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Entries in Tim Pawlenty (93)

Thursday
May172012

Tim Pawlenty Now Mum on VP Prospects

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty slightly changed his tune on his vice presidential prospects Thursday when he didn’t rule out the possibility that he might get picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Just days before, he had told reporters to take him off the list.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Pawlenty, a former presidential candidate himself, said anyone who is asked to be Romney’s running mate would be “honored to serve if asked.”

“Well I’m going to do whatever I can to help Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama, because I think the future of the country is at stake and I think Mitt Romney is going to be a fantastic president for our country. I’ll do whatever I can do to help him,” Pawlenty said. “He’s going to have a lot of great people to pick from.  Obviously, anyone would be honored to served if asked, I’ve just been telling people, look, I think I can help in other ways but obviously anybody would be honored to serve if asked.”

But just earlier this week, during an event at the University of Minnesota, Pawlenty had a direct message for all those speculating about whether his name will appear on the GOP ticket: “Remove my name from the list.”

Asked if the campaign has asked him to turn over documents to undergo vetting, Pawlenty, who serves as the national co-chair of Romney’s campaign, remained mum, refusing to talk about the “process.”

“Well, the Romney campaign has a policy -- and I’m a national co-chair of the campaign -- that we don’t talk about the vice presidential policy in terms of timing, whether it relates to me or anyone else or the aspects of that,” Pawlenty said. "That’s just the campaign’s policy.  We don’t discuss the details of that process.”

Pawlenty joins another VP contender -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- in adopting the tight-lipped approach.  After the Florida senator slipped up and referred to himself as a vice president instead of a senator, Rubio decided to stop commenting on the vice presidential selection process.

Pawlenty endorsed Romney shortly after giving up his own candidacy last year.  After a poor showing in the Ames, Iowa, Straw Poll in August, he became a lead surrogate for Romney, most prominently in his home state of Minnesota.  Romney lost Minnesota to former Sen. Rick Santorum, an embarrassment for Pawlenty.

Pawlenty underwent the vetting process four years ago when John McCain considered selecting him as a running mate before deciding to go with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr112012

Tim Pawlenty Retires Campaign Debt

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With some help, Tim Pawlenty is out of debt.

The former Minnesota governor officially closed his 2012 presidential campaign Tuesday, nearly eight months after dropping out of the race in August. Pawlenty reported his campaign being almost $454,000 in debt a month and a half after his exit, with about $20,000 in the bank.

Pawlenty has now paid it off, with the assistance of Mitt Romney’s supporters, fellow Republican politicians and his own former staffers.

Pawlenty exited the race Aug. 14, and endorsed Romney Sept. 12.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep122011

Tim Pawlenty Endorses Mitt Romney

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- One month ago, Tim Pawlenty was on a stage in Iowa debating against Mitt Romney, but now, the former Minnesota governor -- no longer in the presidential race -- has become a national co-chair for Romney’s campaign.

“Mitt Romney is fighting for the same things I fought for as governor and during my campaign for president,” Pawlenty said Monday.  “As a former blue state governor, I appreciate what Mitt was able to do in Massachusetts.  He created jobs and balanced his budgets without raising taxes -- even with an over 80 percent Democrat legislature.  That ability to get things done is what we need in our nominee.”

“In addition,” Pawlenty continued, “he has a background which is unmatched -- his understanding of the private sector proves he knows how jobs are created which will be critical in turning our economy around.  I am proud to endorse his candidacy for president of the United States.”

Pawlenty and his wife flew to New Hampshire and spent the day -- and overnight -- at the Romney’s Wolfboro lake house in early September, according to a Romney aide.  Romney asked for the endorsement then, and a few days later, Pawlenty agreed based on his view that Romney was the best candidate to lead on the economy.

Pawlenty, once seen as one of the GOP candidates most likely to emerge as the top rival to Romney, never managed to gain any traction in the race for the nomination.  He campaigned heavily in Iowa, going all-in on a strong performance in the straw poll in Ames last month.  But a dismal third-place finish -- far behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul -- left him with no hope of continuing in the Republican race.  He ended his campaign the following morning.

