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. Denise

    Quit spending? Where was this vioce when Bush spent $$$? Part of the debt is from Bush's era.

    June 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    Change in America June 28th, 2009 12:57 pm ET
    The republican should have told that to Bush I am so tired of these whinning Republicans they act fools and cheating on there wives.
    Republicans are doom in 2012. Vote Demoncrate 2010 and 2012
    So you are saying don't worry about the person or the policy, just vote the party? In a work...NO!
    Both parties whine! You whined for a whole 8 years, remember??
    Pawlenty is correct Obama should stop spending so much, and Bush should not have spent so much.
    Yet YOU and your party will whine " where were you 8 years ago?" I was saying the same thing back then too!!! I didn't get listened to then, I don't get listened to now!

    June 28, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. jt

    John King, the media outlet for the GOP.

    June 28, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. haha

    you guys are finnally seeing that obama is spending more than we can ever make

    June 28, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. haha

    im sick of demorats spending

    June 28, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. vetsu

    I hear and read all the news from both sides. If they want to continue on this path of destruction, keep defending the past 8 years. People need to WAKE UP and smell the decaying spores that spew from the news commentators. The House narrowly passed a TAX HIKE for everyone. Those with means won't feel it as bad as those of us who live on fixed income. What do you want us to do? Lite candles to find our way in our own tents or put food on the table?
    Congress does NOT care for those of us who are out of a job, no healthcare, no hope for the future so why all the concern now. It has been like this for years. The rich prosper and may donate to charitable foundations, but only if it benefits them.
    Guess those of us on fixed incomes need to re-start that old job of dumpster diving to feed our families.
    Bring all the military from around the world back home to protect our own borders.

    June 28, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. JP

    No problems, keep the spending spree on; our banker China is willing to extend much more credit.

    June 28, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. girlymen love the GOP

    @Steve,the wrong one.My heart bleeds for you.Ever stop to think you may be wasting your time?You think your so smart,are you?Werent you behind that other little moron from Texas?

    June 28, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. gl, Pittsburgh

    John King, the media outlet for the GOP.

    June 28, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. John in WV

    If the country is out of money, it's because the republican party spent it all for 8 years of Bush on the rich. Now people like Pawlenty think the working class should suffer for it by not having affordable heath care. If the republicans can not come up with a solution, they should just shut up and stop being part of the problem.

    June 28, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. America Shrugged

    8 yrs of GOP tax cuts to the top 5% with a negative net job growth, 7 yrs of GOP unbudgeted war costs with little to no accountability, GOP TARP to Wall Street with no accountability. We need affordable healthcare with a public option. We need energy policies that will reduce our need for fossil fuels and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. We need jobs that will pay family wages and allow everyone to reach for that American dream. We need reasonable regulations that allow capitalism to flourish while providing protections for Americans who work and invest in the American Dream. We need modern infrastructure and better educational standards so our children can compete for jobs in the high tech and science fields. If we need to go into debt to get these things done, so be it. Better than more tax breaks and deregulation that didn't create anything but more billionaires.

    June 28, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Independent

    Geeeez Gov, why weren't you yelling that when President Bush was on his spending spree?????? Didn't see any of your Republicans falling off the wagon to make him stop or slow down.....

    How much money are you spending in MN with this Senator race...don't you think it is time you say enough....Coleman lost so get over it and let your State move on...with this going on your State doesn't have any representative in Congress....Don't say you got Michelle, she is way out of it and I don't know how your people voted that nut case in....I would be yelling foul on that one....

    June 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. infidel

    When Ronald Reagan took office this country was in a recession and what did he do? He borrowed three trillion dollars to build up the military. I remember because some prominent Democrats spoke out against it because they said we were creating debt for our childeren and grandchildern. But the eighties was a very productive decade and we were able to eventually enjoy a budget surplus.
    I think President Obama is trying to do the same thing with his economic stimulas spending.

