Entries in Tim Pawlenty (93)


Tim Pawlenty Chastises Obama and GOP Rivals

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is trying to position himself as the party's biggest defender of Israel as his campaign for the nomination appears to be stagnating.

The former Minnesota governor, one of the first Republicans to declare his candidacy for the White House, told the Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday that President Obama has bumbled U.S. Mideast policy by seeming wishy-washy on both support for Israel and emerging Arab democracies.

Pawlenty claimed that the president's policies are "anti-Israel" and that he has turned his back on the Jewish state at critical times during the failing peace process with the Palestinians.

Then, focusing his criticism on GOP rivals,  Pawlenty went on to say, "America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment and withdrawal.  It does not need a second one."

The clear implication was that Pawlenty, compared to other candidates, is best suited to deliver "decisive, clear-eyed leadership that is responsive to this historical moment of change in ways that are consistent with our deepest principles and safeguards our vital interests."

Pawlenty said Republicans can't afford to be isolationists with so much at stake in Afghanistan and other overseas hot spots.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Tackling Foreign Policy in Speech Tuesday

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the latest installment of his "hard truths" campaign that has lately fallen on hard times, Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday will warn about the pitfalls of President Obama's foreign policy, as well as what could happen to his fellow Republicans if they fail to take a tougher stance.

In a speech to be delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Tuesday morning, the former Minnesota governor is set to outline an aggressive approach to foreign engagement that is likely to resonate with some of the GOP's more hawkish members.

"What is wrong is for the Republican Party to shrink from the challenges of American leadership in the world.  History repeatedly warns us that in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we’ll save in a budget line item.  America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal; it does not need a second one," Pawlenty is expected to say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks.

In the speech, billed as a rebuttal to President Obama's address last month, Pawlenty will go after the president for America’s response to the Arab Spring and his approach to Israel.

"President Obama has failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy in response to these events," Pawlenty will say.  "He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles."

Pawlenth is expected to state that "Instead of promoting democracy -- whose fruit we see now ripening across the region -- [President Obama] adopted a murky policy he called 'engagement.'  'Engagement' meant that in 2009, when the Iranian ayatollahs stole an election, and the people of that country rose up in protest, President Obama held his tongue.  His silence validated the mullahs, despite the blood on their hands and the nuclear centrifuges in their tunnels."

On Israel, Pawlenty will argue, "Israeli-Palestinian peace is further away now than the day Barack Obama came to office.  But that does not have to be a permanent situation.  We must recognize that peace will only come if everyone in the region perceives clearly that America stands strongly with Israel."

Tuesday's speech comes as Pawlenty finds himself in the midst of a difficult few weeks, kicked off by a poor performance in the GOP debate in New Hampshire and punctuated by a dismal showing in the Des Moines Register poll last weekend, where he garnered only six percent support, far behind Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann, and others.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Calls Obama's Afghanistan Plan a 'Grave Mistake'

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- GOP candidate Tim Pawlenty criticized President Obama's decision to bring home 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer as "a grave mistake."

"I thought his speech tonight was deeply concerning," Pawlenty said in an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News Wednesday evening.  "Look how he phrased the outcome of this war: He said we need to end the war 'responsibly.'  When America goes to war, America needs to win.  We need to close out the war successfully, and what that means now is not nation-building.  What it means is to follow General Petraeus' advice and to get those security forces built up to the point where they can pick up the slack as we draw down."

Pawlenty said Obama apparently believes he knows better than Petraeus, who Pawlenty praised as "the smartest, most insightful guy in this debate."

"This decision should be based on conditions on the ground and success, not some vague notions of a responsible wind-down and then jumping over what the real mission is now, which is stabilizing the security of that country," he said.

"To leave now when we're so close to a successful completion...I think is a grave mistake," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Launches Iowa Media Blitz with New Ad, Website

mn [dot] gov(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Tim Pawlenty kicked off a media blitz on Iowa voters Wednesday in advance of the Ames straw poll in August, the first key barometer of how Hawkeye State voters are thinking ahead of the nation's first caucuses this winter.

