Pawlenty's Bachmann barb
July 20th, 2011
09:43 PM ET
11 years ago

Pawlenty's Bachmann barb

(CNN) – On the day Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann released a doctor's letter detailing her treatment for migraines, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty took a not-so-veiled swipe at his 2012 presidential campaign rival.

Although he declined to comment directly on the implications of Bachmann's headaches when questioned, choosing to "defer to the judgment of the medical professionals," Pawlenty did tack on an aside assessment of the qualifications needed to serve as president.

"The candidates are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job, all of the time," Pawlenty said.

He made the comments about the congresswoman while campaigning for the 2012 GOP nomination for president in Iowa, the state where Bachmann was born and where she's been attempting to build a home-field advantage.

Iowa will host the Ames Straw Poll in August, an early predictor of how Republican candidates may fare in the critical first-in-the-nation caucus state during its early presidential contest.

Across the nation in California, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had an opposing view. "There's no question in my mind that Michele Bachmann's health is in no way an impediment to her being able to serve as president," he said.

Bachmann has been chasing Romney's lead in recent polls. He noted they have "different views" on some issues but stated, "We'll campaign in various states and express our views but her health should not be an issue in a campaign."

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. DanW

    Her health should be an issue. When she gets a migraine, is she or is she not incapacitated? I have known people with migraines who are absolutely incapacitated. Is she or isn't she. It's a totally valid, important question.

    July 20, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. Jen

    you couldn't manage one state and you think your qualified to be president. Have you seen the news lately on Minn. What a sad, sad man.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    July 20, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. Peter s

    After migraines what will we be talking about period? grow up people! and leave her alone.

    July 20, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. sqeptiq

    "There's no question in my mind that Michele Bachmann's health is in no way an impediment to her being able to serve as president," he [Romney] said.
    Brilliant understatement, but he didn't say why; how can it be an impediment if she will never get within shouting distance of the presidency?

    July 20, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. Texan

    The problem with the GOP field is that they have not articulated their positions vis-a-vis their competition. Other than saying everything Obama has done or stands for is not right, they themselves have not presented one suggestion. They come across as bunch of backbencher who only know to complain but not do anything constructive. This also goes for Rick Perry who seem to be calling on GOD to fix the nation's problem.

    July 20, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Oh, that is kind of harsh. I would think that the next president will need to do some on the job learning no matter how well prepared he is. This doesn't mean learning history or policy while on the job. That is often why being a Senator before hand works so well.

    July 20, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  7. lgny

    I'm no fan of Bachmann, but the assertion that migraines make her incompetent for office is a cheap shot.

    There are plenty of other reasons, but mograines is NOT one of them,

    July 20, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. CBR

    It is very early in the campaign to deny anyone a chance to run for president. Governor Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann Live in close proximity. How come we never heard about this before?

    I am not in favor of Bachmann but she should have the opportunity to run and let the people decide is she is competent. Governor Pawlenty may not be in a position to make that judgment.

    July 20, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. Indy

    The only thing the Doctors note proves is that Michele Bachmann enjoys her medi care being paid for at the same time she will do whatever it takes to make sure the middle class does not get affordable health care. Bachmanns only agenda is to sign pledges and destroy anything that is good for the middle class, the good news is the majority voters are middle class and far too smart to be fooled by Bachmann,Pawlenty,Romney,Cain

    July 20, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. Henry Miller

    "The candidates are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job, all of the time,"

    So Presidents never have to sleep?

    July 20, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  11. Ms K

    This is interesting, all three are very christian in their behavor. All three of these roiten brats are not above say nasty things about everyone but wanting sympathy for their problems. These people have very good healthcare, which the middleclass has paid for, I really wish these christian would go away.

    July 20, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. me

    As a MN resident, I can say that Pawlenty is as tough as my cocker spaniel.

    July 20, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. dean

    I raised six children and got a PhD with regular migraines–Bachmann's migraines aren't a problem, it's her idiotic view of the world.

    July 20, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. Leslie

    Pawlenty: "The candidates are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job, all of the time," Pawlenty said.
    Romney: "There's no question in my mind that Michele Bachmann's health is in no way an impediment to her being able to serve as president," he said.
    Romney might be a RINO, but apparently he's a smart RINO. Pawlenty... uh, not so much on that second half there.
    Give me Bachmann for 12.

    July 20, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. roscoe

    Tim is good talking behind people's backs but will he say anything to Michele's face........he's wimp and she's nut

    July 20, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. GOP = Greed Over People

    After the Romney debacle in the debates, every one knows little Timmy is a coward, and that is not what we need in the WH.

    We need someone that looks a fellow straight in the eye and tells him what he thinks.

    Pansy Pawlenty, can only lob criticism from a safe distance or via email.

    July 20, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  17. GonzoinHouston

    All nonsense aside for 30 seconds. I wouldn't wish a full-blown migrane on Kim Jon Il. (Well, maybe) If Bachman's are stress-related, consider that the presidency is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. On the other hand, if she can handle the stress of a 2-year-long campaign, she can probably handle the job. I have more than enough reason to not want Bachman for President as it is.

    July 20, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  18. William Marlowe

    Wrong Romney.

    July 20, 2011 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. Bob Archer

    I believe it's her mental health, not her physical health, that we need to pay attention to.

    July 21, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Bachmann's migrane is not the issue because it is under satisfactory medical control. Pawlenty should challenge Bachmann for insufficient character, demeanor, and intellect to be president.

    July 21, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  21. James

    Where is Iowa again? is that one of the Phillipine islands?

    July 21, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  22. tomcar16

    Migraines. This is a nationwide issue concerning all American's. God help us and pray that they stop making tea. Migraine again.

    July 21, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  23. Wise1Speak


    (1.) – Who is Pawlenty and why should he be in the GOP race anyway? Think about! He was a horrible Minnesota Governor. He played a game of nutshells with the state budget and left the state in economic disaster. Now the Democratic Governor has to clean up the mess Pawlenty kicked down the road.

    (2.) – The only reason Pawlenty's name is national, is because the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee Senator John "Frazzle-brained" McCain placed Pawlenty (along with Sarah Palin) on his short list for V.P.

    (3.) – Pawlenty is attacking Michele Bachmann because he cannot gain traction against Mitt Romney, and Pawlenty was too much of a coward during first GOP debate to stand-up against Romney. Plus, it is much safer for Pawlenty to take a swipe at the girls instead of the boys Romney, Perry, and Cain.

    (4.) – The established Republicans Old Guards despise Tea Party Bachmann. They see Bachmann has the political equivalent to Charlie Brown's pal "Pigpen", a character who drags dust & dirt where ever she goes. They want Bachmann out of the Republican race asap, and they are looking for ways to slyly remove her.

    July 21, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  24. Frank Cardenas

    Why shouldn't a candidate's health be an issue? Romney is kind of goofy on this.

    July 21, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  25. Dale

    Isn't Obama's smoking habit a little more concerning than headaches? Why don't we hear about the risks of him contracting mouth or lung cancer that the American people will have to pay for?

    July 21, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
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