Now Pawlenty’s old rival, Romney, is his new boss.

“It is an honor to have Go. Pawlenty’s support,” Romney said.  “Tim will be a trusted adviser as I move forward with my campaign.  Tim has always been an advocate for lower taxes, reduced spending, and an environment where jobs can be created.  It is an honor to have him serve as Co-Chair to my campaign for the presidency.”

The move comes at a time when Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as “the Romney alternative,” surging ahead of the former Massachusetts governor in recent polls.  Perry, Romney, Bachmann, Paul and the other Republican candidates will gather Monday night in Tampa, Fla., for a debate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug152011

Jon Huntsman Gains Pawlenty’s Top New Hampshire Staffer

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tim Pawlenty announced Sunday on ABC’s This Week that he would end his campaign for president. On Monday, his New Hampshire campaign director, Sarah Crawford Stewart,  re-emerged as a senior consultant for candidate Jon Huntsman.

Stewart tells New Hampshire’s Union Leader, "Gov. Huntsman is committed to winning the New Hampshire primary, and I look forward to helping him and his team do just that.”   

Stewart, who was the deputy campaign manager for John McCain’s successful 2008 primary campaign, joins chief strategist John Weaver, campaign director Matt David and spokesperson Tim Miller as yet another former McCain staffer to join Team Huntsman. While she plans to serve as a consultant for the long haul, she is not technically a member of Huntsman’s staff.

Huntsman’s campaign tells ABC News, "Sarah is a true asset and we are happy that she has embraced Gov. Huntsman's campaign."

"I viewed Gov. Huntsman as somebody with exceptional governing experience,” Stewart said. "I viewed him as someone who would be the strongest competitor against President Obama in a general election."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug152011

Rick Perry, Iowa Straw Poll Turn GOP Field Upside Down

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- It was a dramatic reset to the Republican race for president this weekend with a big victory for one candidate, the exit of another and the entrance of a third.

Making the rounds on the morning talk shows Sunday, Michele Bachmann took a victory lap in Iowa Sunday morning after winning the Ames Straw Poll, but the political fight for Iowa's attention has just begun.

"Obama is my strategy," Bachmann said on ABC's This Week.  "I intend to be the nominee of the Republican Party and to take him on and to defeat him in 2012."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced on Sunday that he is dropping out of the presidential contest after a disappointing third-place finish in the straw poll.

"We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward," Pawlenty said Sunday morning in an exclusive interview on This Week.  "That didn't happen, so I'm announcing this morning on your show that I'm going to be ending my campaign for president."

Perhaps the bigger game changer in the Republican presidential field happened 1,200 miles away from Iowa with Texas Gov. Rick Perry announcing his candidacy at a Republican gathering in South Carolina on Saturday.

"It is time to get America working again, and that's why with the support of my family and unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today as a candidate for president of the United States," Perry said.

Perry, who will now challenge Bachmann for the social and Christian conservative vote, made his first appearance as a presidential candidate in Iowa Sunday night.

While Iowa has been full of Republican presidential hopefuls in recent days and weeks, it's about to get more crowded yet with President Obama hitting the campaign trail Monday.

Coming off a week of downgrades and stock market uncertainty, President Obama is preparing to push back against the Republican candidates who have been picking apart his economic record by kicking off a three-day bus tour Monday.

The president's bus tour begins Monday in Minnesota and then will move through Iowa.  At the same time the president will criss-cross Iowa in his bus, Perry will be cruising the Iowa interstates in his own bus tour.

As Perry seeks to gain the approval of Iowans after bypassing the straw poll, Obama will work to re-connect with voters and refocus his message.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug142011

Pawlenty Drops Out of Presidential Race After Straw Poll 

Scott Olson/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the Republican presidential contest, after a disappointing third place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll Saturday.

“We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,” Pawlenty said Sunday morning in an exclusive interview with ABC's This Week. "That didn’t happen, so I’m announcing this morning on your show that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president.”

