Entries in Tim Pawlenty (93)


Tim Pawlenty: Mine Is ‘Not A Shooting Star Campaign’

Scott Olson/Getty Images(URBANDALE, Iowa) -- Less than a week before he competes in one of the early tests of his viability as a presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty suggested that he’s a long-haul campaigner who is treating Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll as “an important measure” but “not the final measure” of his campaign’s success.

“From our standpoint, the ultimate goal here is the caucuses next January or February,” Pawlenty said on Monday. “And the Ames Straw Poll is a benchmark along the way to that journey.”

In recent days, Pawlenty has been careful to cite his sixth place finish in a Des Moines Register poll of the GOP primary field in June as a way of setting expectations for the Ames contest.

“Our goal is to try to move up substantially from there,” he said. “We haven’t put a number on what that means in terms of first second, third. Our goal, generally, is to show some good progress from towards the back of the pack to toward the front of the pack.”

Over breakfast with a small group of reporters at the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale on Monday morning, Pawlenty noted how seriously he was taking the straw poll (“We didn’t get sucked in, we dove in”) but downplayed it too -- it’s “just one measure,” he emphasized.

As he cut into an enormous cinnamon roll, Pawlenty drew a contrast with Donald Trump, who he pointed out “was going to be the next big thing,” but fizzled out after he passed on a presidential bid as well as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to enter the race.

“That’ll be all the buzz for a while,” he said of a Perry candidacy. “Over time these things settle.”

“My campaign is not a shooting star campaign,” Pawlenty said, adding later: “I’m not doing this to get a cable TV show or some sort of gig down the road. I’m doing it because the country’s in trouble, and we need real leadership to solve the real problems and that’s what I offer.”

Pawlenty’s campaign has been heavily focused on Iowa, where he has spent considerable time and resources for months, running television and radio ads and sending direct mail to voters. The former Minnesota governor has a busy schedule of appearances across the state this week as he tries to differentiate himself, in particular, from Rep. Michele Bachmann who has catapulted ahead of him in national polls.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty's National Policy Chairman Leaves Campaign

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Al Hubbard, a former director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush, has left Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign.

Hubbard in June was named chairman of Pawlenty’s policy efforts, but Wednesday the campaign said he was no longer serving in that position. Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said Hubbard “became busy with work and is not operating in the policy role.”

“We’re grateful he gave us the maximum contribution,” Conant said.

On June 10 Hubbard was introduced as Pawlenty’s national policy chairman. In the announcement that day, Hubbard said that “Pawlenty’s positive vision for America is exactly what our nation needs to get back on the right track… he is the right man to lead us toward a brighter future.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Campaign Denies Trying to Manipulate Ames Poll MOINES, Iowa) -- Tim Pawlenty’s campaign is pushing back at reports that it's getting help from outside groups at the upcoming Ames Straw Poll.

Craig Robinson at the Iowa Republican reported Tuesday that four Pawlenty consultants in Iowa are working for outside interest groups. The paper claims three of them, Chuck Larson Jr., Karen Slifka, and Ed Failor Jr., reportedly work for the America Petroleum Institute’s Iowa Energy Forum. A fourth, Nicole Schlinger, works for Strong America Now, a debt reduction effort, the paper alleges.

The overlap between the Pawlenty campaign and the outside groups is even evident in one of the former Minnesota governor’s campaign ads. Pawlenty’s ad “The Only Candidate” shows two girls wearing Iowa Energy Forum shirts.

Both the Iowa Energy Forum and Strong America Now are offering free tickets and transportation to the Aug. 13 straw poll, something that could potentially provide a big boost to Pawlenty: if the campaign can tell supporters to hitch a ride to Ames with one of the outside groups, then they can focus their efforts elsewhere.

A top Republican operative in Iowa told ABC News earlier today that such an arrangement would be “a big deal” for Pawlenty, who has a lot riding on Ames -- he is reportedly shelling out around $1 million of the $1.4 million cash on hand he held at the start of the current quarter in an effort to secure a strong showing in the key poll.

