Pawlenty skipping pre-debate Tea Party rally
May 5th, 2011
02:57 PM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty skipping pre-debate Tea Party rally

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) – Tea Party organizers had hoped to have him on the program, but former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty won't be appearing at a hotly-anticipated pre-debate Tea Party rally in downtown Greenville.

The day-long rally being held down the street from the site of the first Republican presidential debate will feature a who's who of South Carolina conservatives, the sort of grassroots activists and elected officials that any GOP presidential contender needs to attract to win the state's pivotal primary early next year.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Rep. Jeff Duncan, state Sen. Tom Davis, state Treasurer Curtis Loftis and other are slated to speak at the nine-hour long rally.

The event's organizers listed Pawlenty on the program, but Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said his boss never committed to appear.

Conant cited "scheduling conflicts" and said the Republican candidate will not be attending.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, another debate participant, is still expected to speak to the crowd.

UPDATE: This story was updated to note that Pawlenty never committed to the event.

Filed under: 2012 • Tea Party movement • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. rusty155

    Any body that has anything do with the TEA PARTY ,are either a IDIOT or RICH. the TEA PARTY Is a Bunch of CRAP.

    May 5, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Mike in GBORO

    Let the Great Tea party Ditching begin! He won't be the last "major" candidate to have 'scheduling conflicts" right before speaking at Tea party rallies. Watch them bail on Tea party like rats off a sinking ship.

    May 5, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Nine hours? That's an awful long time to knot up downtown traffic, and on a weekday at that. If you need that much time you really need to take your nine hour convention someplace else: like a park, a stadium, an arena, etc.

    May 5, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. JR

    Nine hours???? I don't even like doing something that feel good for nine hours.

    May 5, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Laverne

    What scheduling conflict when he was already confirmed to be one of the republican debaters. He backed out at the last minute period!

    May 5, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Mr. Moderate

    Nine hours???? Funny how these tea partiers always complain about people sponging off the government instead of working when apparently not many of them work themselves.

    May 5, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. vet in texas

    "They are what we thought they were" – Coach Denny Green

    May 5, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. max

    Nine hours of scared and angry fat people in funny hats milling around, boy that's going to be a circus.

    May 5, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. mdn

    Interesting how so many Repub. candidates choose to avoid Tea Party events if they can get away with it.

    May 5, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I just keep wanting to know where these tea people were during the past two administrations. The timing makes you think that there are bigots there. Where were they when there were budgets that were huge and the unpaid part of Medicare?

    May 5, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I am asking ALL REPUBLICAN to not vote for any of the guys taking place in this debate since none of them are announced candidates. It's shit or get off the pot time for these guys.
    You want our attention- then announce you are running or go away.

    May 5, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |