August 7th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Pawlenty: GOP needs to 'freshen up'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been mentioned as a potential VP pick for Sen. John McCain."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – mentioned as a top contender to be John McCain’s running mate – said Thursday that the Republican Party needs to change its image and outreach geared toward young voters.

“I don't think we're doing a very good job reaching out and attracting the support of young people right now and that is part because we need to freshen up the party a little bit,” Pawlenty told CNN Headline News’ Glenn Beck. “Doesn't mean we dilute our values or change our values. We just have to do a better job of making sure we translate that them into the modern generation.”

Watch: Pawlenty on GOP, guns, bailouts

Veepstakes speculation has recently surrounded Pawlenty, a governor from a state in play this year. Political analysts say the Minnesota governor – who possesses a Washington-free resume - could take some of the same-old/same-old feel off the Republican ticket, counterbalancing McCain's age and decades in Congress with a light touch.

Watch the full interview on Glenn Beck tonight at 7 p.m. ET on Headline News.

Pawlenty also touched on a hot-button issue: Gun rights.

“[I’m a] strong supporter of the second amendment and I have been supported in all my elections by the NRA,” he said. “I'm the only governor in the USA to sign the concealed carry legislation twice. Once after the court threw it out and once before.”

When asked if car companies such as GM, Ford and Chrysler – who have fallen on hard times with a sagging economy – need a bail out, Pawlenty said the government “can be in the business of bailing out every large company that's in trouble.”

“We'd be bailing out the airlines we'd be bailing out lots of other companies, I think the answer is to have those companies … be competitive and compete in a world marketplace.”

The Minnesota governor also praised McCain’s ideas on tax credits for people who purchase next generation vehicles, which he said includes low emissions, fuel efficiency and next generation cellulite battery technology for their cars.

Filed under: John McCain • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Joey, MN

    Pawly: its not that young people aren't hearing your message properly: they're hearing TOO WELL!!! Anyone paying attention knows you're full of it.

    August 7, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. Jo Ann

    What is amazing to me is if Obama had suggested that Michelle be in
    cowchip contest= the media especially Fox would be playing that day and night including you CNN but since it was McCain that made the statement you hear it one day and it's not news. When will the media ever be fair in their reporting?

    August 7, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. curtis in WI

    I hope McCain does pick Pawlenty. He will lose the entire Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, then. Pawlenty IS NOT loved in MN. And all the neighboring states are glad he's not ours.

    August 7, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. America for the People

    Gee - how about another flip floppinng, lying republican!

    August 7, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Susan

    You need more the fresh for the Republicans, you would need an entire makeover. Oh, wait, The Republicans would stillstink! Obama 08!!!

    August 7, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  6. An Independent

    "Doesn't mean we dilute our values or change our values."

    Hmmm...I'd say it's the values that most need to be changed.

    What I see as the values of the current Republican Party are things like:

    – "Every human life is valuable" – but only until birth. Then, if the child's not in a wealthy family, who cares about them?

    – "We need to cut taxes" – but still make sure all our pet projects get funded. Of course, the government can't afford that, but we'll just stick future generations with the bill. We'll be dead by then, so why should we care?

    – "The science on global warming is inconclusive" and "We need to drill for more oil" – because we don't want to sacrifice anything now, especially if it cuts profits for our donors in the energy industry. By the time the full effects of global warming kick in, we'll be dead. Yeah, future generations will suffer, but we only care about ourselves right now, not other people or the future.

    Stuff like that is why the Republicans are losing support. Changing the way you say the same selfish short-sighted things isn't really going to help.

    August 7, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    “I don't think we're doing a very good job reaching out and attracting the support of young people right now..."

    I don't think you're doing a very good job of reaching out to, and keeping the support of, decidedly former Republicans like me who vividly remember Barry Goldwater.

    Get rid of the bible-thumping bigotry and the arrogant, paranoiac, jingoistic, America uber alles foreign policy. Return to a decent respect for the Constitution and the freedoms of American citizens. Do all that and I might consider becoming a Republican again.

    August 7, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Pawlenty's is only partly right - Republicans DO need to change their values and not be so beholden to the anti-tax and religious fringe if they want to"freshen up" the party and atttract younger, more progressive, more tolerant voters.

    August 7, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. 17 year old future politician

    Oh yeah since Gun Control and the progression of Car Companies really appeal to the young voters....uh not really Pawlenty...however I think your parties' issues are a big negative for young voters, refusing to change those may get you no where with the new age, and I praise you for actually wanting to change your parties' politics as usual stance.

    August 8, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
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