In that time, the reason why is because it doesn't work. Even the repugs god Reagan who tried this quickly amend his ways and raised taxes 11 times. This is not logic folks this is feelings.

    July 10, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Larry L

    I love it when they "swift-boat" each other... Conservatives want politically experienced people – but not "insiders". They also want no taxes but all federal services. They want small government but when given control of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court they spend like drunken sailors. Also like drunken sailors, they tend to forget about their drunken spending spree. It's time for them to man-up to their past, eliminate the Bush tax gift to the wealthy, and compromise with the Democrats on spending cuts.

    July 10, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Sarkazein

    Neither of these two has a chance in hell, but it is entertaining to see them bicker over 10%. The only Republican hope is Romney, and he'll be torn down by his own party for his healthcare plan in Massachusetts, which was in fact the right thing to do, but isn't popular with the drones.

    July 10, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. carla

    I'm' wondering if Mr. Pawlenty left our beautiful state in shambles. And, he left our state about 2 years into office. Not physically but he just seemed to be done. Our state is in a shutdown, day 9 so far and no light at the end. He's a sheep in wolves clothing
    Please please please don't let this man get anywhere near a nomination.............from MN.

    July 10, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    The pot calling the kettle black, neither of these two have what it takes to be president of this country. Pawlenty is correct in that Bachmann has not been an effective advocate for her constituency, however, he left this state in a financial mess that has precipitated the current shut-down crisis.

    July 10, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. davey

    A non-existant record of accomplishment in congress? Should make her at least as qualified to be president as Soetoro.

    July 10, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Herbie Walker

    And the contest to be Mitt Romney's water boy/girl continues.

    How terribly boring.

    July 10, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. steve

    I thought that was the point of being a Republican Presidential Candidate- you don't actually WANT to have a resume (since people can attack based on it)- you just want to look and sound like people will like you, and you get to "wing it" once you get elected.

    July 10, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Ken in NC

    Pawlenty said, " I’ve campaigned for her. I respect her, but her record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent,” Now I"m not the brightest light bulb in the box but if her record of accomplishment is non-existent, why did he support and campaign for her? That's kind of "Flakey" on his part.

    July 10, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Anne

    I liked Bachmann's husband's response on Twitter. Says it all @Marcus_Bachmann

    July 10, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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