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. ex-republican

    Yes, Mr. President!
    Go ahead, we need public option in order to control insurance companies. Don't listen to party of NO!

    June 28, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. All the HEE-HAW party likes to do is TAX you

    Great we're on the high road to Government DOo ALLL=Socialism

    June 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. jt

    Pawlenty defines the term 'lightweight'.

    The SC newspaper, The State, has an online update to the Sanford story. Looks like there were at least 3 affairs.

    June 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. MBFLA

    Bring our troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cut defense spending. Cut all the "free" money to Isreal . That should free up some funds for health care.

    June 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Donald in CA

    Pawlenty is a joke. He makes a living disagreeing with everthing Obama says. Where is the republican plan or something original.

    June 28, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Paul

    I keep hearing comments about the problems of "moving towards a Canadian style health care system." Americans have a right to the truth. A VAST majority of Canadians like their government provided health care system and we have a far more efficient health care system than the current one in the US by most standards. Poor and rich all get top-quality care in Canada without the insurance company profit motive interfering in the process. Americans have expressed worries about the government choosing who gets what care, but what the US has now is insurance companies who only care about their own profit. From personal experience (in both American and Canadian systems) I can say that a government that has the interests of its citizens and can be held to account through the democratic process is much better than a company whose only serious interest is the profit of its shareholders.

    About 50 years ago we had all the same debates that they are having now in the US (and had at the beginning of Clinton's admin.). However, in Canada, when we had this debate, the government run program side won and it took about all of two to three years before people realised that the government run option was far superior.

    I have one question for those who ask "should we really be moving towards a Canadian or British health care system." Well how about moving towards an "Canadian/British/German/Spanish/French/Dutch/Sweedish/Japanese/Austrailian/Finish, etc health care system?" Why is the US so far behind in this regard?

    June 28, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Ridgeway

    Eventually Barry will make us 3rd world. Yep, have a look at the governments in Africa, Detroit, Atlanta, Birmingham, etc. He couldn't run amok in a Moking factory. Redistribution of the wealth. It's there in black and white or better said white to black.

    June 28, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. girlymen love the GOP

    You got to laugh at this clown and John King too.they are like two crickets at night.We dont care what you think and dont need more votes.hahaha We won and will continue to win every issue.

    June 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Jacob-WA

    Pawlenty is entitled to his opinion. Good for him for using Obama's words against him and the fact he is a governer doesn't mean he is less credible. We should stop spending. And probably will because all the people who make money will be paying for the ones who don't. Just keep raising taxes, especially on businesses, that's a perfect way for them to create jobs in the nation that taxes them more than anyone else. This new cap-and-trade bill is supposed to be create jobs. Spain did this same thing, their unemployment is at 18%, all because it costs way too much money to create jobs (on average 800k per job is spent to create-read up on it). Since when was having your own opinion condemned in the USA? Oh that's right.... Bipartisan doesn't exist anymore, silly me.

    June 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Larry

    Pawlenty is a typical Republican. Same campaign slogans we've had since Eisenhower.

    Since Republicans are so good at finger pointing and trying to save their drowning party I have one question–WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN THESE TIMES?

    The Republicans got us in this horrible mess, and they take none of the responsibility for it. Spending was way out of control during the Bush years as he was making his buddies rich off the Iraq war. The national debt went from $5 trillion dollors to $11 trillion dollars in 8 years.

    President Obama was left this mess to clean up, and I think he's doing a hell of a job.


    Republicans–relax on health care and quit running your mouths till we have a final draft to look at. It's a very complex problem and will take a lot of money out of your pockets that you've been getting from special interests and the insurance lobbies--Sorry!

    June 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. TCM

    Obama's plan is to run the country into the ground, and then all will be at his beck and call; tyranny.....he's all about power and control. It's not going to surprise me when the riots and government revolts start in this country. Democrats and repubs who voted for the stim pkg, climate bill and are planning on spending on the health bill should really look around;people aren't liking their reckless ways....and there will be a price to pay if they continue...IRan's people are an indicator of when "enough's enough....."

    June 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Lou June 28th, 2009 11:46 am ET

    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!


