Pawlenty: Campaign turning into reality TV
September 7th, 2011
08:40 AM ET
11 years ago

Pawlenty: Campaign turning into reality TV

(CNN) - Tim Pawlenty took on a self deprecating tone Tuesday night while he mocked his failed Republican presidential bid.

The former two-term Minnesota governor was the first candidate to drop out of the 2012 race for the White House after a disappointing finish in the high stakes Ames Straw Poll in August. During an appearance on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," Pawlenty attributed the decision to money, and a little humiliation.

"I was out of money. I came in third place behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul," Pawlenty said referencing his finish behind his former rivals in the straw poll. "I think that's enough for any one person to endure."

He said his strategy of discussing policy did not jive with the voter's interest in an entertaining election.

"This is taking on more and more of a reality TV show component," Pawlenty said. "You've got to have an entertainment component to it and so I brought forward a record of serious policy … at least in that moment of time the electorate's looking for something else."

Pawlenty, who declared his run in May, said he was the only candidate in the race with a jobs plan but "nobody cared."

He also failed to receive a bump in national and state-wide polls despite extensive travel to early presidential contest states.

"I went all the way from one percent to one percent," Pawlenty added.

When asked if he considered learning to juggle to entertain voters he said, "I thought about shooting sparks up my butt."

Filed under: 2012 • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    So, he tried to talk to the Tea Party in an intellectual manner, and failed. He says he realized that his delivery was not what they were looking for, or even possibly misunderstood. He said they wanted to entertained.

    Entertained? They think this entire election is a joke? They think it is entertaining to be against the President? They think it is entertaining to hold the economy hostage? They think it is funny to muck things up, and blame in on everyone who gets hurt? Those people are sick.

    September 7, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  2. Scott

    Now THAT Pawlenty would have faired better in the campaign... The loose, self depricating one...

    September 7, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "When asked if he considered learning to juggle to entertain voters he said, "I thought about shooting sparks up my butt."

    Thinks highly of the average Republican voter, doesn't he? Not a smart comment, Timmy. Especially considering these are the same folks who were generous enough to keep your PAC well funded, thus allowing you to continue your panhandling for three years more than you should have.

    September 7, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. diridi

    You can not be president this way, this way of making quick money.....?

    September 7, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. bb

    No, more like a circus of inept buffoons rather than a reality show. We can do better, America. If we can't we are already toast and don't even know it.

    September 7, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Coming in behind Michele Bachmann in a poll really says you suck!

    September 7, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. NVa Native

    He's done right – so he'll follow Palin's career path? At least he has a previous career to build on.

    September 7, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Laverne

    Little too late now buddy! Tim Pawlenty was way too boring and did not know how to get the American people attention for starters so I don't wonder if he would have been the same old boring as President, well guess we will never know...............

    September 7, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Greg in Arkansas

    "I thought about shooting sparks up my butt."
    Blowing smoke up the voters' butt seems to work better....

    September 7, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Kenny K

    The mistake Pawlenty made was that, instead of differenciating himself from GOP rivals, he was competing against Obama. You have to let voters know why your opponents are bad and you are good. Mitt is making the same mistake right now by focusing his attacks only on Obama, and not on his immediate rivals.

    The GOP need to realize that Reagan baited his GOP rivals by telling them not to attack one another; i.e. none of them should explore his weakness.

    September 7, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Me

    Pawlenty is as exciting as a bowl of plain oatmeal but he's right. Policy is boring even though it's what needs to be discussed and should be the driving factor in our voting decision. But when you're trying to appeal to low intelligence voters just to stay in the campaign long enough to reach the educated ones, speaking on complex issues will just fly right over their heads.

    September 7, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. AntiFringe

    "This is taking on more and more of a reality TV show component,"

    This is the first time I've agreed with Pawlenty. It makes me believe that there just has to be a better way of electing a president.

    September 7, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. rs

    Between the crackpots of Palin, Perry and Bachmann, Pawlenty is dead right. The GOP/TP has turned politics into "reality" TV with all its fake drama, ponied up prizes and artificial action, where ends justify means. To them politics is a game and is divorced from responsibly running our great nation.
    Time to stop playing, kids.

    September 7, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |