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. Dem

    Gonna have to change some environmental stances to get the "young" vote...

    August 7, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Joe Kiloz

    Governor you need to "tear down the wall" that keeps lots of underepresented constituincies in the party. X-ray the party and you'll an abudance of homogeneity.

    That's how minority parties tend to be made up.

    If you truly want to make inroads into more folks considering Republican themes, the morons with lack of vision must be purged in a very public fashion, and a "from the heart" invititation to those who want to join.
    Unless you sell the "mi casa es su casa" concept and accept the realities of the demographics you're going to continue to be the Bates Motel of political parties.

    August 7, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Dem

    Gonna have to change some environmental stances, view of women and diversity to get the "young" vote…

    August 7, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Carl from MI

    Yeah... because theirs is the party of inclusion!!! The only reason why McCain is doing so well in the polls is because they only do polling on LAND LINES!!! Duh!!

    I don't know too many people under 30 who even USE land lines anymore... hello!! THEY ALL USE CELL PHONES NOW... IT'S THE NEW MILENNIA, REMEMBER??

    The GOP is going to get CRUSHED this November... and most of them don't even see it coming. Rupert Murdoch, in all his glorious wisdom, appears to be the only Conservative aware of their impending dismal defeat. Get a clue, Repugs... you have NOTHING in common with today's youth or even the average US citizen, for that matter.

    The only people you ARE in touch with is Big Oil, Big Pharm, and the wealthy. Remind me to email you some 'tissues for your issues' come November.

    August 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. R.S.-St. Paul

    As always, it appears CNN's journalists have quite a few typos in the article. Quoting Tim Pawlenty, it appears that they put the article online prior to checking for errors. Poor journalism again!

    August 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. R.S.-St. Paul

    Young people by and large don't have the sense to vote Republican, because they don't know enough about the world, they haven't had enough experiences/time earning an full-time income, and they are very gullable. When they eventually go to school, and get their careers going/established, and the money starts coming in, that is when they notice that the Democratic tax policies discourage hard work, and steal your money to pay for bad policies; that's when they consider the Republican Party. Admit it young people, you don't really have enough experience or money, that's why you're voting for the Democrat-Barack Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. tigerakabj

    Pawlenty, why don't you just support Barack. You know you want to. Leave the rethugs alone. They won't change. Barack has stated no more lobbyists money going to the DNC. He's remaking the party into the people's party. The repubs are for the corporations.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    August 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. Michele, Oregon

    Pawlenty may have a young, "fresh" face himself, but after the comment about his wife liking fishing and soccer but he "wished she liked having sex with him" (look to earlier article here today on CNN), I find him to be another "hilarious" republican with "family" values. What if his wife joked about wishing he could "get it up"? Not so funny after all, especially considering the age of the man he is supporting.....

    This is time for the Republicans to purge and renew themselves and get back to decency. It will take years. Their time is NOT now.

    Obama '08!

    August 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. DR. YES

    try it in 2016

    August 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. jason, tx

    I can smell your stink from here, so, don't bother! 🙂

    August 7, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Lacy

    please o please o please, put this guy on your ticket Sen. McCain! After all your hot air about Obama's lack of experience in Washington and stumping about your alleged eperience, putting a man with zero washington experience on your ticket would be a dream come true.

    August 7, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Keven Bennett

    Hells Bells!

    I for one want to flush the toilet on the Grand Old Party.

    After 30 years, I OWE you for the Un-American hatefest that you spawned!

    I hate to say it, GOP, but the election, er, extinction is coming!

    August 7, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Is it possible that the reason the Republican Party is having trouble reaching young people has something to do with the Republican president and Republican congress that created the mess in Iraq that is destroying the lives of thousands of these same young people?

    August 7, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Bayou Joe

    Hey Alex, one out of Three, and I am a Republican.. Not Rich, Not White, Just an American that believes that my money that i earned belongs go me and my family. I get to decide who gets it from me and not theGovernment. I support my country. Volunteered to serve in Vietnam, My son is a Marine. Socialism is not what i want for my country and I am a Citizen of the United States not the world.

    August 7, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Steve

    Translation is not the problem. The younger voters are educated and much more politically savvy than their elders in a lot of ways (I'm saying this as a 56 year old man). Younger voters clearly understand the Republican message. No translation necessary. Younger voters are bombarded on a daily basis with erroneous and distorted information from all sides. They have excellent BS detectors as a result. They smell the very, very strong odor of BS in the Republican message. Freshen it up a bit, and all you've got is fresh BS. Still unsavory.....

    August 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. California Gold

    It's not the Republican image that's the turn off, it's the message that is a turn off. Sometimes you can't put enough lipstick on a pig.

    August 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. Gary

    Listen to yourselves, you speak of a hate filled republican party?

    August 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Seattle Aaron

    HA Good Luck GOP!? We the younger, modern generation support gay marriage, like the environment, are anti-war, more secular than religiously affiliated, demand responsibility in gov't, prefer alternative energy research and investment, and don't really care if one big corporation goes down the tubes because of their old worn out beliefs in business or questionable business practices, nor do we make grandios, megalomaniacal claims such "moral majority."
    Query: Who would Jesus Bomb? Who would Jesus kill? What people's rights would Jesus impinge? After all those questions, I wonder who Jesus would pick to be more moral?
    GOP, it's not your message that needs changing, it's your entire perspective of the world.

    August 7, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. Steve

    It's a shame Pawlenty isn't running for president. His gun control policies aside, he has some good ideas for this country and comes off much better than McCain. Maybe he can go for it in 2012 when all the "yes we can" is long since for gotten and people realize Obama "can't"....

    August 7, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. shaik

    Listen to what Paris H said....that's indicative of what young people think of your candidate and the party. Wrinkled old man/party!
    In contrast, 220,000 young people mostly showed up for Mr. O in Berlin, and they are not even voters!!

    August 7, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Wisconsin

    We need to reach out to the youth of America, so here is the oldest white guy we could possibly find!

    I relate to Obama and Edwards both talking about making it easer to pay for collage.

    I relate to stopping the war.

    To ending the Bush tax cuts while I have to pay a higher 5 of taxes then most CEO's

    I relate to a campaign that can do more then lie about the person they are running against.

    In short there is no reason in the world for me to McShame no matter how you try to spin him.

    August 7, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. Wisconsin

    that was a higher % not a higher 5.

    August 7, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Jon

    John McCain did a good job of looking for a younger vote by his attack ads which featured Paris Hilton. Now she has young America which we know that she owns calling McCain the old white hair guy. For the republicans I think getting the young vote well lets just say "that ship has already sailed".

    August 7, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  24. Fed up with the lies

    Doesn't matter Tim, Sen. McCain isn't going to win anyway. Give it a rest!

    August 7, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  25. Adam, Los Angeles

    You can't fool us!!!!

    August 7, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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