Tuesday, the Pawlenty campaign responded. Alex Conant, a spokesman for Pawlenty, said, “The Bachmann campaign’s accusation is malicious and, like so much of what she says, simply not true.”

In addition, a source with the Iowa State Republican Central Committee told ABC News that “there’s nothing illegal, nothing unethical, no coordination there -- to even insinuate that someone is trying to manipulate the straw poll is bogus.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Michele Bachmann Unloads on Tim Pawlenty

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tim Pawlenty has been hitting out at Rep. Michele Bachmann for weeks, denouncing her record in Congress as "non-existent" and, when asked about her migraines, warning that a president has "got to be able to do the job every day, all the time."

Bachmann never returned fire -- until now.

With the Ames, Iowa, straw poll fast approaching, Bachmann unloaded on her fellow Minnesotan Pawlenty on Sunday, likening him to Barack Obama, ripping his record as Minnesota governor, and calling him a "career politician."

"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 in a statement. "Actions speak louder than words. When I was fighting against the unconstitutional individual mandate in healthcare, Governor Pawlenty was praising it. I have fought against irresponsible spending while Governor Pawlenty was leaving a multi-billion-dollar budget mess in Minnesota. I fought cap-and-trade. Governor Pawlenty backed cap-and-trade when he was Governor of Minnesota and put Minnesota into the multi-state Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. While Governor Pawlenty was praising TARP -- the $700 billion bailout in 2008 -- I worked tirelessly against it and voted against it. I have demonstrated leadership and the courage of my convictions to change Washington, stop wasteful spending, lower taxes, put Americans back to work and turn our economy around."

After outlining her accomplishments in Congress, Bachmann concluded, "Real world actions speak louder than the words of career politicians."

The Pawlenty campaign was clearly pleased that Bachmann had taken the bait. Pawlenty's campaign manager Nick Ayers tweeted, "Glad an opponent engaged today. Even better...she used a bunch of weak/incorrect oppo research. back in IA to address tomrrw."

And Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said, "Congresswoman Bachmann has her facts wrong. The truth is that there is very little difference between Governor Pawlenty and Congresswoman Bachmann on their issue positions. 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.  In order to beat Barack Obama, Republicans need someone who can unite conservatives with a proven track record of winning conservative results and tough elections -- that's Governor Pawlenty. The Governor looks forward to discussing these issues eye-to-eye with voters in town halls across Iowa next week."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Runs into Trouble with 'Miracle on Ice' Footage in TV Ad

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In his new TV ad "The American Comeback," Tim Pawlenty hoped to position himself as a tenacious underdog by using footage of the famous U.S. hockey victory in the "Miracle on Ice," but so far he's only run into problems.

ABC, which owns the footage, reportedly will send the Pawlenty campaign a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that they stop using the footage.

Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant says in a statement: "All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign's lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions.  The campaign's "Miracle on Ice" advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the "fair use" doctrine.  We respect ABC's concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry."

According to a statement issued by ESPN: "Neither ABC nor ESPN has asked the Pawlenty campaign to remove any footage from their video, although neither ABC nor ESPN licensed the video to them or authorized its use."

In addition, Pawlenty's ad features the U.S. team's captain Mike Eruzione.  Eruzione, though, doesn't support Pawlenty -- he supports Mitt Romney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Migraine Politics: Bachmann Releases Dr. Note

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty descended on Iowa Wednesday, both faced questions about whether or not Bachmann's migraines would impede her from doing the job of president.

Meanwhile, Bachmann issued a letter from the Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress arguing that Bachmann's migraines occur "infrequently and have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid."

The letter, from the Dr. Brian Monahan, the top doctor for Congress, is addressed to Bachmann and reads:

"When you do have a migraine, you are able to control it well with as-needed sumatriptan and odanestron. It has not been necessary for you to take daily scheduled medications to manage this condition."

