September 26th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
14 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. TCM

    EXACTLY!!!!! Obama's thugism of "calling people out..." Well, yeah, let's see you apologize to the youth of this country for destroying it....

    September 26, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Lynne

    CNN: What about some comments and research on Pawlenty and how he is flip loppong and "readjusting" his positions to appeal to the far right of the Rep. Party. If President Obama even sneezes the worng way, you are all over him; however, no such coverage of the Republicans!!

    September 26, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. aribella

    Has anyone ever seen Tim Pawlenty and Orly Taitz together in the same room at the same time? Just sayin'...

    September 26, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    And next time you talk to GW Bush, you should have him apologize to the American people for:

    – Squandering the budget surplus he inherited from Clinton

    – Ignoring the August 6, 2001 Daily Presidential Brief entitled, "Al Qaeda Determined to Attack the US" (using airplanes, no less)

    – Trampling the Constitution

    – Lying our country into war (Cheney now admits there was no connection between Sadam Hussein and al Qaeda – 7 years and over 4300 US deaths into the Iraqi war)

    – Appointing dunderheads like Heckuva-Job Brownie to lead FEMA

    – Gutting regulations that lead to the global financial meltdown

    – Irresponsibly cutting taxes on the wealthy, who've used the money to ship jobs overseas

    Come to think of it, you and all the Republicans owe the American people a big apology.

    September 26, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Dennis

    Beating the guy up for not being a good governor just because he's out politicking? Oh come on. That's like saying he wouldn't be a good Senator just because he was running for President and that almost never happens–well, uh, let's just beat him up in the news because he's a Republican, he's probably on the take like the rest of the Washington politicians, Corruption never seems to get covered in the news these days. Apparently corrupt politicians are so commonplace they're no longer more newsworthy than celebrity stints in rehab. Maybe the governor should get together with Lindsay Lohan and they could combine their newsworthiness into a real human interest story (ya right–).

    September 26, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. jules sand-perkins

    "Lying" and "playing politics?"
    Everything he said was correct and true.
    On what do the Democrats want to "call him out?"
    On possibly campaigning for the presidency?
    Their Obama was already elected to the presidency, and he hasn't stopped campaigning yet.
    Pawlenty should be free to speak about any issues of national interest to which he might bring enlightenment or fresh perspectives.
    Who are the Democrats to call somebody a liar?

    September 26, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Barbara

    Pawlenty needs to read the Iraqi Constitution, July, 2005. It was drafted with the help of the Bush (Republican) administration... Article 31 grants UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT FUNDED HEALTH CARE TO ALL IRAQUIS – AS A RIGHT!

    How is it, then, that the Republicans are against giving the same benefit to Americans?

    Just wondering if, perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that there are no insurance company campaign funds coming to them from Iraq..

    Ya think?

    September 26, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Dennis

    Redumblican party is over.

    September 26, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. evelin

    was he sleeping under the 8 years of bush???
    Who started with the deficit!!! or the bail outs???

    September 26, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. bri6

    We once owed the Fed 9 trillion. Now with much of that debt sold to the IMF, the fed reserve for the U.N. and Nato, we now owe all that to the world bank wich is the fed reserve of the world government as it exists- the united nations. Now we are in debt to our new world government over our own how does it matter anymore when you vote? It matters a lot less because those officials only have a smaller say in world affairs to the other world leaders, some communist some dictators, now voting on world policy. Freedom sold for 9 trillion, Ron Paul wants to audit the fed now? For what, to track our debt down to the new financiers of our collective enslavment. That will only secure the realisation of how financially screwed we now are, long after the damage has been done. What ever happened to stopping the wars? More transparency? You can't vote czars out of office, explain that to your grandchildren. We had to attack 3 muslim countries at once they told us there were weapons of mass destruction? ha! suckers.

    September 26, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. Pragmatic

    "Pawlenty chalked it up to mere "politics," saying simply, "It's what they do."... and the GOP does what? Country before party? Not in this century! Also note the snide little sidebar remarks ... he's as nasty as the rest of the GOP leadership ... ask him about the US Senate elections in his state – and what he did to prevent that bridge from collapsing ... answer would be "nothing – mere politics"

    September 26, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Grant in Canada

    "Tax us into oblivion."

    When did the Obama administration raise taxes? Did I miss something? I thought there was a tax cut for 95% of American families under the stimulus bill.