    The opposition is bigger than the Republican party, I don't think all the Republican are against what Obama is doing, it is the culture in Washington that has to change.

    June 28, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Disgusted with Washington

    Well, there's someone in Washington that has a brain, and uses it, at least some of the time. Don't worry about the deficit though. The American taxpayer will cover it at 75% of their income. Don't forget the taxation of your health benefits. When you gt that $3000 MRI and you only pay your $50 deductible, your income just went up another $2950. Great plan.Obama was against before he was for it.

    June 28, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. mich

    @ girlyman do you think u can comment on the issue of discussion.

    Bush spent way to much money.
    Obama spending way way way way way to much money.

    People stop the madness. Use some Common Sense.

    June 28, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. waxwing069

    Pawlenty is a disaster for Minnesota. He insists on not raising taxes, But at the same time, it cutting funding to everything that makes Minnesota operate. From health care, public schools, transportation. etc... The latest choice he made was blocking the stimulus money meant for the states school system. He is keeping it to help pay off the debt Minnesota is getting into, because of his no new taxes policy. Also, when he first ran for election against a popular Dem. it was projected the Dem would win, since everyone liked him, but convienetly for Pawlenty , he died in a suspicious plane crash. The rep. party blocked all the money raised, and only allowed $1K for the replacement Dem, candidate to use for his election bid. Pawlenty is a crook.

    June 28, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Kent Wawrzynaik

    I think hearing comments from Pawlenty on how Obama is dealing with the economay is kind of funny being that Pawlenty just became a dictator in the state of Minnesota. He decided he didn't like the budget planned by the Democratic controlled congress this year in Minnesota and used a law called disallotment to make his own budget that is causing thousands of job losses and problems with funding cities in MN.

    June 28, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Tanya Kujath

    Give us some solutions and stop criticizing!

    June 28, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Not holding my breath

    He might as well have told him to quit breathing...

    June 28, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Tom

    The Federal Deficit is a direct result of the policies of the GOP over the last 20 years.

    The "Spending" from Obama is a small, less than 2% factor into future deficits.

    Over 20% of current deficit spending is Health Care costs (Medicare and Medicaid).

    That's why reform of a broken system is so important.

    June 28, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Eleanor, Central New Jersey

    During the Bush years we had very little Goverment involvement, which is why so many of us fell through the cracks. Wake-up people, its time we realize the importants of having a "paid-for" Goverment help in more ways than just starting wars. Whats wrong with Gov. jobs or Gov. competing with Businesses to stablize the out of control health industries. I'm paying for this Gov. (in the form of taxes), I want my monies worth.

    June 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Earl

    Pawlenty another representative that was elected while voters were asleep at the wheel. The price tag we pay now is ten times bigger because as taxpayers we pay for the bill anyway. The un-insured go to our ER's and hospitals anyway when they are ill. Unless we turn the un-sured away at the ER and hospitals, get over it, the tax payers will keep paying the bill. What Pawlenty does not get either because he is dumber than a bag of hammers or just playing to his base that has a mirror intelligence level. The only profit that insurance companies will make for the for-seeable future is from denying claims. At this time in this country more is being paid out than being put in, simple, not complex, not a rocket science to understand. I feel if someone research Pawlenty financial support indepthly, he is well funded by insurance, drug companies and specific health care that is way over cost. Does anyone remember the banking industry?

    June 28, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. steve fielder

    Too bad you never gave the same "no spending" advice to George W. and his buddies during the last eight years!

    June 28, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. ga

    Why didn't he say that to Bush Junior? After all, it was Bush who wasted 6 trillion dollars in 8 years, not Obama. If Obama wasn't there for the Republicans to blame for everything, they'd be even more useless.

    June 28, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. girlymen love the GOP

    @Thinkaboutit.Great post.Grover is the lowlife behind all this.He is the republican operative behind taking over America.He is a traitor and should be treated as such.

    June 28, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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