Monahan further clarifies that Bachmann has "not needed medical attention" from his office regarding her migraines "with the use of the above mentioned commonly used therapies."

Bachmann's migraines became a issue again on the campaign trail after Pawlenty's event at a sports bar in Indianola, Iowa Wednesday afternoon, when the former Minnesota governor warned that every candidate will have to prove they can do "all of the job, all of the time."

"I don't know enough about her particular medical situation to comment. I just don't have enough facts on me. I certainly would defer to the judgment of the medical professionals, but setting that aside all of the candidates, I think, are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job all of the time," Pawlenty told reporters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Presidential Candidates Keep Top Fundraisers Secret

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- None of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates will reveal the identities of their top campaign fundraisers, breaking from a precedent of transparency set by President George W. Bush and continued by 2008 GOP candidate John McCain and President Barack Obama.

In statements to ABC News, spokesmen for each campaign confirmed they would keep the names of their so-called “bundlers” secret -- or, in the case of Ron Paul, admitted “we don’t really have any.”

Bundlers are wealthy and well-connected individuals who give the maximum legal contribution to a campaign -- $2,500 for the primary -- and then get their friends and associates to do the same.  The donations are “bundled” together, often totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

Candidates are not required by federal law to report or publicly release the names of these fundraisers or their amounts bundled, but since the 2000 presidential campaign, many candidates have voluntarily disclosed some of that information.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who disclosed all the names of his bundlers during the 2008 primary campaign, will only now reveal the identities of five registered lobbyist-bundlers who helped him net $18 million in the second quarter.

“We disclose all of the information about our donors as required by law, and anyone who is interested can review it publicly,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has also opted to keep details of his top financing team secret.

“We are following the Federal Election Commission's disclosure laws to the fullest extent,” said spokesman Alex Conant.

Pawlenty reported raising $4.4 million between April and June.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both also declined through spokesmen to release information on their bundlers.  The campaigns of Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum -- all which have not revealed their bundlers -- didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

Last week, President Obama voluntarily revealed the identities and contribution ranges for 244 bundlers who have brought in at least $35 million for his reelection campaign.  The list includes well-connected and wealthy elites, including Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


All Eyes on Ames: Straw Poll Is First Major Test of 2012 Cycle

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- At the state fair in Des Moines, Iowa in August, they will judge the livestock like they do every year.  But down the road in Ames, there will be a more rarified competition that happens only every four years, as conservatives brave the hot summer to judge the stock of Republican presidential candidates.

The Ames Straw Poll, which has become a rite of passage for candidates when there is no incumbent Republican in the White House, signals the start of a furious six-month march towards the Iowa caucuses next winter.  It is a chance to separate contenders from pretenders.

This year, the straw poll promises to be hotly contested.

While GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney will not be there, and neither will struggling Jon Huntsman, other Republican hopefuls will be.  At the top of the list is Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who has shot up in polls in the past month.  Boosted by a strong performance in the New Hampshire debate and helped by her success among Iowa evangelicals, Bachmann looks poised to show up in Ames as the one to beat.

But if she has an Achilles heel at this point, it is perhaps a lack of organization -- and in Ames, experts say if half the battle is expectations, then the other half is organization. Combine the current high expectations for Bachmann and her organizational shortcomings and the stage could be set for an upset in Ames.

So who could knock Bachmann off her perch?  One candidate who sorely needs a strong result in Ames is fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty.  The former two-term governor was criticized for not standing up to Romney in the New Hampshire debate.  He recorded only six percent support in the highly-anticipated Des Moines Register poll in late June, and his $4.5 million fundraising haul in the second quarter was viewed as disappointing.

However, it's not just about Bachmann and Pawlenty.  Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has a vocal following that has helped him win many a straw poll, most recently in New Orleans last month.  Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich also hope to be players in Ames, though it would come as a surprise if either can crack the top three.

