September 26th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Minnesota's Pawlenty defends national politicking

MACKINAC ISLAND, Michigan (CNN) – Minnesota's Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty - widely rumored to be considering a run for the presidency in 2012, and who's been making the rounds on the cable news shows and various states' political events in recent months - defended his nationwide appearances Saturday and said that he plans to continue.

"The point is, I have the time and the energy and the ability to make some time to speak out to issues that I think are important to my state and to the country," Pawlenty said at the biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island, Michigan. He added that since this particular event fell on a Saturday he likely "wouldn't be doing the state's business today back in Minnesota" anyway.

The Democratic National Committee has set up a Web page devoted to "calling out" Pawlenty on what the DNC calls his healthcare reform "lies." The DNC even posted Pawlenty's main office phone number and encouraged visitors of the site to call and ask the governor to stop "lying" and "playing politics."

Pawlenty chalked it up to mere "politics," saying simply, "It's what they do."

In a brief interview with CNN, Pawlenty said that he would "eventually" be in Iowa - traditionally the first caucus state - for political events, but also stated that it would likely be in his role as vice chair of the Republican Governors' Association "as opposed to anything else."

Pawlenty also had a few words for President Barack Obama on the health care debate.

"President Obama said in his joint session of Congress he's going to call people out," Pawlenty said. "So we want to call him out back and say, 'Quit bankrupting the country. Stop spending money we don't have. Stop taxing us into oblivion.' "

He finished by saying to the president, "The next time you have a chance to talk to young people, maybe you should apologize for the bucketloads of debt that he's dumping on to their heads and shoulders."

Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Minnesota's cool

    This clown has a lot of nerve. What is going to be his campaign slogan? "Vote for me and I can screw up the US like I screwed up Minnesota." (???)

    Why was this hypocrite so silent when Bush was racking up his republican-led historic debts?

    September 26, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  2. Lisa from Tampa

    Certainly not an intellectual giant. Just another Repug with a nasty, hateful attitude. Obama 2012

    September 26, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  3. zago

    I thought Charlie Crist was the next president or Sarah Palin. can they have only one candidate. It's one president after all!

    September 26, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Georgia

    Another Republican that absolutely doesn't care what his average Middle Class constituents want or need! All they care about is Big Business and the Richest of American's!

    He is totally INCAPABLE of working with the MN State Legislature on anything including the state budget!

    Republican's = Incompetence!

    September 26, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. Shane, MI

    Oh please, this heartless man wants to be president. He, like other GOPers has sold his soul long ago.

    With every breath that I have, I will fight against another Republican president. They are ruthless and are in the pockets of the big corporations.

    September 26, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. CG

    Maybe Pawlenty should be honest about the bucket loads of debt he has piled on the youth of his own state or the massive increases that property owners in his state have absorbed due mostly to his poorly managed budgets. At this point in time it is highly doubtful that Minnesota would carry a vote for him in a national election. His is another false neocon puppet who spends like an ultraliberal democrat.

    September 26, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. "It's what they do."

    this man will not even make it to the first contest, he is such dummy

    I know lots of smart people from this state, I don't understand how they can send such butt heads to represent them

    then again Ohio sent Trafficant

    September 26, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  8. carlos, THAT one

    this is the epitome of hypocrisy......quit bankrupting our country....this is repugnant reptile ignorance at its best........he is so clueless that he doesn't believe what he utters

    September 26, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. B.Bear, Idaho

    No malice intended, but Pawlenty and Ahmadinejad seem to have the same eye-nose-face configuration. Wonder if they're related.

    September 26, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  10. dave

    It is amazing how all the Repugs are complaining about President Obama's foreign affairs philosophy. It is a breath of fresh air to have someone intelligent in the office for once who doesn't immediately run for the guns but has the wisdom...yes WISDOM... to get it right before he jumps in with all feet. Oh yes Bush was a real tough guy who sent thousands to their deaths based solely on false intelligence and lies to the American people, that is real strength!!!. Why the hell were we fighting in Iraq anyway..we didn,t even have enough troops at Bora bora to capture Osama when we had him in our sights.
    President Obama at least sees the intelligence in having our allies work with us this time. we dont need any bomb bomb Repugs handling this world now..lets remember that strength is not only seen through the sight of our guns! We don't have to rule and bully the world to show our strength..true leadership comes in many forms

    September 26, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  11. jeff in mn

    "President Obama said in his joint session of Congress he's going to call people out," Pawlenty said. "So we want to call him out back and say, 'Quit bankrupting the country. Stop spending money we don't have. Stop taxing us into oblivion.' "

    He finished by saying to the president, "The next time you have a chance to talk to young people, maybe you should apologize for the bucketloads of debt that he's dumping on to their heads and shoulders."

    Pawlenty has used both these line before. Is he planning on coming up with anything more witty, or will we just keep hearing these zingers?

    September 26, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. indy

    everybody is drooling over 2012 just like this past election this president is doing so horrible someone else is gonna walk into the big office just by pointing out all the problems we have! what a joke this is we have major issues with the people in charge of this country

    September 26, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  13. Jelo33

    I didn't realize that Pawlenty was such a rabid Right-Winger who will do and say anything to score a political point, even if it lack facts or truth.

    September 26, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  14. Kathy

    Are you kidding us, Timmy? You have left Minnesota in a shambles, and paid for anything you had to fund through bonds that will be paid by our children or passed on to local property taxpayers who expected the state to live up to their promises to fund local education. How dare he denigrate the President's message to students, who were lucky to actually see the message in Minnesota? Obama's message was non-political and on target. While Tim runs around the country and single-handedly cuts programs in Minnesota, the President is addressing issues that are important to the country, not partisans whose only goal is to work on Obama's downfall, not what is best for the country. Get back to work- I pay your salary. Our president doesn't take off weekends to go around the country lying and scaring people. You could help out with road repair and trash pickup if nothing else. More substantial than what you are doing now.

    September 26, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. Nea

    The one thing i disagree with the Republicans about is why cant they just focus on their agenda and keep looking foward instead of attacking there apponent. This President need help not criticism from them so i really feel they donot offer any solutions because they have none. Already they are saying they will defeat President Obama in 2012 but i Predict a second term for President Obama wait and see!

    September 26, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. Jelo33

    What is it about President Obama that scares the Republicans? Could it be that he could with his popularity and politicals skills establish a permanent Democratic majority.
    Republicans have been selling the same old stale long rejected anti-middle class, pro business wares for quite awhile, and now along comes Obama with a message and a focus on the middle-class and it scares them.
    There is a Right-wing project to destroy Obama at whatever cost, so there is this Obama-phobia, out of fear that he could succeed in making America a more just society for the middle-class, (aka: the silent majority).

    September 26, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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