June 6th, 2012
05:47 PM ET
10 years ago

Pawlenty: On foreign policy, Romney would be stronger than Obama

(CNN) - Resolute not to discuss his prospects as a vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" Wednesday that Romney would be a better commander in chief than President Barack Obama has been.

"His drone strikes and killing of Osama Bin Laden obviously are positives, but they don't go far enough," Pawlenty said in an interview.

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Some polls have shown voters favoring Obama over Romney on foreign policy matters, though the surveys also show the electorate considers the economy to be issue number one.

Pawlenty weighted in on suggestions that the White House was involved in - or at least not preventing - leaks of classified national security information which, when public, could have positive political implications for President Obama.

"If any of that is true, Wolf, it is a very serious charge and a very serious circumstance," he said.

Romney's foreign policy platform would include a strengthened Navy, Pawlenty said, as well as avoiding a budget sequestration which would "gut our American military."

"Mitt Romney would be as tough or tougher on those measures and more," he said.

Pawlenty, considered to be a finalist in the 2008 Republican veepstakes, declined to say whether he was being vetted as a possible running mate by Romney's campaign.

But he did offer some names which he thought would likely be considered: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

"As to me personally," he said, "I think I can help best in other ways, but obviously anybody, if asked, would be honored."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    Really? From the guy who' mantra is Bomb, Baby Bomb! President Obama has stopped a war, ending another, and caught not one but 2 terrorists and finished them.
    This sounds about as good as "I can see Russia from my house" Palin.
    A no brainer there Pawlenty.

    June 6, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. CRAIG

    How does Pawlenty know that Romney would be stronger than Obama on foreign policy. Does he have a crystal ball? Obama has over thrree years of presidential experience & a very strong record in foreign affairs. It would be devastating to switches horses in the middle of the stream with a Romney win.

    June 6, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. bobcat2u

    For the republicans, not going far enough, as Pawlenty says, means we need to start another neverending war.

    June 6, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. the situation

    This coming from someone that let his state in so much billions of dollars in debt! LOL

    June 6, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    I think Obama's problem with foreign policy is that he spend too much time and was to easy in wanting to be Mr.Nice guy to foreign nations, once again as to why they ran to give Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in advance before really doing much to qualify for it.

    June 6, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Leroy

    A vote for Willard Mitt Romney would be a vote for more war: i.e. Iran, Syria, maybe Russia, ad ad nauseum.....
    Willard's not qualified to even be a boy scout leader (he hid in France for three years to avoid the Viet Nam era draft).

    June 6, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Vanessa

    This is quite laughable! Romney just doesn't have what it takes to be commander in chief, & for all those whom have disrespected our President will just have to deal & accept that he WILL b reelected come November! Hispanics 4 Obama! Si se puede.. Yes we can!

    June 6, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. Marcus

    Or, in other words, 'I know that we made a deal with the Dems last year and agreed to cut the budget across the board, but you know what? We lied!! Do not touch one cent of those programs that we want to stay on the budgeteven if the Pentagon doesn't want it (what do they know about war anyway?)'
    Sigh... did Wolf asked him about which countries (besides Iran) Pawlenty could see as posing a direct treat to the USA?
    Last time somebody made a question like that to the romney camp the answer included Czekoslovakia (was it is how it was spelled?) and USSR which stopped to exist circa 20 YEARS AGO!

    June 6, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Pawlenty is foolish trying to compare the two in this area. President Obama is respected worldwide and has regained a level of respect lost during the Bush debacle. He has been masterful in serving as Commander-In-Chief and the terrorist's worst nightmare. They'd tell you that if you can still find any still alive. Romney is a lap-dog for the fat-cats and a ruthless vulture capitalist – nothing more.

    June 6, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. kimberly

    LOL!! Sersioulsy??? Romney cant even stand up to Trump and Limpbals, WHY in the WORLD would ANYONE in their right mind say romney would be better on foriegn policy. Romney is NOT going to win, its not even a possibility, and why we are even pretending like he might is a JOKE!

    June 6, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. 2012liberal

    WT.. just start making up stories and c what sticks. What leaks? Wikileaks and whistleblowers that happened n bush administration?