Complicating matters further is Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  Perry has been taking all the necessary steps to explore a presidential run, talking to key Iowa players in recent weeks.  One source who spoke to Perry said the governor told him he originally was not planning to run, but is now "leaning heavily" towards running.

In another clue that Perry may throw his hat in the ring in Iowa, his outside funding group is set to rent a plot of land in Ames. The state's GOP leaders will decide on July 23 whether or not to include him on the ballot but, either way, it seems his presence will be felt there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann, Pawlenty Look to Huckabee's 2008 Run in Iowa

Rick Gershon/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In early 2008, a Republican candidate shocked the political world by surging to an upset victory in the Iowa caucuses, instantly going from long shot to party favorite in the blink of an eye.  That candidate was Mike Huckabee.

While Huckabee ultimately succumbed to Sen. John McCain in the race for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, a number of GOP candidates are hoping to reprise the Huckabee game plan this winter in Iowa.

Leading the charge to become Huck 2.0 is Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.  So too is fellow North Star State native Tim Pawlenty.  But trying to tear out a page from the Huckabee playbook in Iowa is easier said than done.

Huckabee's stunning run in Iowa resulted from a number of key factors. The former Arkansas governor managed to combine his unique personality, trademark sense of humor, conservative values and evangelical support to make a lot of noise in the Hawkeye State.

According to one Republican operative in Iowa, that combination will not be easy for either Pawlenty or Bachmann to duplicate.

“Huckabee was a lightning-in-the-bottle moment,” the source said.  “He was able to capture the right emotion at the right time and ride it to victory.  Pawlenty and Bachmann want to ride that kind of wave and get to where Huckabee was, but neither of them are Huckabee.”

It all started for Huckabee at the Ames Straw Poll in the summer of 2007.  Huckabee came in second in Ames with 18.1 percent of the votes, trailing only Mitt Romney, who had heavily outspent all his rivals.  But the silver medal that day felt like gold to Huckabee.

“Obviously, this was an incredible day and victory for us,” Huckabee said afterwards.  “What happened for us today was stunning.”

Before Ames, Huckabee's chances looked bleak.  In the days before the straw poll, the Huckabee campaign started packed up their Iowa headquarters, even loading up the staff’s computers into boxes.  His aides feared he could finish as low as fourth.  But his surprise finish in Ames changed everything.  He steamrolled to victory in caucuses that winter.

If anyone can tap into Huckabee's large Iowa fan base, it would appear to be Bachmann, who has rocketed up in polls in recent weeks.  The darling of the Tea Party, she shares many of the same traits that made Huckabee so popular: her outsized personality, her popularity with evangelicals and her claim of strict adherence to the Constitution all echo of Huckabee.

Bachmann can count former members of the Huckabee team among her ranks, namely her campaign director, Ed Rollins, and her press secretary, Alice Stewart.  Barring a setback in the next few weeks, she will enter Ames riding an impressive wave of momentum.

Hoping to change all that is another key player in Iowa: Pawlenty.  Despite his campaign's struggles in recent weeks, the former Minnesota governor plucked none other than Huckabee’s daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to run his Hawkeye State operation.  Four years ago, Huckabee Sanders was her father's national political director when he won the caucuses.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Steps Up Ames Push With $200,000 Ad Buy

Scott Olson/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- In an effort to boost his struggling campaign ahead of the Ames straw poll on Aug. 13, Tim Pawlenty has reserved around $200,000 of TV advertising in the Des Moines media market starting Monday and running through the straw poll, a source familiar with the ad buy told ABC News.

On Monday, Pawlenty starts a five-day RV swing through the Hawkeye State. The new ad purchase by the former Minnesota governor -- who has a lot riding on Ames -- is the biggest to date in the 2012 race. He had previously run TV ads in Iowa and this week launched a radio ad touting a video about his faith.

Earlier Friday, Pawlenty revealed that his campaign had raised a total of $4.45 million during the second quarter and entered the crucial upcoming stretch with $1.4 million cash on hand for the GOP primary.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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