Pawlenty weighs 2012 vs. margaritas
November 20th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty weighs 2012 vs. margaritas

(CNN) - Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is publicly undecided over a presidential run in 2012, but he has a plan if he doesn't run.

"One thing I am planning is that if I don't run for president, I'm going to open a margarita bar in Florida," Pawlenty told CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin. "I'm going to get some Kenny Chesney music; I'm going to get a flower shirt."

No matter what he decides, Pawlenty said the Tea Party will continue to play a large role in national politics.

"Basically it is the fuel, the passion, the energy, the talent that's driving a lot of the accountability and call of change in the country," Pawlenty said.

He called the movement a "positive force" for Republicans and conservatives and said it is largely responsible for bringing new people into the political fold.

Pawlenty, whose second and last term as governor ends this year, played an increased national role in the midterm elections. And he seemed confident when discussing a potential third party presidential challenge.

"I don't think it hurts or helps, I just think it's one more hurdle you have to deal with," he said.

Discussion of a third party run has entered the political discourse because of the rise of the Tea Party movement and talk of a possible 2012 bid from independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

But Pawlenty said the larger issue now is making sure the newly-elected officials are prepared to make tough decisions. If they do, they will become "more popular, not less popular," the governor said.

"That's what people want right now," Pawlenty said.

Although he didn't elaborate on the ambitions of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he did say she has "an unlimited future."

–CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. michaelam

    Opening a bar would be the better choice, Governor. We do not need a president that would make George Bush look like a genius. In fact, Tim, you would further us into third-world status.....stay in Minnesota; Florida does not need anymore crazies. Rush Blimpball is crazy enough.

    November 20, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Buh Bye Pawlenty

    I hope Mr P chooses the Margarita Bar. That way he can only ruin his own personal finances as opposed to those of the country. The man really made a mess of Minnesota. Falling down bridges, crumbling infrastructure, and a state budget that is deep in the red. Ah yes, cutting our way to glory! Cya Pawlenty

    November 20, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. anthony

    He will run but will end up opening a margarita bar in Florida. Many Tea Partiers will be joining him once the voters realize that you cannot cut the deficit unless you cut spending more than you cut taxes.

    November 20, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Maybe one of HIS bridges will fall on him. Best thing for this country if that happens.

    November 20, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. timz

    Sounds like Slick Timmy is planning on spending just about as much time in Minnesota once he's out of office as he did the last couple of years when he was still in office. Good riddance. Pawlenty's most notable achievement as governor was to make Jesse Ventura look good by comparison.

    November 20, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Sarah McCarthy

    Dave here,I mean Tim,should stick to managing the chipmonks.

    November 20, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. T-Paw needs more time in extreme rightwing machine!

    T-Paw is a wiener and couldn't win his own state. Tell this clown to exit right off the stage.

    November 20, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Thersa

    I call BS on this, Pawlenty. You are as ambitious as any of the other politicians who want to be president. Why lie?

    November 20, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. jay

    "One thing I am planning is that if I don't run for president, I'm going to open a margarita bar in Florida," Pawlenty told CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin. "I'm going to get some Kenny Chesney music; I'm going to get a flower shirt."

    Yep, you won't get my vote Tim.

    November 20, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. The GOP has a women problem!

    The GOP can't control their women. Palin has started her Grizzly Mama Club and that means these GOP women are about crazy zingers. The only way the GOP can shut them up is to pay them off. Hostage taker meet the GOP. wimps!

    November 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Aaron

    The sooner the better on the margarita bar. Alcohol is a necessity for listening to the latest moron to come out of the woodwork.

    November 20, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Clwyd

    Nobody knows you and when they find out what a lousy governor of Minnesota you were and are, forget it! Republicans are all right wing nut cases!

    November 20, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. George of the jungle

    such ambition is mind boggeling. As the BBC said tea party full of nutters. Such lofty plans president or bar owner. YOu guys sure can pick um

    November 20, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Saint

    I noticed that many people connented in the Barbara Bush article that they think Sarah Palin should stay in Alaska. I'm an Alaskan with a different view: Sarah Palin should return to her home state of Idaho and leave Alskans alone. Her right wing polarizing politics are in no way representative of the cross-population af Alaskans. Many of us would glasly bid her a not-so fine Adue.

    November 20, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Rick

    A marg bar...Now, that I'll vote for.

    November 20, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. Pawlenty Who ?

    Would somebody please inform this loser , that he will never be president ! He is as dry 10 day old toast ! Even the republican's don't like him as a candidate . Tim quit wasting your flyer miles and tend to Minnesota , they need your attention more than the rest of us ever will !

    November 20, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  17. Floyd

    To Gov Tim Pawlenty:
    I lived in Minneapolis for about 2 years, and felt you were a decent governor, though I'm nominally a Democrat.
    The margarita bar in Florida is a good idea. Stay out of politics (You're a good governor, but not that many people know who you are outside of Minn.), maybe move out of Minnesota (keep a cabin for fishing or boating in Minn. if you want), chill out in Florida, and laugh at the overly ambitious politicos, Dems and Repubs alike. Good luck to you, no matter what you decide.

    November 20, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I'm not sure Pawlenty is even qualified to run a Margarita Bar. If the state of Minnesota can't keep him on the job, he certainly isn't diligent enough to run a business.

    November 20, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. J.V.Hodgson

    Translation of all that political speak. Yes I am defintely (75 % sure???) running for President.
    When will they "get it" real answers are what matters to voters. This kind of evasion equivocation mental resrvation leaving all options open is what makes us voters "MAD AS HELL" WITH ALL POLITICIANS. But you the media love it!!UGH, UGH, UGH

    November 21, 2010 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  20. Sherri W.W.

    OH BROTHER!! is all I can say about this!

    November 21, 2010 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  21. Ponder this.,....

    Poor Timmy..... is he REALLY read to take on the Tea Party's mama griftly?

    November 21, 2010 07:13 am at 7:13 am |