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. Commen Sense Reality Check

    Remember the last few years of the Bush Administration the DEMONCRATS were in control of the congress....... so who was making and passing the legislation....

    Come on folks... get a clue here......

    This spending has got to STOP! It is out of control!

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

    CNN needs to change its name to RNN (Republican News Network).

    June 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Marilyn

    Pawlenty is correct. When you are out of money you stop spending! Just because Bush started it doesn't mean Obama needs to continue it. Stop already. I'd like to have national health care too, but we CANNOT afford it.

    June 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    Tim Plenty.... Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit from you Pubs; where was your voice of reason and concern then. Hypocrit!

    June 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. ib

    To all libs: stop blaming Bush. Obama is like a little kid in a toy store. He has no concept of the trouble this country is in. IT IS BROKE and his answer is to spend; spend like there is no tomorrow and there won't be if this stupid spending isn't stopped.

    June 28, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Lynn

    Hey Pawlenty, there's a way to stop it – have more votes. Oh, you don't you say because the majority of Americans wanted President Obama over your old guy. Wow! Looks like you need to sit down, shut up and try to work with him towards some solutions in this country. What? Oh, you don't have any solutions? Then just shut up.

    June 28, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. M. Felder

    Let's tackle the deficit once we get healthcare and Cap & Trade in the budget.

    June 28, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. jason, tx

    I'm sick of Republicans ignoring the fact that Bush ran up a 1.8 trillion debt. Pawlenty, quit whining. It's time we invest in our country rather than other people's countries.

    June 28, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. JDB

    The day I listen to fiscal advice from a modern day republican is the day I need to have my head examined.

    We're cleaning up the messes of republican fiscal ideology – his opinion doesn't exactly carry much weight with me.

    June 28, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. B.H.

    Please, someone at CNN,send John King back to his toy maps or find something else for him to do! He is a joke with that show, how about FOX news??

    June 28, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Hugo

    Just remember, to expand Governmental control over every aspect of our lives requires completion of task #1- crush the middle class financially and make them dependent on Government hand outs. What we are experiencing in our economy is not resultant of 8 years of Bush, it is 40 some odd years of the Democratic social experiments in complicity with the Lyndon B. Johnson "New Society" package coming to fruition. You must first drag upper class America down to bring lower class America up. That's the idea and I think we will soon be there. Anyone awake should be seeing a pattern developing here. I hope the American sheeple are waking up soon!

    June 28, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Marilyn

    "Turnabout", if you don't pay taxes in the first place why do you think you have a right to government services????

    June 28, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |

    It looks like one more Republican is afraid there will not be enough money for the NEXT WAR. OBAMA needs to repair the damage done by the Republicans get health care for the AMREICANS before we worry about people that have their own countries to care for them.

    June 28, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Chris

    I need to know why the Republicans never spoke about the Bush administration's massive spending? But we all know the hypocrisy of Republicans.

    June 28, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. curious

    Can a responsible member of the media PLEASE line out for us what the costs are to federal employees (including the well-tanned representative) for their health care plan? And, by line out I mean the monthly premium they pay, the co-pays, their costs for Rx drugs, etc.? I am most curious. Or, will this be treated like all the Republican plans and solutions that we always hear about in the abstract?


    June 28, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. mary dale

    Pawlenty needs to stop the obstruction of the Minnesota senate race and let Franken have the seat. He also needs to read a little about what caused our financial problems in this country and what would have happened if the government put a spending freeze into effect – McCain's brilliant idea to handle the recession/depression that grew during Bush's administration.

    June 28, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Freedom of Speech

    Let's see. All this coming from a party that gave away to the mulitudes three trillion dollars that a Democrat who balanced the budget and left this money in escrow. Then plunged this economy to the lowest since the depression era. THE NERVE OF REPUBLICANS WHEN IT WOULD BE BETTER TO JUST KEEP YOUR MOUTHS SHUT. YOUR INSURING YOUR DOOM IN 2012. You people are the reason this country is in the shape it is in. Give the Democrats a chance to salvage something for Hillary 2012 then we will be on the ROAD TO RECOVERY. Americn people quit himhawing around we need to clean house in Washington.

    June 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. w.l. jones

    Most cases when you drill for water you have to prime the pump in order get the water flowing. The ecomony has nearly stop and the only way to get it moving again is to pump money in it and that what the Adminstration is during at this time.

    June 28, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. S M R

    The depth of our debt caused by the GOP may never be overcome. We have to spend to get this economy moving again. We are spending here at home, when the GOP spends to line their pockets. These fool don't know whats good for America.The Democrats need to stay in power for many years to come if we ever want to climb out of this DEEP HOLE

    June 28, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. surplus-to-a-deficit republican

    We spent record amounts when we were in office. But, that is beside the point. We will not tolerate any Democrat spending record amounts! We must vote them out of office.

    June 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Limbaugh is a liberal

    So what's the grand, brilliant GOP alternative plan? It's a 3 page outline, with no cost estimates, and 80% of the points in it were stolen from the Obama plan! It's just like their 'alternate' budget proposal which was a 16 page outline with NO NUMBERS! How can you have a budget proposal with no numbers?

    June 28, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Peter E

    Where, oh, where were these 'fiscally responsible' republicans for the past 8 years when Bush Jr. doubled the national debt? And don't think republicans were clean of bailouts either! In 2008 they voted along with everybody else on the $700 billion bank bailout without questions. Heck, they gave AIG its first bailout back in 2005, when they still controlled the Congress as well! Where was their outrage then?

    June 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Concerned Democrat

    I totally agree with JT!

    John King is totally in the tank for the GOP. When he interviews a Republican, the interviews are so soft and he never follows up on a question or challenges them.

    June 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. renea

    Te truth of the matter is that this country was already in debt when President Obama got in office and its going to take spending to get us out of it. We want better schools, better education for our kids, better heath care,better jobs A BETTER USA well all this going to take spending if its going to get better. yeah Bush spent but he was spending it on the wrong things he never tried to fix healthcare or shools no he tried to support spending on 2 wars so now the democrats want to invest in americas future thru spending now they are spending too much.

    June 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Wynter

    Pawlenty conveniently forgot to mention the other half of the problem. "We cannot afford the current system of Health Care."

    Thus Obama's plan is to "restructure" our current system and spend money to move to a more affordable system that covers everyone. Our current system is bleeding us dry by feeding insurance companies, drug companies, and other medical conglomerates enormous amounts of money. We cannot afford to keep "wasting money on a broken system"

    June 28, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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