    Sarah Palin didn't warn us about anything. Sarah Palin parroted what she was given to read over and over again. As for your issue with Obama spending, you think the same tired thing Republicans have done for 8 years and did work will have worked with McCain being in the WH? You need to wake up yourself! Tax credits that are not refundable are of no use to the working poor who don't make enough money at their jobs to owe taxes in the first place! Idiot!

    June 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. aware of nothing

    I hope everyone caught the CBO's report in NYT The caucus..that said our federal debt has nothing to do with Obama or his plans rather it is the past 8 yrs and the unsustainable health care costs..get your facts together

    June 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. More B.S.

    Can't stand John King and his Republican B.S. every Sunday!

    June 28, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Ken

    Same old Fox talking points. Can't he come up with something original?

    June 28, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Shayne in NH

    Sure, give them a tax credit and "good information." What an idiot. If you are unemployed, what good is a tax credit going to do for you? If you go to the ER and they ask for your insurance, what are you going to do? Say, "here's my tax credit!"

    The hard truth of uneducated impoverished folks is that they keep the cycle going by not getting themselves out of a whole. If they were indeed given a tax credit in the form of a refund at the end of the tax cycle, do you think they are going to put it in an escrow account at the bank as an emergency health care fund? Get real, they are going to buy pot, booze, and hard drugs worst case scenario and best case scenario buy diapers, cat litter, and Cheetos at Wal-Mart.

    June 28, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Babs

    What can you expect from a Republican? Why can't they start working with the President instead of always always being against each and everything he says or does. Can't we have an unity here?

    It has become a no brainer in politics. As soon as the President opens up with any idea the Republicans have some big mouth who blasts it with no ideas of their own. What do Republicans do all day besides have affairs?

    June 28, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. democrat no mas

    After all these years, why has the party of the people become the party of monopoly money? I don't want to leave my independant status for the republicans, but they make more sense right now than what is coming out of Washington. If you're in the hole, stop digging.

    June 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Golden State Girl

    TO: Nota Bushfan

    Excellent Post! That's exactly true and I share your sentiment all the way.

    June 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Once again, the cynical Republicans have decided to place their own political interests above the interests of the 10% of the population who are out of work and the millions of people who's jobs are in danger.

    The money being spent by the federal government is designed to prime the pump of the economy (not unlike the Bush era tax cuts, by the way, which the Republicans cheered). So, if Pawlenty id in favor of economic improvement, then he needs to get on the bus or get out of the way.

    June 28, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. AndyB

    yeah Gov. You got yours. huh?

    June 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Saidapet Saidapet

    Repubs would AGREE to spend money on unneccessary war and Iraqi's but when we spend money for our own American people it is waste, I do not give a BS to repubs and Mr. John King.

    June 28, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. jennifer

    The media didn't cover the cap and trade bill to help Americans understand what is in it. Nancy Pelosi rushed the vote so she could start her vacation. The media will not report the ideas and alternatives of many Republicans because the media is biased. Think people! What is wrong with taking some extra time, to read and understand the cap and trade bill? Why did the Democrats rush it so fast, if they have nothing to hide?

    June 28, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Shayne in NH


    I remember folks like you during the general election. People like you said "yeah, McCain is going to win by a landslide!" Just like now, you are spewing forth useless information that is founded on heresay and speculation, not facts and logical reasoning.

    And one thing about terrorism: the other day when the conservative talk show hosts called upon their listeners to "overload Capital Hill" with phone calls, isn't that a form of terrorism? They succeeded in overloading the system and shut down a part of Washington during the time of a very important legislative session. That sounds an awful lot like terrorism to me. And who was there to not only allow for it but think it up and push for it? REPUBLICANS.

    June 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is a clown, he needs to stop spending money.
    Big rumour now is that Michelle is running the white house. She is planning on pulling a hillary and running for pres. in 2016.
    She should be able to steal the election now that they are paying ACORN to get out there and steal votes for them.
    Total garbage but that is the way the country is heading.
    The good news is that after they wipe out everyone that is paying taxes, all the bottom feeders wont have anyone left to steal the money from...
    You can only soak the workers for so long before you wring them dry.

    June 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8