    September 26, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. CoolGayDad

    Sorry, but the Republican Party is the party of racism, hate and intolerance. Give it up Tim, just because you live in a mainly white state it shouldn't make you have false hopes about the GOPs future.

    Just remember the American people have been reminded of what GOP stand for over the past few months... Good Old Prejudice!

    September 26, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Denna

    Why, Pawlenty, didn't you call out Bush when the bankrupting of America began. It is, apparently, okay for a Republican to bankrupt and destroy this country, but woe unto a Democrat to try to fix it. Remember Pawlenty, WE THE PEOPLE VOTED FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA. HE DIDN'T TAKE THE OFFICE, WE HIRED HIM. President Obama is "taking us into oblivion" because the tax breaks Bush threw around caused a shortage in revenue. But I guess that's okay as well. Why don't you people put your heads together and try to help this country instead of being the Party Of No all the time.

    September 26, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Chris

    I sometimes wonder if these Republicans actually believe their own BS. All this about the dismissing the Democrats for playing politics – "It's what they do." No, that's all the GOP does – play politics, distorts the truth and criticizes while offering no real solutions.

    I like to finish by saying to Pawlenty, "The next time you have a chance to talk to the American public, maybe you should apologize for your party taking a record surplus and turning it into a record debt as well as creating the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression."

    September 26, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |

    These Republicans are the biggest bunch of liars! I quess they have
    always been there, but, now, with Obama as Pres., they are showing their true colors more boisterous than ever before.

    They think we are stupid. Yes, the 95 percent of us that are not rich
    and, some, doing a very bad job for regular, middle class, hard working Americans. Before long, we can lose it all! I hope my daughter
    doesn't get sick. She has had cancer and a college degree, but no
    health care. I guess we would sell it all to help our children!
    Some, wealthier people are a step away, also, from losing it all.
    It could be that your child will not be insured someday! It is only
    the wealthiest that will survive.

    PAWlenty, could you give your taxpayer paid health care to a needy
    family???? AND WHY, OH, WHY did not your kind speak up against
    your friend Bush for spending money galore. Oh, what a mess he made, along with the Republican votes. Why didn't you speak against
    the 2 WARS. Less educated, average Americans new better. I did.

    Public Option or nothing........Republicans make me want to puke!!!
    I hope Crist and PAWlenty and Wilson LOSE in the elections!!!!!!

    September 26, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. ron

    Pawlenty on health care: "Go find a charity to help you get well OR some government program". Where do we find such men?

    September 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Desert dog

    To bad Crist and Pawlenty and the rest of the Republicans don't mention the bankrupting of our grandchildren's future from their President, who for 7 of his 8 years spent money on an unnecessary war and who knows what else. The Republicans need to stop acting like spoiled children and work to support President Obama.

    September 26, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. steel

    this is the republican governor that knew early in the game that one of his state's republican senators lost an election and left his constituents without representation for months until he was court ordered to sign the papers and certify a democratic winner for the seat.
    he should run for governor since palin and huccabee will be on the next
    ticket to lose a presidential election

    September 26, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. Jim In OC

    Who is this Powlenty guy???

    He must be a tea bagger or a birther. or Both.

    Why is CNN wasting bandwidth on these useless characters??

    September 26, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. Johnnieg

    Just another GOP bag of wind.His own state sucks.........

    September 26, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. S Callahan

    Please forgive me for using this blog...but I have to say this...

    To Rep Carylon are in our have endured so much the last few years....keep looking forward...good will come out of bad....So so sorry for you loss!!! May God give you comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding.

    September 26, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. ib

    Nothing new here; if you don't agree with the libs and demo's they say you are lying and then spend more money that we don't have. They will also say anything and do anything for the gov. to get more controll of your life; example lies they themselves are telling about the health care bill.

    September 26, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Willy Brown

    Change is coming.

    September 26, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Lola

    The debt came from his party...he must have a short memory. As for the future, we won't have one if we don't change and change does call for spending. Spending the way that will help our country. So I put my trust in President Obama. He is the only intellegent one out there speaking. The others are just loud and make noise to hear themselves. As for leaving a debt to our children and grandchildren that is a given, as long it is for the betterment of our country. If the republicans do anything they will leave the debt just as well plus our country will be no better off. The key word in that sentence was IF. So I still back our President.

    September 26, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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