June 28th, 2009
11:32 AM ET
13 years ago

'Quit spending,' Pawlenty tells Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota’s Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty took aim Sunday at the high price tag for President Obama’s ambitious plans to reform the nation’s health care system.

“The president said not long ago in an interview, quote-unquote, we are out of money,” Pawlenty told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King when asked whether the country could afford health care reform right now. “With all due respect Mr. President, if we’re out of money, quit spending it,” Pawlenty added.

“And, so no, we can’t afford it. This is a nation that has got a debt load and a deficit load that is unsustainable. We’re going to have, in my view, the federal government debt crisis equivalent of the mortgage crisis within 20 years.”

Pawlenty also said that he didn’t think the new administration was serious about addressing federal spending, notwithstanding the president’s recent emphasis on cleaning up the federal government’s fiscal situation.

The Republican also slammed a proposal favored by some Democrats for a public health insurance option as part of health care reform legislation.

“If you want to extend access, to people who are in need or at disadvantage, then give them some help directly – in the form of a voucher, in the form of a tax credit. And then give them good information about price and quality. And, at least for those who can function in the marketplace, let them go do that. That’s how you assist people in need who can’t afford health care.”

The public option contemplated by some Democrats is “another example of the partial … nationalization of an industry,” Pawlenty said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Not unlike in the mortgage industry, the banking industry, the auto industry, now the health care industry. Soon you’ll see that in the energy industry. This is a pattern with this administration of government encroaching into the private market.” Pawlenty said.

soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Republicans are the American Taliban

    How's that election for Senator coming Minnesota??

    June 28, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Price for democratic plan on affordable health care: $1.6 trillion over ten years. Current spending by Americans that goes into the pockets of private insurers and health care providers: $2 trillion PER YEAR! The private companies are already ripping us off for over ten times the money the public option would give us. And don't think they're free of bureaucracy either! 30% of that $2 trillion goes to their bureaucrats, who decide what doctors you can see, what ailments you can get treatments for, what treatments you can have. And they're making profit out of denying you all of this because of various excuses! They spend a lot of your fees paying bureaucrats to deny you the health care you need! We need a new option!

    June 28, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Carter DR

    So he talks about all this fiscal conservation but if you look at the situation here in Minnesota he is doing worse than anything Obama has done with the state's budget... With IOUs and other ways of spending.... what a hypocrite.

    June 28, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Peter E

    I too am upset about the debt and deficit, but the GOP thinks that the best way to fight that is to... wait for it... INCREASE debt and deficit by giving out even more unnecessary tax cuts to their corporate buddies! Guess what, Bush's tax cuts didn't work! All they did were delay the crises, at the expense of future generations! We are back at where we were in the 90s economically, except with twice as much national debt! How can you decrease deficit if you keep INCREASING with more tax cuts every time we come close to balancing the budget? 'Tax cuts' are a misnomer. They should be called 'tax delays' because all they do is increase the national debt for your children and your grandchildren to pay!

    June 28, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. InlandEmperor

    Where was Puh lenty...er Pawlenty.... when his neo-con boys were asleep at the switch as the foundation of this fiasco was put in place. By the way what is the current size of the Minnesota budget surplus with Puh Lenty as governor? He does hold the distinction of allowing his state to be the only one currently with one ( 1 ) US Senator being seated.

    June 28, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. JAY

    Obama will give you pain pills instead of an operation , he
    can save money. You can,t trust him or his word

    June 28, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. GuyInVA

    Relax Governor Pawlenty. The administration is going to spend our country into prosperity. Following this logic, I'm in the process of eating myself to a healthy weight, and drinking myself into sobriety. I'll let you know how it works.

    June 28, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. David

    This forum is just everyone blaming each other. It is the AMERICAN PEOPLE'S Fault. Bush, Obama... There is no difference in spending habits or war mongering. But go ahead and fiddle with your d i c k s and blame the other parties america while we go the way of the do do bird.

    June 28, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Shayne in NH



    You obviously do not understand economics. 5.5Trillion toward a useless war with absolutely no return on investment is a waste of money. 10Trillion toward healthcare, infrastructure, jobs, and a forward-thinking view are what we term as return on equity. I use equity as the "shareholders" in this scenario are the taxpayers. Read a book.

    June 28, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. sifto77

    why won't these liberal bloggers wake up? Answer–they still think the rest of us Americans are dumb enough to pay their way.....

    June 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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