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. Yinka

    No amount of freshening-up would help a candidate (Senator McCain)who is so out of touch with the American people.
    (1) He makes fun of the American people concerning the value in inflating tires.
    (2) His campaign wishes another 9/11 attack for their political gain
    (3) He thinks the economy is great as it is
    (4) He wants the troop to stay in Iraq for another 100years or more
    (5) His advisor believes that America is a nation of whinners
    (6) His campaign is packed with lobbyist
    (7) He wants to give billions of $ of tax break to the oil industry
    (8) He has no knowledge of the world
    (9) He would rather 'bomb, bomb, bomb Iran' and 'wipe out Iran with cigarette'
    (10) All he is good at is mocking Obama and his plan, but he has no idea of his own
    (11) He has flip-flopped million times: on troop withdrawal, on talking with Iran , on value of proper tire-pressure etc

    Senator McCain would be the worst thing to have happened to America, if he were to be elected as President.

    August 7, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Bruce W. Krafft

    The only problem with Pawlenty is that he ticked off 56,000+ permit-holders in his state when he failed to keep a promise he made in November of 2006. He said that he would inform the Department of Public Safety to actaully start following the MN Citizens Personal Protection Act (the law so nice he signed it twice). We are still waiting, and a whole bunch of us have been busy telling GOP fund raisers that the GOP will not get one thin dime until the Governor keeps his promise.

    August 7, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  3. Gogo

    Don't you think there is a typo in this article ['can' should be 'can't"]?

    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.”

    August 7, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Biased Journalism?

    - 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.”–

    Pawlenty said that the government canNOT be in the business of bailing out every large company that's in trouble. Come on CNN. Proof read your articles.

    August 7, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. M in MN

    Given the "state of the state" in MN since Pawlenty took office: downturn in economy, loss of jobs, extreme increase in property taxes, and need we mention the fact that Pawlenty VETOED increased spending on transportation in a state where a major freeway COLLAPSED, I don't think Pawlenty would be much help to McCain. (Not that we wouldn't be happy to get rid of him...)

    Oh well, doesn't matter anyway, because McCain/Whoever will be out of jobs in November, anyway.

    August 7, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    you're not reaching voters because the mccain camp is a pathetic joke.

    August 7, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    They can work on that for the next eight years and by that time the Democrats will have gotten this country back on track

    August 7, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Peter

    Pawlenty must really want to be VP if he says this...

    August 7, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  9. AA

    How about if you start by giving your republications geography books, then teach them how to use computers and the internet and exercise sending and reading email via devices like blackberry and iphones, then get them off offering their wives for topless contests at bikers rallies and for a one step closer to being a modern person, get off alcohol. I think thats a good start.

    August 7, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. mary

    Headline from Minneapolis paper. Seriously.

    "Pawlenty says he likes Paris Hilton's way of thinking"

    August 7, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. Pam

    Reach out to younger voters with Grandpa Munster as your candidate?? Not gonna happen!

    August 7, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. Bruce A., South Carolina

    Many good options for VP. Senator McCain should consider Sen Joe Biden. I remember telling my wife during the early days that JB is a Dem that a Dem or Rep can vote for. His ideas really make sense and could mesh well with Sen McCain with some hard sitdowns.

    August 7, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. steve-MN

    He is not different. Once a rethug always a rethug. He agrees with Bush in almost everything. So Pawlenty/ McSame=Bush third Term. We are not fooled here in the land of 10000 lakes

    August 7, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. Alex

    As a young Republican myself, the party needs to branch away from the social-conservative issues which make it so abrasive and focus on what Barry Goldwater wanted, minimal government in private life, free markets, and strong national defense. Gay marriage, gays in the military, abortion, the death penalty, etc all contradict the core of the Republican Party, Government should not be telling people what to with their own personal lives. If young people realize you can be socially liberal and economically conservative then there would be a huge increase in young participation.

    August 7, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. Nathan from Texas

    Pawlenty said the government “[b]can[/b] be in the business of bailing out every large company that's in trouble.”

    is that a misquote? cause it seems from context that he meant to say "can't"

    August 7, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. Cling to Your Gun

    The right-wing conservatives like Rush, Glenn Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, are really stirring the pot. Instead of spewing hatred (and pretending it's because they don't like Obama's policies), they should be working overtime to heal the divisions in our country. What's going to happen when Obama DOES become president and they've created an internal war zone in the U.S.A. for their children and grandchildren? Then no one will be safe!!! Don't they see what they're doing??? Can't they STOP???

    If your candidate is so great, talk about him, and stop dissing Obama!

    August 7, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. Jody Monroe

    I'm a Christian and voted Republican all my life due to Christian values. But these Republican media moguls are really damaging our country with hatred, and I can't support it as a Christian.

    Sorry, REPUBS, you're going to lose the Evangelical vote this year!!! That was the swing vote that got Bush elected the last 2 terms.

    August 7, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. New Yorker

    Why do CNN moderators allow offensive Democratic vitriole, but censor reasonable McCain supporters?

    McCain 08

    August 7, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. henry

    Mr. McCain, only words are Senator Obama said, Senator Obama said, Senator Obama said.I think McCain eats, sleep and dream those words.

    August 7, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. dennis from chicago

    luckily the world is not built on the youth or we would all be soylent green.... turn around and read what you write and you will see how radical you are... your space in time is between your ears.... wake up you are not alone on GOD'S GREEN EARTH///

    August 7, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. Mark G

    The Repugs are so out of touch with the needs of the public. This is the worst I have seen since I have been voting for over three decades. The rich are richer, the rest of us trying to make a living every day are getting poorer over these past eight years. As long as the Repugs have big business in their back pocket, the trend will continue. Time for new blood. Obama 08/12

    August 7, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  22. RB

    Kinda hard to start anew with old fogey leading the way!

    August 7, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Drew from Green Bay, WI

    Gov. Pawlenty is absolutly right. They do need to target young voters better, because right now the Democrats are winning a large majority of the younger generation. On a side note, I wonder if the reason for Bush's adminstration to suddenly be in sync with Sen. Obama is because they are trying to make Sen. Obama look more like Pres. Bush and Sen. McCain to look less like Pres. Bush. Oh well, I don't think the Republicans have an honest bone in them and that's why I'm for Sen. Obama.

    Obama/Hagel '08!

    August 7, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. David Newport, OR

    we are more educated...we can look at the facts and make our own decisions. That means the Republicans will have to 'uneducate' us.

    August 7, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  25. henry

    Why dont John McCain hold press conferences anymore, the Republican are afraid he might loose his cool. Ha–Ha–Ha.

    August 7, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
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