Pawlenty on Wednesday launched the first Iowa television ads of the 2012 campaign and unveiled a new website dedicated to the straw poll. In the ad, Pawlenty touts his record as governor of the Minnesota.  

"A lot of candidates will come to Iowa and say the same things. The question is, have they done it?" he says. "In a liberal state, I reduced spending in real terms for the first time, took on the government unions and won, appointed a conservative supreme court, and passed health care reform the right way -- no mandates, no takeovers. If I can do it in Minnesota, we can do it in Washington."

But according to the Democratic National Committee, the title of the ad should be "smell test" -- "because it doesn't pass it."

"The Minnesota Tim Pawlenty left behind wasn't nearly as rosy as he'd like voters in Iowa to believe," the DNC said Wednesday. "Tim Pawlenty left Minnesota with a projected $6.2 billion deficit, higher property taxes, higher tuition rates and all this after slashing spending on critical services for education and seniors. And, at the end of Pawlenty's tenure health care costs for families had spiked and the number of uninsured had increased. If Tim Pawlenty is looking for a resume item to make the case for why he should be president he should look beyond his failed tenure as Governor of Minnesota."

The new Pawlenty ad and website are yet another indication of the emphasis that the campaign is placing on the straw poll -- and on Iowa in general. On Tuesday Pawlenty told Politico that he has to do "reasonably well" in the straw poll: "one of the top, you know, few finishers."

The ad campaign in Iowa, whic reportedly cost just under $50,000, will run from June 22 to July 3 in the Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Omaha, Ottumwa, Rochester, and Sioux City markets.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Making Ad Buy In Iowa

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- A spokesman for Tim Pawlenty confirms that the former Minnesota governor on Wednesday will launch an ad campaign in Iowa worth just under $50,000, a sign of the leadoff caucus state's importance to the Pawlenty bid.

"Governor Pawlenty is well positioned to unite conservatives and do well in both Iowa and New Hampshire. The soon-to-be-unveiled TV ads will introduce the Governor to Iowans about why he is the candidate with the strongest record and best results, not rhetoric," says spokesman Alex Conant.

The ad campaign, set to run from June 22 to July 3, will air in the following Hawkeye State markets: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Omaha, Ottumwa, Rochester, and Sioux City. It's all part of an effort to drum up support for Pawlenty ahead of the Ames straw poll in August.

Pawlenty has got to make a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses if he is to challenge for the Republican nomination. He launched his campaign in Des Moines late last month and has made it a point to log hours on the ground there, talking to voters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Candidates Show Shifting Stance on Afghanistan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Some Republican presidential candidates are charting a different course than their GOP counterparts on the war in Afghanistan, raising questions about ideological rifts before a crucial election cycle.

Jon Huntsman, who will announce his candidacy next week, openly questioned U.S. strategy in the war-torn nation in an interview with Esquire magazine.

"Should we stay and play traffic cop?  I don't think that serves our strategic interests," the former Utah governor said.

Mitt Romney, the current frontrunner in the race, echoed similar sentiments in Monday's debate, saying "it's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also said at a recent gathering of GOP activists that the United States should cut back its troops, depending on conditions on the ground, a different tune from his 2009 stance when he pushed President Obama to support a surge.

The viewpoints of the 2012 candidates mark a stark departure from 2008, when the issue of terrorism still ranked higher on Americans' agenda, and investing in the Afghanistan war, both monetarily and physically with more troops, was a strong policy stance for Republicans.

At the time, libertarian Ron Paul stood out as a pariah in his opposition to the war.  But that has since changed.

The shift, some observers say, is not surprising, given that the public is increasingly getting wary of the prolonged war in Afghanistan, and the situation on the ground is considerably different than it was three years ago. The anger and uproar that resulted in the United States after the events of Sept. 11 has also subsided and is becoming less of a factor in political debates.

