August 6th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Potential McCain VP pick slams Obama's 'life oratory'

Gov. Pawlenty spoke at the National Press Club Wednesday.

Gov. Pawlenty spoke at the National Press Club Wednesday.

(CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is widely rumored to be on Sen. John McCain’s short list of potential vice presidential picks, displayed his skills as a political attack dog Wednesday.

Watch: Pawlenty compares Obama and McCain

“Senator McCain’s life experiences are epic, they are legendary,” Pawlenty said in response to a question at the National Press Club. “They are a life story. Not a life oratory but a life story,” Pawlenty added, in an apparent reference to Obama’s much-discussed public speaking skills.

“That stands in contrast to Senator Obama,” Pawlenty said, turning his attention to the presumptive Democratic nominee. “It is simply a matter of fact that less than four years ago he was a state legislator.”

“It’s not even a close call in my book as to who you want in sitting in the Oval Office as President of the United States, leader of the free world, commander-in-chief.”

Pawlenty was also asked about the qualities he thought a vice presidential candidate should possess and he kept his response to the point.  "Discretion," the Minnesota governor said.

In an appearance before a conservative group Wednesday morning, Pawlenty had more praise for Obama.

"People want to follow hopeful, optimistic, civil, decent leaders," Pawlenty said.  "Say what you will about Barack Obama . . . people gravitate when you got something positive to say," he added.  The potential Republican VP pick also told the gathering that McCain had a positive approach to politics as well.

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Scott L

    I am starting to like this guy a lot...

    August 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    Watch Glenn Beck's interview w/ Jerome Corsi about Obama.

    August 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Former g.o.p.

    I love the part of McCain's life story, when he dumped his crippled wife and married the young blond heiress. What a maverick!

    August 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Rob

    Yeah, I believe experience is the only thing that should count in a presidential election, I mean think about it,

    Remember the extremely experienced politicians like Bush and Cheney? And no one had a greater, better resume than Rumsfeld!

    Wait a minute...



    August 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Tony, Miami

    Some will do and say anything to be VP

    August 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. KC

    That's right, you need the words surge, bomb, attack and drill on your resume to run this country!

    August 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Former g.o.p.

    I seem to recall that President bush had a few years as governor before the 2000 selection. I guess the g.o.p has learned from their mistakes or maybe it's the pervasive smell of republican hypocrisy.

    August 6, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. bridgette

    You are right. It is a pretty easy choice. Obama. McCain has been in that Senate fo r30 years can you tell me what he has done that has helped the American people. All he talks about is what he is against what is he for. Can someone please tell me.

    August 6, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. Eric

    “It’s not even a close call in my book as to who you want in sitting in the Oval Office as President of the United States, leader of the free world, commander-in-chief.”


    OBAMA '08

    August 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. voter

    you forgot to mention cnn that he praised Obama saying he is positive and believes he has a winning campaign. Funny that all of the news online are discussing how Pawlenty praised Obama and cnn talks about how Pawlenty slammed Obama. CNN get it together and be honest.

    August 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. jet in memphis

    why dont you sit down somewhere mr. governor, am sure your state is facing this gas hike and downturn in the economy.

    shup up and find real solutions to the problems, is been 8 yrs of same old story.


    August 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Commander In Cheek, McSame

    The would-be Commander in Chief who wants to talk about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears? John McCain would be a Commander in Cheek. He's Mr. Funnyman with zero chances of changing this country.

    August 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. There He Is, Mr. VP America

    He really wants to be VP badly, he didn't lose all that weight for nothing. Like Huckabeast, you lose weight, look younger and get chosen by morons.

    August 6, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Jay

    Obama's experience is a "Community Organizer" what ever that means

    August 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Huh?

    Yeah, I really respect people that make it to where they are today on someone elses coattails. John S. McCain is no different than GWBush – if McCains last name was Smith, and his dad wasn't an admiral pulling strings for him, he wouldn't be where he is today. Sorry, McCain isn't deserving of my respect – his status was given to him, it was not earned.

    I respect Obama's journey, he's a self made man, whereas McCain is a product of his fathers legacy and his wifes money. There's nothing respectable there. The POW stuff, the flying missions – that was your job and you did it, end of story.

    August 6, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. edw

    In 2007, McCain missed all 11 energy-related Senate votes considered key by the League of Conservation Voters, including votes related to automobile fuel economy, offshore Virginia drilling, refinery construction, renewable electricity mandates, energy efficiency, liquefied coal and support for biofuels. The absences prompted the League to give McCain a "zero" rating for the year—–WOW and he has the nerve to demand congress to "get back to work"…..this man is unbelievable...

    August 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. Chickens coming home to roost

    Don't you just love it when the chickens come home to roost?

    Obama never was called a Bit*h or a CUN* or the N word.

    Hillary was.

    Thanks to the haters for hope, unity and change. Hypocrits forgot your own message and turned to vitriol to steal a nomination.

    Shame on you
    Shame on Obama for letting you
    Shame on the DNC for allowing it.
    Shame on the Media for encouraging it.


    Do you HEAR us now?

    August 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. How does CNN determine who gets posted?

    McCain's story is epic? Crashing a jet five times is epic? Five years as a POW is epic? Lying and cheating is epic? Supporting war criminals Bush, Cheney, Rice and Powell is epic? Does he know what an epic is?

    August 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. syl parbe

    Pawlenty definitely got it right. Obamam is a risky disaster that the US can ill afford.
    It would be helpful if the Obama supporters discuss what other than his teleprompter speeches qualify him for the white house. Certainly is not his ability to play the race card and to think he is above scrutiny.

    August 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Enough!!!

    Governor George W Bush had how much experience? Republicans, youall are weak, weak, and weak. Know ye not that Americans are becoming freethinkers for themselves and your opinions are just that, opinions, and quite unwarranted. Just continue w/your obvious ads that target that section of caucasian voters who are on the fence and need a reason not to vote for Obama. You don't have to be a racist to play the card. You will only damage yourselves in the process. Your ads only speak of the persons that youall really are.

    August 6, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Mike in MN

    Tim Pawlenty for VP. He's been great for Minnesota and would be for the US.

    This country would have to be nuts to elect the flip flop less than one term Senator Obama.

    Oh, and I do love all the clever negative Mc-- names all the Demolemings use. So I came up with a few of my own that are more descriptive of the true John McCain.

    I'll be voting for McCares, McAnswers, McIntegrity, McNationleader, McCain. He is our only McHope. And I hope Pawlenty is part of the ticket.

    August 6, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Michael - Sacramento, CA

    Looking at 20th century Americans, Martin Luther King was epic, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was legendary, and Cesar Chavez was both. But John McCain? That his life story is interesting I'll readily concede, but "epic" and "legendary" it's not. Fifty years from now, no one but historians and old voters with good memories will know who John McCain was, and the historians will mostly remember him as the candidate who ran against first-term President Obama.

    August 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Enough!!!

    Pawlenty, you remind me of one of those state birds. I can't think of the name off the top of my head, but when I see your face, it just reminds me of a bird photo that I once saw.

    August 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Rapha TEXAS

    I agree 100%. Obama is a joke that needs to get some experience under his belt.
    Obama is so full of himself he thinks he can do no wrong. Obama switches his opinion on important issues (troop surge,drilling) on a daily basis. How can you trust a person like that to be the leader of the free world.

    Hillary Democrats for McCain

    August 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. BV in Minneapolis

    Hey Tim, how about you and Norm Coleman take the first jet out of Minnesota. I would tell you to take i-35, but the Bridge is collapsed because our Governor didn't feel taxing people to pay for maintenance...or education...or health care...

    August 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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