Pawlenty finished with 2,293 votes, giving him 14 percent of the total ballots cast—more than 2,500 votes behind winner Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who finished with 28 percent of the vote, and runner-up Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who was close behind with 27 percent.

The former Minnesota governor was reportedly planning to spend a total of around $1.5 million on his Iowa campaign from his launch in late May through mid-August.

Despite better resources and organization in Iowa, Pawlenty was only able to beat fourth-place finisher Rick Santorum by just over 600 votes.

Pawlenty sent out an email to supporters last night titled, “Just the Beginning” congratulating Bachmann on the straw poll win, but vowing to continue his campaign.

“As I've said all along, we needed to show progress to do well, and we did just that. This is a long process to restore America—we are just beginning, and I'm eager for the campaign,” the email to supporters read.

But the weak showing at the Iowa Straw Poll proved to be too large a blow for the campaign to continue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug122011

Ames Straw Poll: A Test of Strength or Much Ado About Nothing?

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- A petting zoo, barbecue, pizza, Randy Travis and Dairy Queen blizzards.  It might sound like a party, but the festivities this Saturday in the college town of Ames in north-central Iowa are all about control of the party -- the Republican Party.

If the Masters golf tournament is a tradition unlike any other, then the Ames straw poll is an event unlike any other.  Thursday night brought the second major debate of the Republican presidential contest.  And on Saturday, presidential candidates will try to lure supporters from all over Iowa to come to Ames on a weekend in early August to cast a vote for them in an event that some see as a crucial test of political strength, but others dismiss as much ado about nothing.

Beauty, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder, and this year, with the fight for the GOP presidential nomination heating up -- especially after the debate in Ames -- three candidates appear to stand out.

Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, comes to Ames as the Republican frontrunner.  She has surged up the polls in recent months, bolstered by a passionate group of supporters.  She has overcome controversy over her migraines and an unflattering -- and some say unfair -- cover on the latest issue of Newsweek.  Through it all, she has drawn massive crowds across the Hawkeye State, at times seeming more like a rock star than a politician.

Tim Pawlenty, another Minnesota native who served two terms as governor of that state, comes to Ames as the underdog.  Despite a finely tuned campaign organization, his poll numbers have been dismal.  Rather than trying to excite voters with Bachmann's fiery rallies and hyped-up style, Pawlenty has opted for a more subdued, measured approach, attempting to win their support by calmly emphasizing his experience and steady demeanor.

Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas, comes to Ames as the outsider.  While in the past the longtime lawmaker has been dismissed as a libertarian who has gained fervent supporters but little mainstream traction, he hopes to see a boost this weekend, thanks to his predictions on the economy.  In 2007, he finished fifth in Ames, but this time around, with the economy still reeling from recession, voters may be swayed by the fact that Paul predicted economic troubles four years ago.

The thing is, warn the pundits, victory in Ames is as much about the strength of one's organization -- transporting people to the event from all over the state on a weekend summer day so they will vote for you -- as it is about the strength of one's support.

"While I think poll numbers have been driven by media appearances and hype surrounding certain campaigns and candidates, this is an organizational test, so can you actually get the people who like you and respond to your message to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Ames and cast a vote for you?" said Craig Robinson of The Iowa Republican.

That is why, Robinson believes, an upset could be brewing on Saturday.

"Bachmann has a lot of passionate supporters, but the one thing her campaign doesn't have is that strong grass-roots organization that can actually mobilize people to Ames," he said.  "So on the one hand you have Bachmann who has very passionate supporters and on the other hand you have a Pawlenty organization or even a Paul organization that's been working to turn out voters for this event for months now."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug112011

Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty Take Gloves Off at Iowa Debate

Comstock/Thinkstock(AMES, Iowa) -- The fierce battle between Republican presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann that has been waged at separate campaign stops across Iowa this week came to a head on Thursday when the two met for the first time on a debate stage here.

Though they joined six of their fellow rivals, including frontrunner Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who made his debate debut, the sparring between the two Minnesotans was so intense that, at times, it seemed like the two-hour exchange was a one-on-one between them.

