Washington (CNN) - Tim Pawlenty isn't backing down from his debate-night criticism of Rep. Michele Bachmann, saying Bachmann's gender didn't play into his choice of words.
Asked in a Politico forum whether it was a mistake to go after a female candidate using strong language, Pawlenty said, "It's not about gender, it's about the issues."
Pawlenty continued, "Representative Bachman likes to assign herself the label of leader. Well if you're going to be a leader, you have to be accountable for results."
Pawlenty went on to echo some of his criticisms of Bachmann, namely that her claims of success in Congress didn't match up to reality.
"Everything she's lead the charge against, she's not accomplished," Pawlenty said. "That's not good enough to be the president of the United States. With respect, she's done wonderful things in life, but we're not going to have a nominee that's someone who hasn't achieved results."
"No one's questioning her spine, they're questioning her results," Pawlenty said.
On Thursday night, Pawlenty went after Bachmann using similar terminology.
"She has said she has a titanium spine," Pawlenty said. "It's not her spine we are worried about, it's her record of results."
He went on, "If that's your view of effective results, please stop. You're killing us."