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. MMD

    Do you know that all of negative comments about President Obama are written by wooden lou dobbs. They say Chris Matthews has a man crush on President Obama, I old wooden teeth dobbs is acting like a little girl who just lost her first love and now wants to bury him.

    Wooden teeth should find a spot on Foxs news like glen whats his name did.

    I use to watch dobbs every day, but he not want he claims to be. Additionaly, he has a hard time saying President Obama. He will say the President, and than later Mr. Obama or the Obama admin. But never President Obama.

    Where is the story about Mr. Rogers lying about being in the sheriff's during the aftermath of katrnia.f

    February 28, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. michigander

    I used to be a Republican, but then I lost my job. Now, the GOP, is one of the many things I can no longer afford. The only time the party cares about that, is during an election. Other than that I'm just SOL>

    February 28, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Kevin, Austin

    Erik in PA, wrote that "Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann — the event's moderator — told Steele he was “da man.” “Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man,” she said."

    Tell me you're kidding... Are you sure it wasn't a Colbert or Stewart parody? Oh wait, Bachmann, Steel, Palin and co. are the parodies of themselves – that's the tragedy.

    February 28, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Rorschach

    "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.”

    You're correct, Tim. And your party's history backs up that belief. As a so-called "middle income voter" you definitely don't represent me.

    So when you're looking for that elusive "new direction" for the GOP, maybe it's time to stop looking in the rear-view mirror.

    February 28, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Lorinnia

    Take a poll CNN. How many posts of these kinds are picked through by your monitors and tell us all how many are posted versus how many not posted? And I'm not referring to any post that includes unacceptable language. I know of many that never make the page, and have screen shots of my own. Stop trying to control the conversation and post ALL of the opinions, not just the ones you choose to.

    February 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. JL

    They couldn't be bothered to "fiqure it out" for 8 years.

    if your a Walmart-Conservative, your a brain washed moron.

    February 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Linda, NY

    Exactly what principles? Watching these guys is like watching a really bad comedy show.

    February 28, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. r Cross

    if Jesus Christ showed up on a ballot with an R after his name, I'd have to vote Dem These people are shameful. Not that Jesus would ever be a Limbaugh repuppet-can. CPAC is the new name for KKK

    February 28, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Independent

    If the repubs don't stop playing politics with their obsession of winning the next election and not helping this country get back on track they will (without an doubt) be "a thing of the past"

    If you love this country.....ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!

    February 28, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Jan

    Sam's Club voters? I shop Sam's Club for my business, have a BS and MS and I'm a white female business owner. I usually vote Democratic because despite being raised very conservative Republican, the older I became, the less I noticed the Republican Party caring about women, children and minorities. My husband also shops Sam's Club occasionally, and much to my dismay, he's a diehard Republican.

    February 28, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Rachel

    Forget about the marketing and just do it. Stop talking and be serious, be genuine. You have heard the business world say our best resources are our people. Well, the same goes for this country too. This comment applies to both the Republicans and the Democrats.

    February 28, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. keeth in california

    Grasping... for... any... warm... bodies... they... can...

    February 28, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Jason from Nashville

    The funniest part is, I have yet to see a Republican slanted post that actually gives and ideas on anything. It's all the same rhetoric we read and hear from conservative radio. Not one of the GOP congress have attempted any input except for tax cuts. The GOP has relied on the rich to carry them for far too long. And now, they're paying for it, literally. This country is about starting from nothing and being able to attain atleast a home, car, and a steady income. When two of those three are sliced in half, or taken outright; we needed to change the scene.

    So in 2008, we voted. Now if you're still sore that your canidate didn't win, you might want to look at WHY they lost. And not just continue to be a mouthpiece for them.

    If you are one of those "proud Americans" that is against aborotion, against homosexuality, or anything else religion tells you to hate. That's fine, but my guess is that over 40% of the the bible thumpers that side with the GOP are poor. Please remember something, you may hate social things that you can't control, but you can control who looks out for your interests as far as money, lower taxes on lower incomes, and medical treatment for us and our kids.

    February 28, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Rational in Va

    More cheap plastic crap .......... from the Repubs and Sam's. We don't need more cheap crap from them – or communist China.

    All of them only care about money and everyone knows it.

    February 28, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Don’t look for change in the Republican Party anytime soon.

