February 28th, 2009
11:16 AM ET
13 years ago

Pawlenty urges GOP outreach to 'Sam’s Club voters'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/28/art.pawlenty.cpac.cnn.jpg caption="Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the GOP must stress its commitment to job creation."]

(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that Republicans must do a better job of reaching out to working class voters, a group he said agrees with the GOP on most issues, from gun rights to heath care to education.

The problem, Pawlenty said, is that lower and middle income voters - a group he terms “Sam’s Club voters” - don’t believe Republicans “are for the working person.”

He said the party must stress its commitment to job creation and market itself “with a feel and concern and tone and an understanding of the importance and the challenges of the working class of this country.”

“And it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our principles to do it,” Pawlenty said.

Like most of the Republicans who have addressed the annual gathering of conservatives this week, Pawlenty chided the White House for passing a “sprawling spending buffet” disguised as an economic recovery package.

The governor bemoaned the president’s budget plan, unveiled earlier this week, which predicted a $1.75 trillion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.

“A day or two later the Democrats convened a fiscal responsibility summit,” he said. “What’s next? Are they going to have Rod Blagojevich convene an ethic summit?”

Pawlenty and his wife Mary also spoke Friday night to a closed-door reception for “Rebuild the Party,” a web-based grassroots initiative to modernize the party

Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Perusing-Through

    Message to Gov. Pawlenty and CPAC,

    Are you asking for 95% of the voters making UNDER $250,000.00 annually to give up their new tax cuts in the belief that the GOP had a change of heart? I DON'T THINK SO!

    February 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. John

    There is a very good reason that us "Sam's Club voters" don't believe you republicans, just look at the economy you republicans gave us.

    Yes, after decades of republican rule since Ronald Regan you republicans have enabled the rich to get much richer and for the rest of us, you gave us another "great depression". And now you want us to vote for you because you think we value our guns over our family's economic security, do you think we are that stupid?

    The republicans have had their chance to show what their trickle down economy can do and I don't think the resulting depression is looking too good sign for their political future.

    It's high time that the republican rich folks payed their fair share of taxes. republicans think it's great to spend on their pet projects like Regans Battleships or his Star Wars but, help a child get even basic medical care, that was way to expensive!

    February 28, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. paul oregon

    i thought everyone was in the same club arent we all americans?????

    February 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. John L in StL Mo.

    Well guest what? I know the Repugs arent looking out for me,so they dont have to worry about getting my vote

    February 28, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. HB In LA

    I would not vote republican even if the world was coming to an end...

    February 28, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Little too late????

    PUUULLLLEASE....from Wall Street to Main Street. NOW, from the Country Club to Sam's Club?? Rather than reach out via 'focus groups' and 'categories', reach out to Americans?? THAT is the base!!!

    Repubs already called the 'wal-mart mom' their base and target them in the last election. What is the difference? Americans that are limited in their selection choices and have to buy in bulk?? OMG...the Repubs are going Socialist/Commie, too??? Doomed, we are....

    February 28, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. George in NM

    Ovbiously Pawlenty does not shop at Sams since described the shoppers as average workers therefore saying he is above that. Once again the Republicans demonstrate their arrogance and ignorance towards the lowlife working lackeys. Maybe they should also cruise the parking lots of fast food fried chicken restaurants for more potential voters. Wonder what kind of voters they are going to find there???

    February 28, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. SW,OHIO


    February 28, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. normal

    red state-- red state-- where for art thou red state? after the damage of your republican run wall street SAM'S CLUB BANKERS , theives. and republicans that have ran amock where is the right wing outrage for all these fat- cat bankers/ repubs that have stacked money and got away w/ robbery. only republicans roll like this. private jets, luxury get aways..etc

    February 28, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. bill, alabama

    Gov. Pawlenty is right. The Republicans do not shop at, or are they members of Sam's Club.

    The only "McCain/Palin" bumper stickers that I saw in my city were on Mercedes, Lexus, Cadillac, and high priced sports cars.

    These people don't shope at Walmart and Sam's, and they are not goint to share their wealth with anyone ....... preferring to call any sharing of wealth socialism.

