Tampa, Florida (CNN) - As he dashed between fundraisers during a two-day visit to Florida, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty paused to meet with voters and set about trashing the debt ceiling agreement signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
The former Minnesota governor called the last-minute framework "very disappointing" and faulted Congressional leaders in both parties for not doing enough to confront the underlying federal debt crisis.
"They didn't fix the problem," Pawlenty told about 60 Republicans crammed into Buddy Brew, a high-end coffee shop in voter-rich Tampa. "They just popped a fiscal aspirin and pretended the problem's going to go away."
Pawlenty said the debt will increase by $7 trillion over the next decade under the terms of the deal.
He also rallied the audience with the misleading claim that "most of the cuts they proposed are going to come from defense."
Under the plan, defense cuts would be triggered later this year, but only if Congress fails to act on the recommendations of a special deficit reduction committee. Corresponding reductions in domestic spending would also be on the table.
Pawlenty was in Florida taking a detour from his relentless campaign march through Iowa ahead of the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13, a test of grassroots support that figures prominently in his early state strategy.
Speaking to reporters outside the coffee shop, Pawlenty said it was important to take a break from Iowa to lay groundwork in the other key early primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina. Florida Republicans, meanwhile, want their state to be fifth on the nominating calendar, which would violate Republican National Committee rules.
"If you are going to be President of the United States, you have to have a campaign in more than just one state," he said. "Iowa is first and it's really important and we are going to be putting a lot of time in there between now and the straw poll. But we also want to make sure we are building our organization and our team in additional early states like Florida, South Carolina and New Hampshire."
Pawlenty said he plans to return to New Hampshire and South Carolina soon, but only after the vote in Ames. He would not say whether he plans to participate in the Florida GOP's closely watched "Presidency 5" Straw Poll in September, but he did say it was "likely."
He also revealed that his campaign is operating under the assumption that Texas Gov. Rick Perry - who could siphon support and donors away from Pawlenty - is planning to join the Republican race.
"I assume, in fact I am counting on, the fact that he is going to get in the race," he said. "For a while that will be all the buzz, as it is with all of these new entrants or individual entrants into the race. But all of us bring different strengths and weaknesses into the race."
What a sleaze. It's easy to stand on the side line and find fault after the fact. Where were his great ideas and solutions while the debate was going on?
Yes – that's all we got. Trash. Leave MN with a gaping massive debt hole that shuts down the state government. And what do we have to offer now – trash the debt deal. No deal.
Typical - His party beats him up so he goes out and kicks the dog.
The "problem" is the Teabaggers, The Republican party needs to put their little monster back in the lab it came from before the American Citizens and patriots get out the torches and pitchforks and do it for them!
Now he got something to say....a bit too late. Hindsight is now 20/20. What a loser.
Ho-Hum who cares what this loser thinks? All one need to do is look at how he left his home state of Minnesota in financial ruin..(even Bachmann says this) and you can tell how he's govern the nation.
Why all this coverage for Pawlenty? His poll number is in the single digit. His campaign is DOA.
Well, little Timmy has a long pathetic history of trashing things like the once prosperous MN economy. He ran deficits all 8 years of is reign of destruction, managed to lose MN AAA credit rating, and left the state with a reserves drained, roads and bridges crumbling, funding for school and healthcare severely cut and facing debt for years to come. Yes, Ms Pawlenty's little Timmy knows a lot about trashing.
Pawlenty said what? I'll listen to one of his speeches, in the event that I'm suffering from insomnia.
We don't have a spending problem – we have a tea-bagger (organized idiot) problem.
one fund raising at a coffee shop and the other one outside a Burger King,got lots of coffee, money??????well!!!!
"I assume, in fact I am counting on, the fact that he is going to get in the race," he said. "For a while that will be all the buzz, as it is with all of these new entrants or individual entrants into the race."
Poor Paws. He was never the buzz. When Paws announced his candidacy, everybody snored! No buzz whatsoever. I have a better chance of becoming POTUS than Paws does. lol!
This from a guy that spent 8 years using accounting gimmicks and shifts to balance the Minnesota budget and managing to leave a $5billion deficit in his wake. Pot, meet kettle......
Blah, blah, blah, I'm trying to win tea party votes. Blah, blah, blah. Didn't his state like go bankrupt or something?
Oh boy another stupid republican heard from.And what might you do sonny?
Where was this guy's criticism when Pres. Bush, aka W, was driving the US into a deep, deep financial hole with 2 wars and tax-breaks to the wealthy and big biz after Clinton's surpluses???
So much coverage for a bottom feeder in the polls. We need new laws to limit campaign time as well as donations. Pawlenty is a coward; he trashes people, however when he confronts them in person he wimps out. After the Iowa Caucus guys like him and Santorum will be out. If Perry enters, the final four will be Romney, Bachmann, Perry and either Cain or Paul.
And that's Tim I-didn't-raise-taxes,-I-raised-"state fees" Pawlenty!
"He also rallied the audience with the misleading claim that "most of the cuts they proposed are going to come from defense."
Thank you CNN for actually calling this guy out like this. Depsite what people say CNN doesn't show a bias either way but in doing so never calls it like it is. If his comments were misleading then they just were and it should be noted. It doesn't matter what political party he belongs to or the fact that I think this guy is an idiot.
Easy to trash something when you are not even in the fight.
Just stay in Florida. No one's going to miss you anywhere else. Just gracefully bow out..
So Timmy Boy is mad the GOBP didn't raise users fees the way he did to mask his MN budget disaster?
Talk, talk, talk and absolutely nothing to offer, just talk and more talk. We've heard enough and Pawlenty is talking to deaf ears, just go away.
Now here`s a real prize !!!!! I guarantee he would get the country there quicker-- in the crapper.
Pawlenty has no plan, so all he can do is talk trash. What a loser!