Pawlenty picks fight with Romney
July 15th, 2011
04:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Pawlenty picks fight with Romney

(CNN) – Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty continued to hammer rival Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Friday for being what he has described as "largely absent" from the debt crisis debate.

"My thoughts on the debt ceiling <http://t.co/yL7G2gw What say you @MittRomney? Help us fight back," Pawlenty tweeted with a link to an appearance on CNBC's Kudlow Report Thursday.

Pawlenty has been critical of the former Massachusetts governor, who has avoided weighing in on day-to-day debt crisis negotiations.

"Conservatives around the country are speaking out against raising the debt ceiling, yet Governor Romney has been largely absent from this debate, just as he was during the health care debate when he was sidelined by his record in Massachusetts," Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said earlier this week.

Romney has refrained from commenting on the negotiations, but did weigh in this week by repeatedly pointing to President Obama as the main culprit in the nation's economic crisis.

"We cannot lose sight of the need to move the President toward meaningful fiscal responsibility," Romney said in a statement to CNN earlier this week. "A vote on raising the debt ceiling has to be accompanied by a major effort to restructure and reduce the size of government."

At a campaign stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Thursday, Romney again called on the president to bring an end to the stalemate in the talks.

"Come on, Mr. President," Romney said. "You can, by yourself, cut spending, agree to cap the spending and put in place a balanced budget amendment."

The Treasury Department has warned that failure to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2 could lead to a possible default, which could provoke skyrocketing interest rates and cause the dollar to plummet.

But both parties have thus far been unable reconcile their radically divergent strategies to solve the nation's economic crisis.

Republicans – including both Pawlenty and Romney – have called for "Cut, Cap and Balance" approach, which opposes a debt ceiling increase unless it is accompanied by major spending cuts, a cap in spending, and a balanced budget amendment. But Democrats have denounced such cuts because of the drastic changes they would bring to popular entitlement programs.

In his appearance on the Kudlow Report, Pawlenty said Republicans should force Obama's hand and send the president a bill that "has real reform in it," and "challenge him to veto it or sign it."

Pawlenty also said Congress needs to focus not just on debt reduction, but growth, saying, "We need exceptional growth, and I've got the most specific, most aggressive economic growth plan than any candidate in this race including the president of the United States."


Filed under: 2012 • Debt • Deficit • Mitt Romney
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sank

    Pawlenty of crap. Do you think this is the way to win the nomination. This only drives you further down the poll. No one knows you so shut the heck up and get out of the way, you and Rommey both. SARAH PALIN WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. WITH BACHMAN AS VP.

    July 15, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS/Domestic Terrorists/Taliban/Al Queda/TRAITORS

    Ever heard the phrase "you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house?" I will advise you to stfu T-Paw before Willard "The Job Destroyer" Romney hits you back on how you left your state with a huge deficit. You don't have to take my advice if you don't want to.

    July 15, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So the man who created Minnesota's huge deficit and budget crisis is calling out someone else for being absent from the Federal Deficit debate? Does anyone else see the analogy of the pot and the kettle?

    July 15, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Scott

    LOL... He's brave at a distance, like a lot of the people that post these hateful comments. Anonimity is a catalyst to instant bravery isn't it?

    July 15, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Two useless creeps. Is this all you have to offer republican party?

    July 15, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. ConservaFASCISTS/Domestic Terrorists/Taliban/Al Queda/TRAITORS

    Amen Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    July 15, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Either Pawlenty or Romney would be 100,000 times better than the dolt in the Whitehouse now. Neither of these guys spent their life voting "present" and "leading-from-behind".

    July 15, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "To be sure, Democrats are also under pressure from progressive constituencies who are pushing for more revenue in the form of tax increases"

    BLATANT attempt at a false equivalency, CNN. Cut the crap. While most progressives believe we should allow the Bush tax cuts to expire AS THEY WERE INITIALLY WRITTEN TO DO, we'd be just as happy if the compromise instead included closing corporate loopholes and obscene preferences the rich and corporations enjoy over the rest of the country. Moreover, pretending that progressives and liberals ONLY want to raise revenue and don't recognize the necessity fo making reasonable cuts is completely and utterly inaccurate...just more BS from a "news" outlet that has lately been blatantly stretching its poetic license in order to increase the sensationalism and ramp up the appearance of controversy for ratings. It's pathetic. Truly. Just because people believe it is unnecessary to cut Medicare, Medicaid, SS, welfare, etc., in order to close the deficit, doesn't mean they are unwilling to see reasonable cust in other areas...OR THAT THEY DON'T ALREADY RECOGNIZE THAT THE DEFICIT GOES AWAY OVER TIME IF THE BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE, "DOC FIXES" ARE NO LONGER ENACTED AND THE ACA IS NOT REPEALED. WHY ARE YOU AVOIDING REPORTING CBO'S FINDINGS?

    July 15, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    That CBO report showing that the deficit goes away by 2019 if Bush tax cuts expire, "doc fixes" are no longer enacted and the ACA is not repealed...it was released on June 22, 2011. Now, don't come back claiming you can't find it, CNN. Stop burying it and report the truth.

    July 15, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    That CBO report showing that the deficit goes away by 2019 if Bush tax cuts expire, "doc fixes" are no longer enacted and the ACA is not repealed...it was released on June 22, 2011. Now, don't come back claiming you can't find it, CNN. Stop burying it and report the truth.
    ==================================================================================================
    And if you close your eyes and click your heels 3 times and say "there's no place like home, there's no place like home" you'll instantly be transported back to Jupiter. Any CBO report is based on the bogus numbers feed to them by the numerically challenged Democrats. Only dummies like you believe them.

    July 15, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. SPENDMO

    We don't need a BBA, we need jobs. If we can rebuild Europe after WWII, Japan, Iraq, and the Afghanistan, you are going to tell me, that we can't spend money on our owm people. Cap and Cut the Working and Middle Class, while increasing the Corporate Balance sheet. Jobs will increase revenue and taxes. Invest in America. So far, the Lower Bush Taxes have not created any jobs.

    July 15, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Funny, Talk about the pot calling the kettle black (and vice versa).
    romneycare has been absent from a real job forever. the pawman was so absent in MN that bridges fell and he left the state in ruins.
    There is so much dirt and wrongs from this two (among the other clowns ont he list) that it will be fun watching them take shots then try to look pretty for the real race!

    July 15, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Pawlenty will need some help from the other bottom tier candidates to knock off Romney and Bachmann from their pedestals.

    July 15, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Any CBO report is based on the bogus numbers feed to them by the numerically challenged Democrats."

    Sorry, but this wasn't about projected numbers on some proposed hypothetical. The numbers used were based on the actual budget and what is actually being spent on different things and what the actual rate of growth of spending will be if not cut, based on its rate of growth historically and the trajectory it is currently on. This wasn't a hypothetical exercise...it was almost entirely an objective exercise of taking actual, real world numbers and applying math. The only portion that is remotely hypothetical is the portion involving the ACA, but hey, we've already seen that the GOP is willing to cite the CBO when it's convenient and then cry wolf when the CBO's numbers prove them wrong, so it's silliness that I just bothered to even respond to you. Taking the CBO's prediction of the ACA saving us a little under $150B over the next ten years and adding it back in still get yuo to only a $15B budget deficit per year. I can cut that quicker than a unicorn can cut a fart.

    July 15, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |