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. Purnell Meagre

    As an occasional migraine sufferer I sincerely hope they don't start calling it "Bachmann's Disease."

    July 21, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  2. Bubba

    Pawlenty makes everyone's head hurt.

    July 21, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. Steve/Oklahoma

    I don't believe Bachman's headaches should be an issue. She has so many other views that make her unsuitable to be president.

    July 21, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. Vynn

    I can see it now....

    "Madam President...we have to retaliate against North Korea's acts of aggression!"

    "Not tonight....I have a really bad headache."

    July 21, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Qi

    Quit picking on Bachman. She is perfectly capable of destroying her career all be herself...

    July 21, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Seattle Sue

    Pawlent is such a weasel. He didn't have the courage to take a swipe at Romney during that pretend debate but he will jab at a crazy woman, but not to her face. This is just one reason Pawlenty will not win the primaries and never, never be President.

    July 21, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. Tam

    Her migraines are the least of her political worries.

    July 21, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. SayWhat

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

    That being said Tim, its way past time that you packed up and moved on.

    July 21, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Party Pooper

    I don't care for either of these two choices, but he comes across as extra schmucky. Go away you yucky fool...sheis out there campaigning every day so how serious could these headaches possibly be. If she were a Man, it would never have been brought up..

    July 21, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. Andrew

    I don't get it.... where's the barb? How is this news? Why would you just give a bland story a ridiculous header like that???

    July 21, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Flint Rock

    He's still a wimp.

    July 21, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. a Minnesotan

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

    Well, that disqualifies Pawlenty given that he showed us in MN he couldn't do all of his job of governing our state all of the time because he was too busy priming his presidential campaign.

    July 21, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. sue

    There are many people that suffer migraine headaches and are on medication that take it faithfully and still have days where they are unable to function (some for weeks at a time}.....some can fuctions with medication with our any problems......the question is "How severe are Bachmann's migraines? Yes she takes medication and can function most of the time but records do show that she has had to be hospitalized on occation, under the pressure of all the stress being Commander and Chief will she be there 100% of the time ......those who have not suffered migraines that can't be controlled excepted under medication have no idea the confussion, pain so severe you can't even open your eyes or move any part of your body.......something to keep in mind when electing a President

    July 21, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Why are these republican mens candidates attacking Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

    July 21, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Bill from GA

    The New Hampshire debate aside, it was only a matter of time before these repug prez-wanna-bees saw what easy targets each of them is. None could ever be half as competent as our current President.

    I'm not saying our President is perfect, but those clowns that want his job are a joke.

    July 21, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. SJB

    There are tons of reasons why Bachman should not be president. To me this health attack and the much repeated link to wearing high heels is completely an attack on women running for president, not the qualifications of a president. While I do believe a president should be healthy to run this country, this discussion on migraines has taken the focus off the real problems with her candidacy. Turn your eyes on that Mr. Pawlenty, let the discussions of headaches and heels be discussed by Fox "News" and the Daily Show, not your campaign.

    July 21, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. Dr Howard and Dr Fine

    Maybe Pawlenty should have an MRI to see if he has a backbone.Another item to show he is cowardly . Some president he'd make. Truly a Cowardly Lion. GOP has some real gems to offer us. Speaking of gems, where has Newt been hiding?? On a buying trip to Tiffany's??

    July 21, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. Sniffit


    July 21, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Romney in 2012

    I'd love to see Mitt Romney as president. He's accomplished and understands the economy (and jobs and the private sector...).

    The current president and his administration have less than 7% of private sector experience. No wonder unemployment is at 9.2% (and under employment is at 19%).

    July 21, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |

    Scaredy cat. He back walked his comments about Batty Bachmann. The GOP is toast! They simply do not have a credible presidential contender to beat the incumbent.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    July 21, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Adalbert

    No one should worry, neither one of these morons have a snowball chance of getting the tbagger republican nomination.

    July 21, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Bob

    I disagree, Mitt. Being president is pretty stressful (unless you're "W"), and since miagraines are triggered by stress, having someone in office who can't function at 100% is alarming.

    July 21, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. acescottie

    Pawlenty who?

    July 21, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. GunnerGA

    While most medical issues are not overly relevant to the day-to-day activities of the President, debilitating migraines should be look into. The question of whether or not Bachman has ever missed votes due to her migraines IS a relevant question. When she gets them, HOW LONG is she out of commission? What drugs does she take to manage her migraines?

    These are perfectly legitimate questions. I am less concerned about a candidate lying in the office than being in the office and unable to concentrate. This is the most stressful job around and the last thing you can do as President is lock yourself in a dark room and lay down.

    July 21, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. A True Centrist

    Pawlenty is he trying to say JFK and FDR were not good leaders because of their medical conditions? Please, what a joke.

    It's Bachman's social views that would prevent her from being a good President, that simple.

    July 21, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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