Pawlenty: Bachmann criticism isn't about gender
August 12th, 2011
10:23 AM ET
3 years ago

Pawlenty: Bachmann criticism isn't about gender

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."


Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Don't backpedal it Paw. In this case at least you spoke the truth, and it won't matter for you in the long run because no one wants someone who'll make them comatose for President or VP. So tell the truth and shame the devil Paw, it will at least set you apart from the rest of the Rethugs for Jeezus and Corporate America on Tour.

    August 12, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Bachmann never had the leadership role........she has only had a voting role, and that's all she can do.

    Pawlenty's criticism was less than genuine, was deceiving in truth, and was dishonest in intent. That's one reason he takes the bottom of the list, after the debate.

    August 12, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. KathyC in Minnesota

    Michele Bachmann has NO accomplishments in Congress. NO Bills before Congress that have been signed into law.

    All Bachmann has done is show she can give a speech based on half-truths and catchy soundbites. That she has voted NO to every Democratic Bill before her shows only that she was present in the HOUSE to vote. Nothong more.

    August 12, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. asdf

    What's more sexist: A candidate being aggressive and treating a female candidate like any other, or the news media jumping to defend her because she's too dainty to stand up to any criticism?

    August 12, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. ART

    Hey listen if she cannot take the heat she should stay out of the kitchen. She can dish it out spewing her lies and hate so she needs to be able to take it. The cover on News week was spot on , you can see the crazy in her eyes.

    August 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Larry L

    When will the GOP start playing grown-up and offer Americans a real choice? If a conservative wants a rational leader who doesn't use religion as a divisive political tool – who could you choose from the Republican field? Huntsman would be the only possible choice. Perry and the other Bible-thumpers seem to want a Christian theocracy based on bigotry and homophobia. Nows there's a foundation for good government... in Iran.

    August 12, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Anthony

    No truer words have been spoken. Pawlenty is attacking Bachmann because she is the frontrunner according to Iowa polls, even though Pawlenty has been campaigning in the state since 2008 election.

    August 12, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. vet in texas

    I watched this debate, and I am not impressed with any of the candidates, Perry included. None of them have a definite plan whatsoever, and those that do aren't at all possible.

    Blanket statements like lower taxes, smaller government, yada yada mean absolutely nothing without specifics, we've heard this for the past 30 years and proof of those blanket statements have been debunked time and time again. they are all losers with no chance of getting in the whitehouse unless they sign up for a tour. I would hate to be a conservative right now, because this lack luster bunch doesn't have the necessary "gravitas" to unseat a presidential incumbent.

    alot of the nation is unhappy with Obama, but not that unhappy that they will vote for Bachmann who can only tout her "choice in lightbulbs" all while spouting that it's Obama and his non constitutional laws when it was W who signed it into law in 2007, blaming Obama for bailouts that were all started under W.

    They are all frauds and unelectable, for the simple fact that they signed a pledge, thus they will put the pledge of alligiance second to all the pledges that they have signed.

    I'm amazed how the GOP voters can't see through any of these people.......they can, but won't and can never admit their choices in leaders are always wrong.

    None of the candidates last night nor the other 2 waiting in the wings (Palin and Perry) could even win their respective state, The only possibility is Paul. Hilarious, that this is the best the GOP can come up with....Hilarious I tell you!

    August 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. TYpicalman

    This idea that a woman running for the President of the most powerful nation in the world should be treated softly is just despicable and outright stupid. If you want to run for the president of the united states, you ought to be able to take the blows that come with it... man or woman... it makes no difference. She should get outta the race if she feels otherwise.

    August 12, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Oh come on... First it's immunity from criticism by playing the race card and now immunity from criticism by playing the gender card. Pure horse pucky. Anybody in politics had better have thick enough skin for criticism and not whine about it. Pawlenty's comments could have been leveled against a man just as well.

    August 12, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    I'm glad that someone has decided to hold Bachmann accountable for her non-existent record. The attacks were not sexist in the least. Pawlenty simply told the truth, which I hope will mark the end of the free ride that Bachmann has enjoyed so far.

    August 12, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Liyah

    I cant believe I am saying this but. Tim pawlenty is actually good for something.....And what he just said is truth

    August 12, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. A keen observer

    Pawlenty is all mouth and no results also. Show me one thing positive he has accomplished.

    August 12, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. NVa Native

    One of the GOP goof-balls last night said "America needs to learn how to take a joke". We'll we took eight years of the "joke" that was the Bush/Cheney regime – but it wasn't funny then or now. And putting another corporate lackey GOP in the White House would send us back another four years – or worse.
    Nothing but more "malice and dis-content" from the GOPer crowd who delivered the same on all the rest of us.

    August 12, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Publius Novus

    Bachmann has not accomplished anything of note thus far. She lacks the understanding to accomplish anything of note in the future. Her record is one of tearing down, opposing, going back, and obstruction. That is not how you move into the future successfully.

    This morning, we heard her concept of the U.S. economy. She would immediately balance the budget by cutting programs and would not under any circumstances raise the debt ceiling. The result would be an economic catastrophe unseen since 476 A.D.

    August 12, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. cindy

    At least she didn't have to share the stage with Perry. It was in his best interest to not answer any questions in that debate as he is over qualified. He and Bachman have something in common tho. They both have 2 minds...ones lost and the other is out looking for it. Either way....just pray for it.

    August 12, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Upstate Barbara

    I'm glad Pawlenty said this! Remember when Biden was warned against being rough with Palin? I think the women of political races shouldn't be spared because of gender. Have at it!

    August 12, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. jlubes

    Both of them need to go away... for good.

    August 12, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    I thought T-Paw did well against M-Bach. He rather politely buttered her toast for her, and returned with some fresh fruit preserves. He must have been saving that stuff up for a long time.

    August 12, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. FM

    I fully agree with Pawlenty. All people should be treated the same regardless of their gender or race so long they put themselves there for competition. This problem of treating women as if they are glass which gonna break is wrong. We have witnessed how Sarah Palin has been taken. If Sarah was a man, we could have forgotten her since 2008 when she lost election. She could have been history by now!

    August 12, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    All these yahoo candidates signed a pledge to Grover Norquist, putting loyalty to him and the group he represents, ahead of our country and her people.

    And they call themselves "patriots"? LOL

    August 12, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. a in austin

    Perry does not do well in debates. He avoided debates during his last campaign after Medina and Hutchinson wiped the floor with him.

    August 12, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel wrote:
    Bachmann never had the leadership role........she has only had a voting role, and that's all she can do.
    -------------
    What does that have to do with her being in Congress since when 2006(?), have to do with the fact that she has neither written nor sponsored a single piece of legislation. Nothing. She just recently wrote a bill decrying light bulb legislation that had been written by, sponsored by, and approved by a Republican Congress and signed by a Republican President. She is passing it off as landmark legislation against big government when it was her own party's bill!. Either she's being intentionally deceptive, or she's out of touch with facts and reality.

    August 12, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. njfinest2009

    I did not see the debate, but did see alot of the clips, for a change Tim Pawlenty came out swingging and he should. Women in politics have to learn how to spar if they want to be in leadership. I doubt Michelle Bachman will win the nomination, none of these candadates offer any solutions. They all have one thing in common ALL OF THEM to destroy the middle class. They signed pledges and I hope people remember that come 2012 OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    August 12, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |