October 26th, 2009
03:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Pawlenty joins GOP crowd in backing Hoffman

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is bucking his own party.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is bucking his own party.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just four days after professing ignorance about the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, Tim Pawlenty changed course Monday and decided to endorse Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman instead of the Republican in the race.

Pawlenty's move follows decisions by other prominent national conservatives - including Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Dick Armey and Rick Santorum - to line up against the GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafava. They and other activists on the right have accused Scozzafava of being too liberal for the GOP, and are throwing resources and support to Hoffman.

The Minnesota governor, who is courting conservatives as he mulls a possible 2012 presidential bid, made his endorsement in an e-mail to the blog RedState.

"We cannot send more politicians to Washington who wear the Republican jersey on the campaign trail, but then vote like Democrats in Congress on issues like card check and taxes," Pawlenty said in the statement. "After reviewing the candidates' positions, I'm endorsing Doug Hoffman in New York's special election. Doug understands the federal government needs to quit spending so much, will vote against tax increases, and protect key values like the right to vote in private in union elections."

Last Thursday, after a fundraiser in Washington, Pawlenty told reporters he wasn't following the race and declined to make an endorsement.

"You know I haven't been following that, I haven't studied the race at all," he said at the time. "It's not that I would or wouldn't, I just don't know anything about it. I haven't taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven't taken a position on it."

Scozzafava and Hoffman are on the ballot along with Democrat Bill Owens. Election Day is November 3.

UPDATE: A Pawlenty aide reports that the governor's recently-created "Freedom First" political action committee will donate $2,400 to the Hoffman campaign, the maximum contribution allowed. The gift marks the PAC's first donation since it was formed earlier this month.


Filed under: Dede Scozzafava • Doug Hoffman • NY-23 • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. beevee

    Pawlenty is another chamaleon changing colors astheenvironment changes. Can't be trusted.

    October 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. too bad the republiklans lack ideas

    ha, this sisi Pawlenty is spineless...anywahere the wind blows, count this dufus in!!!!

    October 26, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "We cannot send more politicians to Washington who wear the Republican jersey on the campaign trail, but then vote like Democrats in Congress on issues like card check and taxes,"
    -------------------------------
    ???????????????????!!!!! Who is Pawlenty talking about? No, really WHO?? I'd like to know of ANY Republican in Congress right now that VOTES LIKE A DEMOCRAT! This guy is a joke, but he's in good company with the other buffoon Failin Palin.

    Whenever you see two or more RethugliKlans lining up to goosestep, you gotta wonder: what are they up to now?

    October 26, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Can anyone remember a GOP candidate with an NRA endorsement who was attacked for not being conservative enough? That would be like a Democratic candidate with an AFL-CIO endorsement being attacked for not being liberal enough.

    FYI, my Republican friends: the earthquake you keep talking about: well, its under you, and you are all on a foundation of sand. Be prepared to be washed away!

    October 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. kj in mpls

    "Hey if you guys are in, I am too if it will help my career"
    Get a life, we don't miss you back home, by the way, how many votes are you expecting to sway? Sheesh

    October 26, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. ray

    With this move, has Pawlenty officially thrown his hat into the right wing nut ring?

    October 26, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Gary

    The GOP is Rabid and eating its own.

    October 26, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Jobless Recovery

    Good job! Only support candidates that believe in small federal government, low taxes, state rights and the constitution.
    Go Hoffman!! I don't want Obama light in Dede.

    October 26, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. I am the not-so-great and egocentric wizard of rush

    Gotta love the ReBirther Tea party members.
    They would rather elect a Democrat, rather than a republican who doesn't support their right wing agenda.
    Cutting off their collective noses despite their faces.

    Go Bill Owens

    October 26, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    He's just sucking up to the GOP "base" .... And look at the crowd he's joining: Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Dick Armey and Rick Santorum.

    All intellectual lightweights (and in Palin's case, a quitter to boot).

    Pretty slim pickin's for the GOP ... how sad ....

    October 26, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. C Spurgeon

    Four days ago he expressed ignorance. Now he knows what the republican party wants him to say. He s a good parrott..makes for great leadership right??

    October 26, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. PALIN/BACHMANN 2012!!!

    I don't normally agree with Pawlenty but in this case he's right. It's only through absolute adherence to the Christian Conservative principles of the Real Americans that Republicans will once again be the permanent majority party. The so called moderates who are really just closet libs shouldn't be allowed to call themselves Republicans. Every one of these anti-God, anti-Life, anti-military, pro-tax and pro-gay traitors should be taken down.

    October 26, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    haha...might as well endorse Corzine then lol

    October 26, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. linda

    Pawlenty is a total idiot – why continue CNN to give him print time?

    He cannot run the business of the State of Minnesota, did not
    have a clue who Hoffman is, and surely is not a quick
    study.

    Pawlenty is a follower, not a leader, and a total wingnut!

    October 26, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Lynne

    Good old "change course" Pawlenty! What does this man stand for or is he making it up as he goes??

    October 26, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Ray

    "I haven't taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven't taken a position on it."

    Translation: I haven't consulted the fringe to know what I think yet, so I don't know.

    October 26, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If only they would split all the time like this, that would create two poltical parties - the Republicans (a more moderate group) and a conservative party for those that can't stand the government doing much but allows for more than the Libertarians.

    October 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. linda

    Pawlenty is a total idiot – why continue CNN to give him print time?

    He cannaot run the business of the State of Minnesota, did not
    have a clue who Hoffman is, and surely is not a quick
    study.

    Pawlenty is a follower, not a leader, and a total wingnut!

    October 26, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Carl in MI

    It boggles the mind when Republicans turn on their own for not being slimy enough to be considered a 'Republican'!! The truth comes out!!

    One more reason to vote for the Democrat...

    October 26, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Barbara Independent in NY

    Get over yourself Tim. Real New Yorkers don't need your help electing anyone. I've read that you tend to ignore the real problems in Minnesota. Pay attention to your state. By time that the next presidential election comes around we're going to be real sick of you if you don't MYOB.

    October 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Bush_Low_I.Q.

    Pawlenty joins GOP crowd in backing Hoffman.

    Idiot joins Idiot crowd in backing an Idiot. 🙂

    October 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Buffalo Bill

    Glad to hear Gov. Pawlenty has hopped on the bandwagon....the GOP is just a political party, and unfortunately not a very principled one. Being a proud Conservative is where he will gain true respect, and support. The lefty's in this country ain't got no fear of the current GOP, but once Conservatives step to the front, their panic will be palpable!

    October 26, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. hadelaide

    He made the pitch so he can be seen as keeping up with the Ice Queen. Very sad that a man who people thought had a moderate mind is willing to sell his soul to the looney tunes.

    October 26, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Hennessy Cognac Black, WI

    Pawlenty should keep his KNOW NOTHING, knuckle dragging, loin cloth wearing self and his tired comments and endorsements in Minnesota; perhaps he can meet with Senator "I'm not gay" Craig in the bathroom...

    October 26, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Brian

    Line up with the rest of the right wing radicals, good boy.

    October 26, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
1 2