Bachmann and Pawlenty, who are both competing in Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll, a crucial test of organizational support, have the most at stake in this state. And they wasted little time in attacking each other in an effort to gain the upper hand heading into this weekend.

Pawlenty did not back off the frequent criticism of Bachmann he deploys in his campaign stump speeches, saying that she does not have enough executive experience to be president and no record of accomplishment in Congress.

For her part, Bachmann said that Pawlenty’s record as governor of Minnesota “sounds a lot more like Barack Obama, if you ask me.”

At one point, she turned toward Pawlenty, accusing him on implementing a cap-and-trade energy policy, a government-mandated health insurance plan and of falling short of his promise to shrink the size of government. Pawlenty shook his head as she spoke.

“I’m really surprised that Congresswoman Bachmann would say those things,” he fired back. “She has a record of misstating and making false statements.”

Turning Bachmann’s frequently-used line -- that she has a “titanium spine” -- against her, Pawlenty said, “It’s not her spine we’re worried about. It’s her record of results.”

In defending her vote for a Pawlenty-backed cigarette tax hike, Bachmann argued that the then-governor “cut a deal with special interest groups” that threatened pro-life policies.

When the candidates weren’t arguing with each other, President Obama remained public enemy number one for the contenders for the GOP nomination. They offered almost universal criticism for the debt ceiling deal he signed into law earlier this month.

"I'm not going to eat Barack Obama's dog food," Romney said, referring to the debt agreement, which raises the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. "What he served up is not what I would have as president of the United States."

The candidates gathered in Ames on the same day that advisers for soon-to-be presidential candidate Rick Perry confirmed that the Texas governor would officially enter the presidential race this weekend.

“I’m very pleased that he’s coming in because he represents the status quo,” a fellow Texan, Rep. Ron Paul, said. Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain dismissed Perry as “just one more politician.”  Huntsman said that Perry “broadens and expands this conversation about job creation.”

It wasn’t just Bachmann and Pawlenty who clashed. Rep. Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum got into a lengthy back and forth regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, with Paul arguing that Iran doesn’t pose a threat to America’s safety.

“Iran is not Iceland, Ron,” Santorum chided. “Anyone who suggests Iran is not a threat to the Middle East is not seeing the world very clearly.”

Left out of the back and forth -- and barely visible during the two-hour debate -- were the two candidates who aren’t competing in Saturday’s balloting: Romney and Huntsman. Despite Romney's standing as the national frontrunner, the other seven candidates on stage essentially avoided taking any shots at the former Massachusetts governor.  

Pawlenty tried to take an early shot at Romney’s wealth that fell flat. Given an opportunity for a do-over in his demur on “Romneycare” in June’s New Hampshire debate, Pawlenty was more pointed, but not particularly effective in his attacks on Romney’s health care record.

However, in the hours before the debate, Democrats attacked Romney for saying earlier in the day that “corporations are people.” Romney’s statement came in response to a hostile questioner who challenged his position on corporate tax rates during a speaking appearance at the Iowa State Fair.

"Corporations are people, my friend," Romney told the heckler. "Of course they are -- everything that corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

In fact, Democrats wanted to ensure that Romney didn’t get away with avoiding criticism. Of the seven “Rapid Response” emails sent out by the DNC during the debate, five specifically mentioned Romney.

Perhaps trying to limit the damage of his statement, in a response to a question about the economy, Romney noted that “capitalism is about people, not just capital.”

Even so, he repeated his call to bring corporate tax rates in line with other countries.

“If you spend your life in the private sector and you understand how jobs come and how they go,” Romney said, “you understand that what President Obama has done is the exact opposite of what needs to be done.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug102011

Pawlenty on Obama: 'Stick a Fork in Him, He's About Done Politically'

Scott Olson/Getty Images(HUMBOLDT, Iowa) -- Both Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty appeared Tuesday evening at the Humboldt County Republicans' picnic just a few hours northwest of Des Moines, Iowa, and, just after Bachmann had fired up a large raucous crowd outside, Pawlenty gave a more subdued speech indoors, but one that included some stinging shots directed at President Obama.

