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. Brian

    I think the Pawlenty quote should be that we "can'T be in the business of bailing out every large company that's in trouble." At least from the context of the article. Did Pawlenty screw up or did you?

    August 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Que Quedas

    GOP equals Halitosis

    August 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Peter (CA)

    Freshen up?
    That's like saying New Orleans could have used a little fresh paint.

    Here is a party that touts "family values" yet continually uses hate and fear to push forward their agenda. My own congressman is an incredible crook who will probably win again because people in my district vote for their party.

    If the Republicans want to be real, they will make themselves over from top to bottom. But, right now, the money is just too good.

    August 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. John

    Tim...why don't you just vote for Obama already? He represents the change you want to see in the Republican Party. Inclusion has not / will not be the focus of the Republican party because of their polarizing of America, they need citizens broken into groups...white, black, abortion, illegal immigrants, gun owners. They need these wedge issues to divide America...Tim, you're just in the wrong party.

    August 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I agee McCain should change his depends.

    August 7, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. Catty

    He's right. The republican party seems alittle rock star running for president on our side of the ballot. But, young voters aren't stupid. We know the issues and our positions and we vote accordingly.

    August 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown

    Earth to Tim...What in the world does the GOP have to offer young voters except the chance to go to war and get killed!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear!


    you can't make a political party out of a criminal enterprise!

    August 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. MikeH

    I don't think there's enough perfume in the world to freshen up the fecal bolus that is the Republican party.

    August 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Alex M

    haha the republican party is old, rich, and white, good luck pawlenty. america is going to lean more and more liberal year after year after year... and i can't wait

    August 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Dee in California

    ...looking at a face like McBush's, doesn't exactly give me a "FRESH" feeling...

    OBAMA 08'
    Yes We Can!

    Stop all the drama, and vote for OBAMA!

    August 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    How about moving into the 21st century for a start?

    Anybody got an old laptop and a 5 year old kid they can loan McGeezer to move into the mid 1990s at least?

    Come on folks, give him a hand !!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Ardnuas

    Pawlenty is a decent person, he should become a Democrat, and leave the HATE filled Republicans alone. All of the decent Republicans should switch parties TODAY!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Sherry, Atlanta

    GOP can't generate the Young Vote...YOUR MESSAGE is one that Young People, just don't relate too!

    I suggest you change your OUTLOOK!

    August 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. TheTruthHurts

    I think Republicans do fine with young people until they get their first job. Then they begin to realize how they're getting screwed. Then in their 50s if they've got any money, they go Republican again becuase they hate taxes. About retirement time they change back to Dems because they want Social Security and Medicare to be there for them.

    See, we all flip-flop.

    August 7, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. shadowgovernment

    Good luck with that, RNC - this ain't the "go-go 80's" of Wall St. tycoons, "greed is good" Gordon Gekko or "...let's make lots of money" Pet Shop Boys nonsense. People are actually becoming, dare say, sensible?

    ~ the Shadow knows

    August 7, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. victorhill

    In a McCain campaign "Economic Communications Plan" that was obtained by the Huffington Post, an aide to the Senator lays out several themes, tactics and objectives to shore up the Arizona Republican's standing on the economy and paint Barack Obama as a "job killing machine."

    "Our polling tells us that Americans are still not tuned into what the candidates might do to fix the economy," reads the memo. "We have an opportunity to fill in that gap."

    The strategy, which was authored by Taylor Griffin - a veteran of the Bush White House and Treasury Department who serves McCain as a senior adviser - seems built around traditional themes. The McCain campaign will paint Obama as being "aligned with trial lawyers" and "unions (card check, trade, education reform)," and push the frame that he "raises taxes" and "will kill jobs."

    In contrast, McCain will be positioned as a bold leader on economic matters, someone who has a "record of taking on corporate interests" and will "fight speculation driving up prices of oil and food" as well as "the lawsuit culture." per Hunt. Press.
    Sen. McCain and his Evil Empire!

    Same OLD Washington Junk

    August 7, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. Daniel

    Wow, that's a pooly edited piece. I'm pretty sure he said the government "can not" be in the business of bailouts. And I don't believe we've come up with car batteries that run on cellulite.

    August 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. Jean

    It takes more than Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

    August 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. Kevin

    I do not know much about Pawlenty, but I would like to hear more from him.
    I read that he said, "The GOP has to be the party of SAM'S CLUB not just the country club." Also, this article said that his brothers and sisters have "blue collar jobs" . He has accomplished a lot of bipartisian legislation in MN.
    He sounds like he identifies with ordinary people and their problems. He should get on the news more.

    August 7, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |

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

    The leaders of the Democratic Party have failed us.

    And the leaders of protest groups – Darragh Murphy of PUMA PAC, in particular – are now failing those of us who watched the leaders of the Democratic Party fail us before. It's a world gone mad...

    Compared to us Democrats, you have it just fine.

    Knoxville Puma

    August 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. victorhill

    drill drill drill

    August 7, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Darryl Miller

    Democrats "better equipped" to solve health care problems – Sen. Dave Durenberger
    Says Republicans are "dead wrong" about education funding.

    Click here to download or listen to show
    Former U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger knows health care. He's written two books on the subject and was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty to head the Minnesota Citizens Forum on health care.

    Durenberger, a life-long Republican, says his own party has "stepped way over the line by saying only private insurnce companies can deliver good health care."

    Although he says he will never be a Democrat, Durenberger says Democrats are "better equipped to carry the day" when it comes to health care. Durenberger says Republicans are right that people make better choices than government does. But he says Republican/insurance company health care solutions are the worst choice since "insurance companies don't make better choices than either government or families".

    August 7, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. obama is the most dangerous man alive

    Oh you fool, don't you know that the more liberal it leans the more socialist it becomes. obama will kill this country and the dnc is allowing it because they are so stupid.

    August 7, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. Ralph V. AZ

    You can't put anybody on the ticket that's going to improve John McCain's IQ!

    Remember...he was the 5th dumbest guy in the whole school!

    August 7, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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