"Timing has a lot to do with it.  It's been 10 years," said Republican strategist and ABC News consultant Torie Clarke. "I think you'll find a lot of very conservative Republicans are going to be saying, 'Hey we've given it everything we can, and it's time to get out of it.'"

At the same time, Republican candidates are also aiming to separate themselves from President Obama, who approved a surge in troops last year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mea Culpa: Pawlenty Admits Debate Mistake

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tim Pawlenty Thursday night admitted that he made a mistake Monday in pulling his "ObamneyCare" punch directed at rival Mitt Romney.

After coining the derisory term on FOX News Sunday, Pawlenty opted to pull back from it at Monday's debate, despite being pressed by CNN's John King, who even went so far as to question the former Minnesota governor's guts.

Mea culpa, Pawlenty admitted Thursday night.

"I should have been much more clear during the debate, Sean," Pawlenty told Sean Hannity on FOX. "I don’t think we can have a nominee that was involved in the development and construction of ObamaCare and then continues to defend it. And that was the question, I should’ve answered it directly; instead I stayed focused on Obama."

"But the question really related to the contrast with Governor Romney, and I should have been more clear, I should have made the point that he was involved in developing it, he really laid the groundwork for ObamaCare and continues to this day to defend it," he added.

It's the second time Thursday Pawlenty has acknowledged his mistake at the debate.

"On seizing debate opportunity re: healthcare: Me 0, Mitt 1. On doing healthcare reform the right way as governor: Me 1, Mitt 0," Pawlenty tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Latest GOP Candidate to Get 'Glittered'

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Another Republican presidential candidate just got glittered.

A few weeks ago it was Newt Gingrich who was doused in glitter by Nick Espinosa. Now it's Tim Pawlenty. The former Minnesota governor was reportedly showered in glitter at an event Thursday in San Francisco. Politico is reporting that two protesters outside the AHIP conference managed to get some pink glitter -- plus some confetti -- on Pawlenty as the Republican candidate was signing books.

"Tim Pawlenty, where is your courage to stand?" the protesters said, according to Politico's Kate Nocera. "Stand for reproductive rights! Stand for gay rights!"

When Gingrich was "glittered" last month, the incident occurred in Minneapolis, in Pawlenty's home state - and where he is set to speak on Saturday.  Espinosa, a resident of Minneapolis who glittered Gingrich, told ABC News he disagreed with the former House Speaker's position on gay rights.

It is unknown at this time if Espinosa was involved in any way with Pawlenty's glittering in San Francisco.

Pawlenty is in San Francisco for a paid speech to health insurers, something the Democratic National Committee is taking issue with.

“Perhaps pocketing thousands of dollars in cash to give a speech outlining his plan to repeal health reform is a plus for Tim Pawlenty, but it won’t help seniors afford their prescription drugs or preventive care, it won’t help young people access health insurance and it won’t help people being denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition," Brad Woodhouse, DNC communications director, said in a statement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Analysis: Tim Pawlenty's Economic Plan Would Be Boon for Rich

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It’s only Wednesday and Tim Pawlenty has already had a rough week.

On Wednesday, a new analysis revealed that Pawlenty’s economic plan -- unveiled last week in Chicago -- would benefit the wealthiest Americans far more than even the Bush tax cuts did. Using a breakdown by the Tax Policy Center, the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities found that Pawlenty’s tax cuts for the rich would be four times larger than Bush’s were.

“Specifically,” wrote the CBPP’s Chuck Marr, “in 2013 the Pawlenty plan would give people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent on the income scale (i.e., people with incomes above $2.7 million) an average annual tax cut of $1.8 million -- which is more than four times what they got last year from the Bush tax cuts.”

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod said on Twitter that this was the real “hard truth” about Pawlenty’s plan, using the former Minnesota governor’s standard campaign phrase against him.

