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. Raymond K Hessel

    Governor, you can put lipstick on a pig but in the end it's still just a pig.

    August 7, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Maddison, KS

    After 8 years of the Bush presidency, the young people are old people and ready to vote Democratic. Sorry, the GOP is a little too late for a face lift.

    August 7, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Griff

    Get "HiP"? Hey "Cool for Cat's??? See you Later, Aligator???
    Which Young folK????

    August 7, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Obama Supporter

    Young people don't want your party's war mongering. How are you going to translate that?

    August 7, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |

    Don't worry about the GOP, Gov. Pawlenty.

    The leaders of the Democratic Party have failed us.

    Leaders of protest groups like Darragh Murphy of PUMA PAC are failing those of us who felt betrayed by the leaders of the Democratic Party.

    Compared to us, you have it just fine.

    Knoxville Puma

    August 7, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. PUMA in Training

    Actually, Minnesota is a fairly liberal state (at least the twin cities). I'd be curious to know more about this governor. I don't live in Minnesota but get to Minneapolis often.

    August 7, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Song Request I

    This song is dedicated to McSame and George Bush:

    "It's A Thin Line Between Love & Hate"

    August 7, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Alex_58

    Pawlentry is correct – but it may be difficult to recruit from the younger generation. The GOP is often seen as the party of exclusion, and the new generation has been taught to accept any and all behaviors & viewpoints (with the exception of conservative Christianity).

    It will be interesting to see if he can translate his vision into action.

    August 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Lesley

    Well if that's true then don't put a 71 year old man at the forefront of your party. It sounds like he thinks he should be the nominee instead of McCain. He's definitely pushing for the VP spot.

    August 7, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. truth

    Good luck with that. If you're out of touch with "the internets" and "the google" we young bucks aren't going to listen to you.

    August 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Song Request II

    This song is dedicated to McSame and George Bush:

    "John Jacob Jinkle Heimer Smith"

    ...his name is my name too..., whenever we go out, the people always shout there goes John Jacob Jinkle Heimer Smith....da da da da da da da.

    August 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. Song Request III

    This song is dedicated to McSame and George Bush:

    "Who Let The Dogs Out?"

    August 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Chut Pata

    For that, Mr. Pawlenty, you need to have young ideas (progressive) instead of conservative, and young men as presidential candidate (not World War veterans).

    August 7, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Ex-Republican for Obama

    This guy has been investigated and indicted on Fraudulant use of campaign funds. This guy is nothing new to the standard way of doing things the Republican way (do a crime, cover it up, lie about it, get caught and then act like you have integrity while lying about every issue presented).

    No to Dirty Republicans and their Criminal Agenda!

    August 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Ron Nebraska

    VALUES and the REPUBLICAN PARTY , isn't that like JUMBO SHRIMP?

    August 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Tejano

    Good luck with that one. Until you reform our School System that brainwashes our children and turns them against American principles
    as they tried to do with my two boys, now young men, you will not see
    a resurgence in the Republican Party. They are fed socialist propaganda from kindergarden through high school. The Greens are getting them very young and converting them to tree huggers, and the
    evolutionists also get their views accros in our textbooks. It takes
    a very strong mind and parents that are being vigilant to overcome the school system. Several times during the past 12 years, I had confrontations with teachers and administrators that were more concerned with my boys fitting in and being liked than they were with their education. The next one is the media that dishonors our elected officials, degrades public servants and panders to the left wing elements in our society.

    August 7, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. bill for barack

    I agree that the Republicans need to 'freshen up' .
    They STINK.

    August 7, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. skunkrat The Marine

    McCain, FORGOT the FLAG PEN he hates America. Right?

    August 7, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. CG

    The RNC needs to "freshen up"-with John McCain at the Helm? Uh, Yeah Right...

    August 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Pray telll, he can't possibly think that McCain can freshen anything up.

    August 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Song Request IV

    This song is dedicated to McSame and George Bush:

    Atomic Dog by George Clinton:


    August 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Walter

    Lighten up, Tim.

    Remember, t's hard to be upbeat and positive when you're a grumpy old misanthrope.

    (Bet that made the right-wing intelligentsia grab their Funk and Wagnalls)

    August 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. whotoo

    It is all about attraction not reality. RNC for Joke!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. KenB, MI

    Here's one free of charge for the McCain campaign...pick this guy up for the Veep ticket and put him on a youth other words he can appear as stuffy as McCain (Same Old Business) with the occasional youth tech on hand for the photo op...flip screen text cell phone...mp3 player some cheesy tech photo ops...then again I would prefer the stuffed shirt conservative approach it can be incredibly alienating.

    August 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. DJ Los Angeles

    Too late...the damage is done, with irreversable consequences.

    August 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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