October 26th, 2009
11:32 AM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty: Obama may be making country less safe

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/08/art.pawlenty.gi.jpg caption="Tim Pawlenty is broadening his critique of the Obama administration."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - As Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has ramped up his national profile over the past year, he has focused primarily on domestic issues when criticizing the Obama administration.

But the Republican took aim Monday at President Obama's international posture, questioning whether the president's foreign policy agenda is making the country less safe.

"History proves that it is weakness, not strength, that tempts our enemies," Pawlenty said in an interview with the conservative Web site Newsmax. "And he is projecting potential weakness, and enemies may see that and their respect may be reduced as a result of that, or worse."

Pawlenty launched a political action committee earlier this month called "Freedom First" that allows him to travel the country in support of Republican candidates. Though he fashioned himself as a pragmatic Republican with working class appeal during his two terms as governor, Pawlenty has struck an increasingly partisan tone since announcing in June that he would not seek another term. That has led many political observers to speculate that he's positioning himself for a run for the White House in 2012.

In the interview, Pawlenty also accused the president of being "extremely partisan in his approaches," particularly with his health care reform agenda.

"President Obama has governed in an extremely liberal way, and he hasn't accomplished many major initiatives, but the few that he has have been almost exclusively partisan," he said. "That defies what he said during the campaign and doesn't live up to that promise."

Pawlenty said Obama has "a philosophy that government knows best, a nanny-state mentality on domestic issues that will ultimately be corrosive to the other pillars of our country - to markets, private enterprise, individual responsibility, freedom and liberty."

Filed under: Minnesota • President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Peter

    Um....A few questions Governor...

    1. You believe Bush kept us safe? *don't tell me he did, 9/11 counts as his term even though he wasn't doing squat*

    2. Why is it you've only talked about Obama on the national stage since he's been president? Perhaps its because you plan to run for president, and you can't get elected without fear mongering?

    3. Honestly, how do you know if Obama is making us less safe? Talking isn't dangerous, unlike "WMD in Iraq"

    Please go away

    October 26, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Ken

    Yada Yada Yada! Same old, same old.

    October 26, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Cindy

    Go ahead, Gov Pawlenty... get onboard the Cheney train. I dare you.

    October 26, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Jim from Seattle

    Big oil likes a war monger. And the military industrial complex obviously wants more war and less peace. And all those crazy non- Christ-like Christians are in a hurry to eliminate anybody who doesn't belong to the same worship club, and the rest who are just plain afraid of anybody who doesn't look like them (i.e. the racists), they approve of war too!

    So Tim, the GOP really is a big tent where the common thread is ignorant agreession. Oh yeah, I forgot them IRA card carrying gun toting wild west wannabees. It's a huge tent. A circus of many peoples, all with character deficiencies (almost genetic), and they is looking for a ringmaster.

    So you know the drill (ahhh yeah, yeah).. tell them what they want to hear... build bigger bombs, kill more people (doesn't matter if most are innocent... FOX News will handle that spin).

    Go Tim!

    October 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. They call me "tater salad"

    Here we are folks, with yet ANOTHER GOP "flavor of the month" shooting his mouth off with yet ANOTHER GOP "talking point of the day"!...........(YAWN)...........ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    October 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Patty of N.J.

    Doesn't the Fear Mongering ever stop ? It seems that this all the Repugs have to run with. They keep trying but I believe that most of America can now see through this tactic.

    October 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. not alone

    for those sighting clintons draw down of forces maybie you should also take note of Rumfield did while working for Bush and all the base closings they did,pfft the pot callin the kettle black again,losers.

    October 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. SamSunny

    Is there anyone with an original thought in the Republican Party? Each of these "so-called" potential 2012 contenders of the GOP sounds like a robot with a taped exact message as every other individual in their Party. Isn't anyone in that group a leader, a thinker, and individual?

    October 26, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. anonymous

    Oh for goodness sake, here we go again. Jeez it's a good thing Ex President Bush was here to capture the recent terror suspects that have been in the news. Oh, wait a minute. Bush is gone. It was Obama's administration that caught the bad guys. Too bad he's doing such a horrible job keeping us safe.

    When are the Repubs going to give up on this line of baloney. It's a documented fact that Bush and Cheyney dropped the ball on terror.

    October 26, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Bev

    The 2010 and 2012 elections cannot get here fast enough.

    The Democrats are going to get their butts kicked in 2010--which means that some of the power/control will be taken away from them, even if Obama is still in office.

    Then, in 2012--Obama is voted out--–And, a "real" Commander and Chief can be voted in--–One who is more concerned about the safety/security of the US and US citizens---rather than the rights of terrorists!!!

    October 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. A.M.E.

    One might be able to argue that Pawlenty is right about Obama's initiatives being partisan–against his campaign promise. However, anything is going to end up being partisan when you're up against the Party of "No".

    October 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. sammieb51

    Weakness not Strength that tempts our enemies??? I think not, I think it is stupidity and brawn not brains that temps our enemies. And every hunter knows the most vulnerable animal in nature is the one that is alone and apart from the pack. Thankfully, Obama has the intelligence ot put us back in touch with the international community and begin to repair the damage that Bush did, which we and our ancestors will live with for generations.

    October 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Dale

    Fear. It is what the Republicans have to sell you.

    October 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Independent

    The repubs are the most unpatriotic people in the US....They should be called the Talliban

    October 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    Typical republican talking points : DEMOCRATS MAKE AMERICA LESS SAFE!!! Blah blah blah I'm not that old but that seems to be the general attack line for Repubs on Dems. It means absolutely nothing, NOTHING!

    October 26, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Stephanie

    Are you kidding. 9/11 happened because prevous administrations were complacent. You can't blame Bush for 9/11. Clinton should have taken Osama Bin Laden down when he had the chance...he didn't. that's why 9/11 happened.

    October 26, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Darren

    No Poolenty

    It is the rest of the world disliking your right wing policies that is dangerous for the US. A country that chooses peace and fairness gains power and friends in the world.

    Fortunately Obama is in office now and brings respect, religious tolerance (not the "mine is the only right religion"), access to basic human rights like healthcare (unlike the republicans most important rights–gun ownership and profits) and a chance for peace in the world.

    October 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Paul

    It's now October 26. The Obama administration has already beaten Bush's record on keeping the country safe by more than a month. And if Pawlenty wants to make a national security case, how about he cites some figures, quotes some reports, instead of spouting these vague feelings of disquiet? Specifics, man, or we cannot take you seriously.

    October 26, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Chris

    OMG when will TIM and the other idiots come to realize that fear talk is for folks who don't understand or read between the lines of a message being said by a scared Party possible front runner in 2012.

    October 26, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. David

    Obama has kept us safe, Bush did not. 911 and other overseas attacks happened under Bush, if he had been prepared and had his priorities in order when he took office maybe this could have been avoided. Obamas efforts have again led to the knowledge for those that would do the US harm that the international community would again stand with the US, under Bush, this international support was obliterated and the US was seen as a much easier target.

    October 26, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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