    Now Tim Pawlenty, Minnesotas governor who specializes in double talk, refers to voters who do not vote Republican as Sams Club voters and he says the Republican party needs to pull them into their party. Way to go Republicans when you are trying to appeal to new voters, pigeonhole them as Sams Club voters. That will make them feel real welcome right away. Lets see who would be Republican welcoming committee. George W. Bush leadership bankrupt, McConnell the just say NO guy, Boehner Mr. theatrics, Cantor Mr. obscenity, McCain loser, Palin can see Russian from her porch, Joe the Plumber ridiculous, Limbaugh patently absurd, Steele and Bachmann, Mr. and Mrs. hip hop and, Bunning who predicts when people are going to die. Lost in a sea of denial and feeling sorry for themselves the Republicans desperately search for a new leader among the old leaders. How is that going to fix a severely broken out of control party?

    February 28, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Seth Hill

    I think the Republicans have a very clear plan to fix this recession. They may be afraid to come out and say it. They believe the Federal government should do nothing and wait for the capitalist free market to eventually fix things.
    I admit I'm a liberal, so maybe I misunderstood Republicans' philosophy.
    Hey, you Republicans out there! Am I right? Did I state your position correctly?

    February 28, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Gerald C

    Pawlenty, I have believed for sometime, is the future of the Republican Parrty. He's a Big Tent Republican. Palin is a Small Tenter. Jindal is just plain lame.

    February 28, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. AB in MN

    Come on democrats, don't you realize tax cuts solve everything? You won't tax businesses and you don't tax the rich. If you follow these rules everyone will benefit. The big business and rich will create jobs. Because they created the jobs they get to decide what is fair pay. It's quite simple.

    February 28, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. ken

    I'm a long long time Republican.
    I became a republican because the party was CONSERVATIVE WITH taxpayers money. And now, will someone please tell me IN WHAT WAY the party is CONSERVATIVE????

    February 28, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. rob

    Conservatives have nothing but fear. This convention reminds me of the beginnings of fascism in Germany after WWI. If anyone reading this is going to be in Washington D.C. anytime soon, go to the Holocaust museum. as Hard as that place is to see, check out the very beginnings of the rise of fascism in Germany. Check out who the German people blamed for the downfall of Germany after WWI. Fascists hated Jews and blamed them for their problems much like conservatives hate and blame Hispanics for the economic problems facing us today. Fascist also hated intellects ( a sore spot for conservatives since most believe that Rush Limburger is the defender of the Constitution–stupid), Fascists also hated homosexuals (duh) and get this Americans-Liberals. All these people are who the fascists used to rise to power. Now, after listening to the Conservative convention, after Shaun Hannity's call for (treasonist) armed insurrection, after listening to Michele Bachman say that our founding fathers would be upset with the concept of taxation WITH representation, with all this at our disposal, after walking through the Holocaust museum, how can no one see this. So why should the conservatives not fear anything? Do you thing that anyone at CNN (especially the totally creepy Campbell Brown) would write anything about this. They cannot see the {failed} strategy that the neo-fascists are using against Obama now. They give more time to the fascists now than they did the Democrats under Bush. No, when I hear all these {faux} religious leaders say that Obama is the anti-christ or a modern day Hitler, I can only believe that it is they that are laying the foundations for the coming of the anti-Christ themselves, through their neo fascism and through their fake god.

    February 28, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Alicia

    Where were these thinktanks at least two years ago? Nowhere, that is where. All they can do is tear down people. All they can do is make sure rich people like him and Romney stay rich. Anytime you don't care about schools with walls crumbling and water not working, but want tax cuts for the rich.

    We working people see you all as WOLVES in SHEEP clothing.

    This little piggie ain't buying it. I do wear lipstick.

    February 28, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Proud American

    LOLOLOLOL Republicans are such Idiots. Why don't they reach out to the Taliban voters. LOLOLOL

    February 28, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I've got news for you Republicans. I am a SAMS club shopper and I will never vote for a party lead by such hatred....Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, etc. What your party has done to this country over the past eight years has ruined our standing in the world. Reagan was the last great Republican leader our country had. What your party stands for now will never attract anyone like me.

    February 28, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. dmg

    The gop has lost the power they have had the last 8+ years. And losing this power has taken them over the edge. You've got Michal Steele The token Black,(yeah I said it) He want's the Hip Hop generation You Be The Man Mike (yeah right!). Bobby Jindal(who can't even talk like an adult). Sarah Palin( afraid to even show up) or maybe she couldn't find anything to wear?. And then there's Rush who rules over all of them like the grand wizard himself. These are the people that would like to run this country. I dont' konw about you but I'll take my chances with Obama Thank you

    February 28, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Bill

    Texas Teacher,you are the typical intolerant liberal

    February 28, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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