"Look, you can almost stick a fork in him.  I think he's about done politically," Pawlenty said.  "His numbers nationally are bad.  You look at his numbers in the swing states that are going to really decide the election like Iowa and among independents, his numbers are awful."

The former Minnesota governor didn't stop there either, reprising one of his favorite comparisons for the president by likening him to "a manure spreader in a windstorm."

"On the economy he comes out yesterday and gives a speech.  The stock market is down something like 300 points.  He speaks and it goes down 300 more.  He comes out to assure the country and give confidence to the country.  There's no confidence in what he has to do," Pawlenty said.  "This guy is like a manure spreader in a windstorm.  And he's throwing it around in every direction, it doesn't smell good, he's got no focus, and it's not going in the right direction."

For her part, Bachmann spent about an hour rallying the crowd outside in the evening sun.  After the event, she autographed a sign, "Let's make Obama a one-term president.  I'll get 'er done!"

For what it's worth, the difference between the two Minnesota Republicans is not only evident in the tone of their speeches, but also in their entrances and exits as they tour Iowa.

Bachmann pulled up to the event in a massive blue bus that parked directly behind the stage, flanked by a tent on one side and a truck on the other, both emblazoned with her banners -- all part of a carefully orchestrated arrival that also included blaring music.  When she left, she paused on the steps of the bus, turned around and waved to the crowd, urging them to come to the Ames straw poll on her behalf.

Pawlenty, meanwhile, rides around in a non-descript white RV, walking into the back of the picnic room with little fanfare to await his introduction and quietly exiting the event to head off towards his next stop down the road in Fort Dodge.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

Pawlenty: Stock Market Woes 'Another Wake-Up Call' for Obama

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(JOHNSTON, Iowa) -- Only hours after the closing bell rang on Wall Street to bring to an end one of the worst days in the history of the stock market, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty pointed the finger of blame squarely at President Obama, saying it should serve as "another wake-up call."‬

"It's another wake-up call to a president who seems just so out of touch and inept and really doesn't have a plan to fix the economy.  I do," Pawlenty told ABC News in a brief interview after his event Monday afternoon at a cafe in Johnston, Iowa.  "We've got to cut taxes, we've got to lighten up on the regulations, we've got to do things to encourage job growth in this country, not have it suffocated by overreaching, burdensome government."

"Look, this problem has been brewing for a lot of years and a lot of decades, but he made it exponentially worse," Pawlenty added.‬

The former Minnesota governor spoke minutes after wrapping up a campaign event in front of a packed house at Rich's Brew, a cafe on the outskirts of Des Moines.‬

"The Standard & Poor's downgrade that occurred at the end of last week is another symptom, another indicator of how far off track our nation has become under President Obama's failed and misguided leadership.  I think it's time we downgrade Barack Obama from the presidency of the United States and move him back to the private sector," Pawlenty told the crowd at the event.‬

Towards the end of Pawlenty's remarks, a Johnston resident named Randy Forte interrupted him to urge him to "give them hell" at Thursday's GOP debate in Ames.  Pawlenty's performance at the last debate in New Hampshire was widely criticized, marked by his failure to take on frontrunner Mitt Romney despite coining the term "ObamneyCare" the day earlier.‬

"This is the time for all of us to put our shoulders back and roll up our sleeves and get it done, so we need you," Pawlenty said to the crowd.  "If good people do nothing then the goofballs take over. "‬

"You've got to give them hell Thursday," Forte yelled from the back of the room.  "You've got to get up there and give them hell."‬

"We will," replied Pawlenty.  "But Ames on Saturday is where you can really give some additional help to our campaign."‬

Forte later told ABC News that he wanted Pawlenty to drop some of his "Midwestern nice" attitude and get people "stirred up."‬

"He's a Midwesterner.  He's a kind and decent guy and very polite.  He'll let other people get things stirred up," Forte explained.  "What he's got to do is he's got to do some of that stirring.  He's got to let go of some of that Midwestern-ness and go after the people, the folks on the dais with him, but in particular go after Obama."‬

All the same, Forte said he intends to vote for Pawlenty in Saturday's straw poll.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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