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. Thomas

    Since when is Tim Pawlenty an expert on foreign policy ?

    Romney is GW Bush.

    June 6, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. CBR

    Wow. Governor Pawlenty must really want the VP slot.

    June 6, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. anthony78

    "His drone strikes and killing of Osama Bin Laden obviously are positives, but they don't go far enough"

    Sounds like the drums of war to me. What's next, Iran? China? Russia? Libya?
    These guys never change do they?

    Vote Republican if you want your child to be drafted and sent over seas to die in yet another ill-fated war while Romney's 5 sons all go sailing in the south of France.

    Vote Republican if you want to give the rich even more tax breaks to create jobs which then get sent over seas.

    June 6, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I'll believe all these Republican clowns on foreign policy when they are willing to pick up their guns on the front lines with their kids and lead the charge. Until then the tough talking chicken hawks need to shut up and stop send other people's kids to die just so they can make more money.

    June 6, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Blindersoff

    Weak and spineless Pawlenty. They are all alike, Romney and the lot of them. "Chicken Hawks . . . America's top losers.

    June 6, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. ED FL

    This country should never be in any situation where someone like Pawlenty is competent enough to EVER give anyone advice about politics. He is,was aloser and will always be a loser.

    June 6, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. CanadaONE

    An intenational survey of democratic countries indicated that Obama would be stronger internationally while Romoney would put the USA in danger – as an example IRAN is supporting Romoney and two companies owned by Iran have made donations to the GOP

    As we know they have nuke wepons – be CAREFUL AMERICA – november could
    mark the END –

    June 6, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Jules

    What Pawlenty is saying here is that Romney would be more likly to get us in a boots on the ground war than the President and that I agree with him on that. President Obama has conducted foreign policy with force and intelligence instead of just charging in and leveling other countries that we then have to pay to rebuild. Of course, Romney would follow the Bush path and reduce taxes while going to war and guess what? We're right back where we were when President Obama took the reins ecept we will be deeper in debt. I'll take another 4 years, please.

    June 6, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    Remember when the measure of a President's foreign policy was, "well, he kept us safe", even though those words referenced George W. Bush (and even though 9/11 happened on his watch)? So by that standard, President Obama far exceeds the success of foreign policy compared to his predecessor. We won't even bother bringing up the fact that the current president took out Bin Laden, Ghadafi, and 23 of the senior Al Queda leaders. Is this really a topic the GOP wants to pursue? Save yourselves the embarrassment.

    June 6, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Donkey Party

    Face it GOP, YOU are the party that is weak on foreign policy, and no amount of lies and spin can disprove that FACT.

    June 6, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Tony in Maine

    Were it not for lies, Republicans would stand mute.

    The above goes without saying, but Pawlenty's latest whine is pure desperation. He should be ashamed of himself.

    June 6, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Squealy

    How on earth could a guy with absolutely no backbone to hold a consistent opinion on ANYTHING possibly be stronger on foreign policy than Barack "Bang, you're dead, Osama!" Obama?

    June 6, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Jack V

    Romney lets his agenda get set by nit wit entertainers. How will he be able to stand up to the characters that are evil & have no fear?

    June 6, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. carly

    If Pawlenty means that Romney will get us into a war with Iran he is probably right. Romney is a complete fool when it comes to foreign policy. He probably know less than a 5th grader.

    June 6, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Pander Bear

    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.

    Yeah, and leaking Valerie Plame's name was no big deal according to most of the right wing. You are out of your element and out of your mind TPaw.

    June 6, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. Indy

    "Romney would be stronger then Obama on foreign policy" is just a flat out 100% lie, there is no proof to back that statement up and there is nothing in Romneys career to back that statement up, it's just a lie. Romneys trip to France for his Church did not require him to make life and death situations and just because Mitts wants to start wars with other countries does not make him an expert on foreign policy, and yes Obama did not have experience but he sure has kicked but every step of the way since becoming President, so there is no way to compare how Romney would do on foreign policy matters verses the current President.

    June 6, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Bill form GA

    T-Paw showing why he was eliminated so early.

    Not a clue in the World.

    June 6, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Bill form GA

    And did mitts tell T-Paw how he plans to pay for the unlimited military spending??

    We would sure like to know.

    June 6, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    The only place Willard might be "stronger" than the president is his arm pits. Other than that, Willard is a lying coward who would hide behind a small child to protect himself from a stray bullet. The worst decision this country could make in the next 100 years is to elect this daddy's boy to the position of president. No one, including his wife knows where he stands day to day on any subject. I, for one, will not be giving him the keys to the White House to unleash his frustration against all minorities and those who voted against him. Please people give Willard a closer look and see if you don't agree he is NOT the right person for the job.

    June 6, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. fullclarity

    This is rubbish, Tim, and you should know better. Mitt has no international experience, least of all in diplomatic matters or military matters.

    June 6, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Slightly Left of Center

    And what would PawPaw know about foreign policy?

    June 6, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    How does Pawlenty get the idea that Romney would be any better? Is it because he has advisers that haven't left the cold war? He has no foreign policy experience to speak of other than listening to ideologues.

    June 6, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. mk1

    As for foreign policy, all Republicans scare me to death. It always seems their first inclination is to shoot first, then think. They have this male deficiency it seems that they need to show how tough they are by sending other people into harms way, as most Republicans have no one in their families in the military and to them it is easy to send others to fight for you, just ask Romney's five healthy sons who have never served nor will they. As a vet myself with a currently active duty son, Republicans as I said scare me to death.

    June 6, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  24. Liz the First

    Just what we need, another president who never met a war he didn't like but never served, nor did any of his sons. another chickenhawk! Obama is showing what strength mixed with restraint and common sense can do. al Qaida just lost another leader and is on its knees. Bush's buddy, bin Laden is dead. we don't need another 'shoot first, ask questions later' president to drain this country's resources in another unnecessary war. for folks who call themselves 'pro-life,' the repubs have no regard for the lives of our fighting men they blythely send out to fight at the drop of a hat. the military and vets need to support Obama. he actually cares about the troops enough to keep them out of harm's way until it's absolutely necessary to send them to defend our country from real threats. and he cares enough to see them taken care of when they get home.repugs give lip service to supporting the troops, but where are they when it comes to passing programs to get them better health care and jobs???

    June 6, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Amazing

    Think this guy is wants the VP slot! i would think the one area the GOP would stay away from is forign policy. But, when you arrogant, you make stupid comments!

    June 6, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
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