    June 6, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Greg

    So the Republicans don't like the deal they made on the budget. Why am I not surprised.

    June 6, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. g

    how far do the republicans want to go with there wars–to the big one ww three

    June 6, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Debbie

    Pawlenty from a state that the whole population is smaller than many major cities in the US a potential VP. No foreign policy experience, minimal domestic experience, and I question his experience on major trade. As far as Romney and foreign policy it is a question of wanting to return to GWBush Doctrin (pre-emptive war strike) or stick with Obama Doctrin. As far as jobs or the economy neither Obama or Romney can really do much. It's up to Congress and Business. So far both Congress and Business are failures IMO.

    June 6, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. From MN

    Pawlenty was a horrible gov.!

    June 6, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. rs

    Aw come on. Mr. Romney wants wars for pitty sake. Just like the last businessman President. These guys this if its good for Halliburton its good for America. They lose site of the people who die. It is an especially cruel position, especially for that "furlough" generation of chickenhawk members of the GOP.

    June 6, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. MTATL67

    That is a laugh. Is he stronger convincing folks to "Self-Deport" or keeping us safe from our "Geographical Enemies"

    June 6, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |

    "Pawlenty: On foreign policy, Romney would be stronger than Obama"
    This statement begs the question, "Have you been paying attention?"
    Obama has been great on foreign policy
    Bin Laden = DEAD
    Gadaffi = DEAD
    Pirates = DEAD

    June 6, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. perplexed

    Romney? The guy who thinks we're still in a cold war with Russia? The only thing he knows about outside of the US is where to stash money.

    June 6, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. dnick47

    Get serious! Romney is living in yesteryear folowing the Cold War foriegn policy of Regean. Make no mistake about it a Romney Administration will lead us into a major war within the year of taking office.

    June 6, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. American

    T.Paw cannot be serious. Romney has shown no courage against Nugent, Limbaugh, his base when they forced out Grenell, etc.

    By contrast, President Obama has shown real strength & intelligence on foreign policy while even taking unpopular stands with his base. That's true leadership for (all) Americans.

    June 6, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Yonni

    If Mittens was tough he would have been tough during Vietnam and serve his country in that trying time but he chose to be soft and cozy in France. By the way if he cannot wear a uniform and serve his country because of his religion how can he send his countrymen to fight a war that was impossible to him? According to his bravado and audacious rhetoric war seems necessary during his presidency, does his religion allow him to declare war and send men and women to fight? I think it is a legitimate question to ask along with his years in Paris, 10 years as a Mormon Bishop, his years at Bain Capital, and four years as a governor and a decayed experience running for office but everything seems off limit according to him and his campaign and his surrogates.

    June 6, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    sorry but i don't think that attacking Iran and/or Syria as Romney would like to do would make him stronger on foriegn policy.

    June 6, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  24. charlie avila

    I only know that if obama is reelected, the united states and americans will be turned into a 3rd world country. Obama's administration agenda is "evil" to americans and the united states. Obama is a liar and unfortunatelly the new young voters generation and latino immigrants believes his lies!...botton line... Obama and liberal democrats should be pulled out of the american government. They favors ilegitimazy, like gays, lesbians and trans sexual marriages. They want to destroy families and endanger the"in god we trust" values!!....four more years for obama will be the end of the united states....

    June 6, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. AmericanPeasant

    Obama is a master of foreign policy, it is very unwise for the GOP to try to suggest that Mitt would be better. Attacking your opponents strong point will just make more people aware of their strengths.

    Obama's weak point is economy and civil liberties. Unfortunately the GOP decided to shoot themselves in the foot by nominating Mitt who has all the exact same weak stances as Obama on the domestic front (NDAA, Mandate on Life, huge spending, poor job creation.) Mitt doesn't even have foreign policy experience or good foreign policy stances.

    Seriously, how the heck did the GOP pick Mitt #47 job creator and the architect of Mandate on Life over John Huntsman #1 job creator, reformer of healthcare without mandates, and ample foreign policy experience? Even Ron Paul would have been a better choice than Mitt.

    June 6, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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