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. xavier

    quit your whinning Pawlenty. I would never take advice from one the idiots that got us into the mess we are in. Obama is trying to fix what eight years of republican stupidity have brought us.

    June 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Ken in NC

    I have my own concerns about the massive spending that is taking place in this country but it is ironic that the Gov. of a state that can't elect a Senator is trying to tell the President of the US about spending.

    June 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. makesUwonder

    Very good advice Gov. Pawlenty, but HRH and his administration think they know what is best for this country, all the while they destroy.

    June 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Annie

    Pawlenty is missing the whole picture. How then can he expect to be relevant? Vouchers? Seriously? Does he know how much health insurance costs? Does he know how much a doctor charges these days, especially a specialist? How about hospital charges and prescriptions? I wonder how he feels about spending money on war, or the greedy sob's on Wall Street in the name of capitalism. Want to bet he thinks that's ok?

    June 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. RR

    the GOP just doesn't get it.

    we can just keep passing this debt along. Let our children and grandchildren worry about it.

    Obama, Pelosi, Reid, keep spending!

    June 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. lieNoMore

    Pawlenty is void of brain cells. Come up something that works or shutup. Pawlenty's same old same old has not worked and will not work. Hard to distinguish Pawlenty, Palin, and Romney they are all equally brain dead.

    June 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Danny

    Do Republicans think independently or do they just follow orders to fall into the same old propaganda they spew out time and time again?

    June 28, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Larry

    Pawlenty ...

    Just another moron with a mouth

    THE PARTY OF NO ... ideas

    June 28, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Claudia in Houson

    Pawlenty, another rich Republican, who gets everything for nothing and offers no more than lip service. Pawlenty's family doesn't have to worry about health cost or anything else for the rest of their lives because you pay for it. That's right, you pay his salary, healthcare cost and the wonderful livelihood of his family. Don't be a sucker and buy into the idea these Republicans care, look back at the past 8 years, they didn't care then and they don't care now.

    June 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Allen In North Carolina

    It appears to me that >OURNO< will be like the dionsaurs.... A thing of the past.

    June 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. kathy

    I appreciate the hand-wringing about what we can and cannot afford, but let's start by asking why we could afford to give $700 billion to Wall Street, why we can afford to maintain wars of choice in two countries and why we can threaten Iran and North Korea. Why didn't we have years of study on these two major financial decisions. Did we not know the costs would be so high? I want U.S. treasury dollars to flow into local, community banks to help homeowners and small businesses, local governments (in the form of block grants), universal medical care and public schools. What you see about all these priorities is that there's no profit in them and the corporate lobbyists who roam the capitol corridors won't stand for anything that cuts into corporate profits.

    June 28, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Lou

    He wont quit spending it. He thinks we can just print more and go on with life as if nothing has happened. Look, John McCain and Sarah Palin all warned us this would happen.

    Wake up Barack. This is not your money you are playing with!

    June 28, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Chenna Benna

    Pawlenty is telling the President to quit spending, but he is spending millions of MN taxpayer's dollar in order to let the Senate race there continue. Give me a break. If Pawlenty or any other Repub was in office now, we would be continuing the same failed policies that got us here. Repubs need to stop their whining and come up with solution already.

    June 28, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Donkey Party

    Yet another GOPPER who sees no problem for wasting trillions on an illegal war in Iraq, but refuses to offer our country any solutions, only joining his partisan band-wagon of obstructionism. These hypocrites are ruining the country. Why won't Pawlenty do something newsworthy, like seating the Senator who won the election last year???

    June 28, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. gl, Pittsburgh

    Shut up and do your job and sIT Franken. You are no better then the Iran leader. SHUT YOUR PIPE WHOLE UP! I stop listening to you and the repulibcan months ago.

    June 28, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. katiec

    What good is tax credit, voucher for people who have no insurance, are out of work and worrying about putting food on the table.
    The republicans continue to refuse to become realistic about what
    our country really needs. A public option is public choice, which the republicans do not want as their insurance companies would have to become competitive. We can no longer allow big business, lobbyists, special interests to run our country, making crucial decisions for us. Look what they, along with the republicans have done to us these last eight years. Diasters in every area.
    Am so sick of the hot air, irresponsible, unworkable ideas (that is when they actually have one), obstruction and hypocrasy coming from the GOP. You would think with their ratings in the gutter, they would realize that we do not buy their party first, politics as usual stance.
    But they appear to be oblivious, uncaring about what the American people want.

    June 28, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Elle

    The deficit that President Obama inherited was from a wasteful 8 year Bush spending spree on a debaucle of a "war".

    Finally we have a president who wants to help those in our own country. We cannot afford to ignore our need for health care reform and President Obama is making sensible decisions to move our country in the direction we need. to go

    June 28, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Greg

    This from the guy who plays the shell game. I'll not raise taxes but I will create fees, I will not raise taxes but I will cut aid to communities, so they have to raise your taxes, Let's borrow against bonding for money we do not have, so that it costs us more in the long run.

    June 28, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    By the way, 72% of America wants a public option, but it's more important to these right-wing losers to keep their pockets lined with money from the health industry. Republicans are no different than the ruling Theocracy in Iran, except thankfully, they aren't in the White House. They care nothing about the people, only about gaining and retaining power.

    June 28, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Nota Bushfan

    Where was Pawlenty when the Bush administration and the republicans ran up trillions of dollars of debt for a war that done nothing for the U.S. except get revenge for Georgies daddy ?

    June 28, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Southerner

    We have always passed debt to everyone so quit crying like this is all new. Furthermore,I can give a darn about the insurance boys like Aetna Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc. They can all go under for all I care. Nationalize health care so what?? The Christian in me says people deserve to live a fruitful life. That means everyone. Pawlenty you have a form of nationalized health care as well paid for by the taxpayer. Are you saying only you can have it??

    June 28, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Donkey Party

    Where is all the phoney outrage over the MASSIVE Bush spending years????? HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!

    June 28, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Jeff from VA

    Why aren't you asking him about Senator Franken?

    June 28, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. kathy

    Nuclear energy? Until Governor Pawlenty agrees to a nuclear waste and recycling facility in his community, across the street from his home, he is a dishonest advocate for nuclear energy. I'll happily support solar installation on the roofs of EVERY house in my neighborhood.

    June 28, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. B Lewis in Austin

    President Bush took this country from a surplus to the largest deficit and largest government in our history. President Bush did not include the wars in Afghanistan and Iran in the budgets and actually borrowed money (to be paid back by future generations) to fund them. Where was Tom Pawlenty's voice of dissent then? Was he not concerned about runaway spending? I doubt if he would say anything if this was a GOP administration? Remember President Obama is cleaning up a GOP mess and those on the right need to quit being hypocrits.

    June 28, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8