    February 28, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Shannon

    Ok, so I have been watching the news . And have the republicians lost it or what. Pawlenty is from crazy town. I am a walmart shopper not by choice but because its all I can afford the prices at the grocery stores are outragous for a family. I didn't here one thing about that by the republicians. They are for family values it is so unamerican to say that when your party is leaving families without homes. If any of you watched Oprah last week it made me cry to live here. Children are living on the streets with there families.Because of this crisis and some of them aren't at falt some are renters. Shame on the republicans, they all need to wake up to see what they left us. I am so sick of them and there so called values. Ya know what get some american values , which is helping one anothers. Thats what the greatest generation did. And thats what were going to do with Pres.Obama. Americans aren't going to look back we are looking forward and to the future thats what will rebuild this country. Positive forward thinking. Never look back only to see what the republicians left us to change. I will never ever vote for a republican again. Ever....

    February 28, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. skullsoup432

    I watched CPAC on C-SPAN. When Rush's' name was brought up, the zealots in the audience applauded wildly. Almost every lead in/out to a speaker was with a country western song, one song about God blessing Texas.
    Mitch McConnell was given raucous welcome and response.(this is the ugliest man alive). He hammered away at courting the Hispanic vote based on their religion, among other self promoting issues.
    The same pathetic, sneaky, pompous elitists.

    February 28, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. barb

    And after that doesn't work, are they going after the Odd Lot and Dollar General shoppers?

    February 28, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Perusing-Through

    Dear GOP,

    With Southern Governors like Bobby Jindal turning down billions in federal "unemployment-economic-recovery" dollars sent to southern states in support of the employed; how are we the college trained, highly skilled unemployed to believe the Republican Party are suddenly empathetic to the SAM's Club voters? I DON'T THINK SO!!!

    February 28, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. George Hillsdorm

    The people who support the socialist Obama are either stupid or just young and foolish. US has been down this road before where the government wanted to control our daily lives. It would not work then, and it won't work now unless you stupids and foolish young never see the truth of what a real American is. Would you please show me one job the Sam's Club shoppers ever set up? I can show you millions where the rich HAVE set up jobs for the Sam's Club shoppers.

    February 28, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Melissa

    The people believe it because thats how the Republicans behave and thats what Republican ideals promote. They are NOT working for the people, they are working for the rich.

    February 28, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Melissa

    The people believe it because thats how the Republicans behave and thats what Republican ideals promote. They are NOT working for the people, they are working for the rich.

    February 28, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Melissa

    The people believe it because thats how the Republicans behave and thats what Republican ideals promote. They are NOT working for the people, they are working for the rich.

    February 28, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. jason, tx

    when are these idiots going to propose a plan? They think Sam's club greeters are going to help them? LAME! What idiots.

    February 28, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. tiff of Lithia Springs

    I have a sam's card and so do my friends co-workers and neighbors. We all voted for CHANGE, We won't be falling for anymore gimmicks for a long time.

    example George W.

    February 28, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. thomas

    The Republicans are deternined to repackage bunk and sell it as junk. To understand one of these odd creatures you hav to understand their language and body movement. For example:
    A 'Socialict' is a liberal who has already been elected.
    A 'Liberal' is anyone who disagrees with their point of view.
    'Wasteful spending' is any tax dollars spent on people in need or anything else under a Democratic administration.
    'Responsible government' is giving money to private contractors so they can run up the costs while disregarding rules and safety, while kicking back payments in the form of campaign donations.
    'Redistribution of wealth' is tax dollars spent on social programs.
    'Necessary spending' is money spent on war, prisons, private business or anything else under a Republican administration.
    'Government' is an adversary to be controlled by Wall St.

    February 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. KG, Twin Cities

    I live in MN and have had the pleasure of hearing Gov. Pawlenty speak. Unfortunately, while he appeals to the GOP to get the "Sam's Club" voters, he caters to the Costco lot. We need to elect people he recognize all income levels.

    February 28, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Danny in Chicago

    Obama – NOPE wrote:

    "February 28th, 2009 11:18 am ET

    Romney-Pawlenty 2012 !"


    I hope you're right guy – I hope those two represent your infamous Republican party in the next election. They will go down so hard the pub party will become the THIRD party.

    What are you going to do if a third party candidate beats you out in the next election Republicans??????

    Have you thought about the fact that you could end up THIRD in the next pres election????

    You better stop thinking about obstructionism and start thinking about THAT because it's becoming a bigger and bigger possibility!

    LOLOL Romney-Pawlenty 2012....LOLOL....that's rich......LOL

    February 28, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Melissa

    My husband and I are Sams Club members and we sure don't want the Republicans speaking for us. All the Republicans care about is more money for themselves and their rich buddies.

    February 28, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Perusing-Through

    GOP for SAM's Club voting electorate? NOT!!!

    February 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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