It’s hardly the first criticism that Pawlenty’s economic proposal has received. On the day it was released, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein called it “a joke.” The Tax Policy Center found that Pawlenty’s tax cuts would deny the Treasury $11 trillion over the next decade. And Pawlenty’s talk about five-percent economic growth every year for the next 10 years has been decried as simply unrealistic.

All in all, it’s been a pretty rough week for Pawlenty.

His debate performance was blasted in the national press, with his decision not to stick to his guns on “ObamneyCare” derided as “pitiful” and “embarrassing.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee went so far as to tell Pawlenty to fire his advisers.

At least Pawlenty may be able to take comfort in the fact that come Saturday he’ll be appearing before a friendly home state audience when he takes the stage at the RightOnline conference in Minneapolis. Earlier this week Larry Jacobs, director at the Center for the Study of Politics & Governance at the University of Minnesota, predicted that Pawlenty will ultimately be a “formidable” candidate for the GOP nomination.  

Coypright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney: Veiled Shots at Pawlenty, Focus on Obama, Retail Politics

James Devaney/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney loped around Derry, N.H., Tuesday morning, riding high after Monday night's first debate in the nation's first primary state.  In comments with reporters, he kept his focus on President Obama, but also seemed to direct some criticism at a Republican rival.

His campaign this time is a lot different than five years ago when he lost the Republican nomination, he told a tangle of reporters following his hour-long walk around Derry.

"Five years ago it was 'who the heck are you?' and now it's 'Oh yeah, I know who you are," he told reporters following him around in Derry, where he engaged in some traditional retail politicking, introducing himself to voters.

The former Massachusetts governor was well-received by locals at a diner, where he posed for pictures, recommended the waffles, and kept the talk on sports: Bruins and Red Sox.

Walking down Broadway in Derry, a man yelled out of a dump truck, "Way to go, Mitt. You got my vote!"

That man, Ron McPhail, a roofer who supported Romney in 2008, did not watch the debate Monday night, but turned his dump truck around and came over to meet Romney. McPhail later said he has not been affected by the bad economy.

But Mary Ellen Zarba, who stopped Romney on the street, complained that her husband has lived for three years as a civil engineer in Saudi Arabia because "there's no jobs in this country."

Romney told Zarba that President Obama is to blame.

New Hampshire is home turf for Romney, who owns a summer home in the state.

During a press conference, Romney did not mention his rivals for the Republican nomination, instead targeting President Obama, who he said doesn't recognize there is an economic crisis.

"The President has been celebrating the auto industry coming back. Recognize at the same time we've seen unemployment go to 9.1 percent. He indicated this is just a bump on the road. This isn't just a bump on the road, these are Americans," said Romney, referring to the president's argument that the recovery will take time.

"The president is just not connected to what is happening in America and his policies have failed us," said Romney.

Romney said he thought all the Republican candidates did well at the debate -- "everybody was lifted a little bit."

He directed some gentle, but clear jibes at former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Romney lamented that he did not get asked a question about the economy, and said he does agree with a lot of what the other candidates said Monday, particularly Tim Pawlenty.

Drawing an analogy, he said he didn't know who would win a debate between former GE CEO Jack Welch and a business student. But there's no question who is better equipped to run a business.

"A lot of people can say the same words, but to understand what those words mean and to actually craft solutions that work to create jobs, in that circumstance it's helpful to have actually created jobs, to understand how an economy works because you've worked in it."

"To create jobs it helps to have had a job," he said.

On whether his health reform record and the Massachusetts health plan he signed into law will continue to dog him: "If people want to look at what's happening in Massachusetts, why, I'm not running for governor of Massachusetts. I'm running for president of the United States and my plan is for the nation."

And asked about Afghanistan: "We would not make a decision on withdrawal dates based on cash flow or based upon political favors or political benefit, but instead based upon the ability of the Afghan troops to preserve independence in their country."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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