Bachmann links Pawlenty to Obama
July 24th, 2011
04:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Bachmann links Pawlenty to Obama

(CNN) - After repeated attacks on her record from Republican presidential rival and fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann hit back Sunday, vehemently contrasting her record in Congress with his as governor.

Bachmann said that while she was working against excessive spending, cap and trade, TARP and the individual health care mandate, Pawlenty was praising the same plans and leaving his state with a budget crisis.

"Executive experience is not an asset if it simply means bigger government and more intrusive government," Bachmann wrote in a statement. "Actions speak louder than words."

Ahead of the high stakes Ames straw poll in Iowa, Pawlenty has criticized Bachmann, who is leading recent polls in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, over her record in Congress, which he said consists of giving speeches and offering "failed amendments in Congress."

In an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley Friday, Pawlenty said he doubted the American people would elect a president who lacked executive experience.

"These are really serious times and there hasn't been somebody who went [directly] from the U.S. House of Representatives to the presidency, I think, in over a hundred years, and there's a reason for that," Pawlenty said.

When asked by CNN about the not-so-veiled jab Saturday, Bachmann didn't attack Pawlenty, and instead said she is very proud of her record of service in Washington and Minnesota.

"What I have focused on is going against the agenda of growing big government in Washington. I've been very effective," Bachmann said. "I've brought the voice of the people that I serve in Minnesota to the halls of Congress."

But Sunday's statement was different. She took on Pawlenty by name and issue, even comparing him to President Barack Obama.

"Governor Pawlenty said in 2006, 'The era of small government is over … the government has to be more proactive and more aggressive.' That's the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health-care plan," Bachmann said. "Real-world actions speak louder than the words of career politicians."

Pawlenty Spokesman Alex Conant responded to Bachmann's statement Sunday, saying the Congresswoman "has her facts wrong."

"The truth is that there is very little difference between Governor Pawlenty and Congresswoman Bachmann on their issue positions," Conant said. "The difference is that when Governor Pawlenty was scoring conservative victories to cut spending, pass market-based health care reform, and transform a supreme court from liberal to conservative, and was elected twice in a very blue state, Congresswoman Bachmann was giving speeches and offering failed amendments, all while struggling mightily to hold onto the most Republican house seat in the state."

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Michele Bachmann • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Kevin Mullins

    First of all, she does have a big ego. Anyone who says they can be POTUS has to have a big ego, otherwise they would never run and we would never elect them.

    Second, all those of you that want to keep looking back at Bush to explain where we are now...get a new schtick. Those that things that Obama does well on, let's praise him, those places he falls short, lets hold him accountable. In any business if you hire someone and three years later they are explaining bad job performance (which I'm not saying Obama's has least not all of it) on their predecessor, they are getting fired. The truth of the matter is that our current economic situation is probably more rooted in a lack of fiscal responsibility that goes back many, many years. Again...examine Obama carefully and he probably gets a B minus to C plus. For those who say "well he's had a tough set of circumstances, it would be easy to argue that no one had a rougher set of circumstances as president than Bush (except for maybe Lincoln.)

    3. TARP turned out to be a good thing afterall? Says who? Can you spin it to say it was a good thing? Yes. Was it a good thing? Time will continue to tell, early on though I'd say some of the bailout was well spent and some was not.

    4. Obama will not win by a landslide REGARDLESS of who runs against him. It does matter who the Republicans candidate is and they may or may not win but anyone who would predict a landslide is completely unaware of the current political climate. Obama currently has a 45% approval rating overall.

    July 25, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    so it took Bachmann to come out and say the mess Pawlenty left Minnesota in, and she should know. T-Paw may have wished he kept his mouth closed because nobody was talking about his Minnesota record but the left, NOW I guess we all know it's true.

    July 25, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Michael in Houston

    Bachmann lacks on just about every measurement one can conceive of for the Presidency. The main thing she lacks though is "appeal". She has zero appeal outside the Tea Party and I predict that by the time elections roll around, being associated with the Tea Party will be about as popular as the ebola virus

    July 25, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Gosh...isn't taking farm subsidies, and accepting Medicare and Medicaid payments at her husbands VooDoo clinic, linking herself to Socialism and thus Obama also? My hypocrisy meter pegged reading this story.

    July 25, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Bob

    Pawlenty is a loser and is destroying his own party unless he drops out of the race..

    July 25, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Ray

    Sorry to see Michelle become the Obama of the right. We know where that road goes. Good bye.

    July 25, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. cliftonguy

    I am more concerned about the fact that in the school district in her 6th congressional district, the Anoka-Hennepin School District, four gay and lesbian students in the school district have committed suicide since the fall of 2009 and that the school district’s “Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy” allegedly prohibits staffers from acknowledging the existence of LGBT people. And we are supposed to accept this kind of thing from a presidential candidate?

    July 25, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Byebye

    Caesar was proported to say "divide and conquer". Not required here, the banjos are eating themselves alive. Love It! See you in 2013 Mr. Obama...

    July 25, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. AC

    Both these two candidates hate Obama because he's black and democrat. Bachman & Pawlenty will never get elected to President, they do not have the class, nor the ability to win all of America over to their side (which is dark).

    July 25, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Tony D.

    Let the mudd-slinging looking forward to it...

    July 25, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. sue

    For God sake stop the Obama bashing and get to the problems at hand, if you think that the Republicans haven't had a part in this debt crisis and this stalemate in Washington you have another thing coming.....both parties need to put aside their politics and get to the problems at hand.....all this blame and opposition to the far extremes on both sides is killing America as we know it and you are going to leave our kids and grandkids a lot more than debt to deal with......if you want spending cuts on entitlement programs than there has to be Tax increases as well....Obama has agreed to the cuts in entitlement programs now where is the Tax increases on the Rich and big corporations and cutting the loopholes.....

    July 25, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. David

    This women is all talk...she is the Kim Kardashian of politics.

    July 25, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. ZombieJim

    It's race to see who is the furthest from the middle! Who will win?

    July 25, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. srichey

    Bachmann = Obama relection guaranteed.

    July 25, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Bubba

    So we could actually see three GOPs by election day? This is going to be comedy gold for Bill Maher.

    July 25, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Vote-man

    I don't see this wacko going much further politically. Like Palin, she will tire of it. The sad part is that she and other teabag Repubs are frightening the moderate Repubs into not cooperating and putting together a deal to raise the debt ceiling and starting to address the deficit problem. If we go into default, we will be in world of hurt. We've had at least 2 well-respected, bipartisan committees come out with sensible plans and these nutjobs have ignored both. Gotta work together folks.

    July 25, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Linton

    Bachmann said that while she was working against excessive spending.....she and her family collecterd $250,000 in farm welfare from the USA government........but she refuses to admit it.

    July 25, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Phil in KC

    Wow! Linked to Obama. I guess there's nothing more damning, from one right-winger to another. As a Democrat, it's kind of fun to sit on the sidelines and watch.

    July 25, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Andrew

    I Believe a Government should take care of Every Citizen! The government should provide for peace with one another-no more warfare crime and violence security, food for everyone, health care for everyone. This Government can not even do these things! I Vote for God's Kingdom, not only will it do these things but it will bring back dead loved ones to life! A true future for Mankind!

    July 25, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Becca

    Well She is sure in the same Class As Sarah P. And I really do not think the word pawlenty is in the dicionary is it ??I could not find it any where. Hillary Clinton has more smarts than these 2 nut jobs has. Our country is in such a real mess that I really do not think anyone can get us back on track unless some of those people in washington take a big cut our of their pockets like they want to do to us seniors. Also we need to vote all the crap heads out of office that are in there now for sure.

    July 25, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Killer

    Kevin Mullins – you wrote, " would be easy to argue that no one had a rougher set of circumstances as president than Bush (except for maybe Lincoln.)".

    Yep, must be tough coming into office with as large a surplus as he had. Hey, how about Hoover (Great Depression), FDR (remember Pearl Harbor?), and Truman (had to finish the war and is the only person to have authorized the use of nuclear weapons on other humans),

    July 25, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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