Tim Pawlenty speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP Photo)
From MPR's Brett Neely and Mark Zdechlik:
(Washington) -Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty rallied the Republican faithful in an address at today's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, as he explores a potential run for the White House in 2012.
Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy, R-WI, introduced Pawlenty to the packed to capacity crowd, calling the potential GOP presidential candidate, "a great Midwesterner with a friendly disposition."
Pawlenty's speech pointed to his record leading Minnesota as a guide to his conservative credentials, while also taking a dig at the state's liberal lions.
"I come from the state of McCarthy, Mondale, Humphrey, Wellstone and now United States Sen. Al Franken," Pawlenty said to the crowd, who began to boo. He continued, "But we cut government in Minnesota and if we can do it there, we can do it anywhere."
Pawlenty repeated many of the policy proposals that other CPAC speakers touched on, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN. He pledged to repeal President Obama's healthcare proposal, balance the budget and "throw the tax code overboard."
He asked that every member of Congress prepare their own tax returns without the assistance of lawyers and accountants to, "experience first-hand the moronic, burdensome and intimidating beast that our tax system has become."
On the national debt On the growing national debt, Pawlenty said America needs more "common sense" and less "Obama sense."
"My friends, we need to restore American confidence. We need to restore American optimism. We need to restore America's hope for the future. We need to restore the American dream by restoring American common sense," he said.
Like many of the other speakers at the conference, known as C-PAC, Pawlenty called for repealing the federal health care overhaul.
Using a metaphor he has employed often in speeches, Pawlenty said citizens can decide better than government how to spend their own money, pointing to the difference between weddings with an open bar and a cash bar (as MinnPost D.C. reporter Derek Wallbank points out, Pawlenty held an open bar event last night in Washington for his supporters).
Pawlenty also touched lightly upon socially conservative themes, saying that the nation needed to heed the motto, "In God We Trust." However, he did not elaborate further and dive further into topics such as abortion or same-sex marriage.
Pawlenty will face off against Bachmann and others in the CPAC presidential preference staw poll. The results will be released tomorrow.
Listen to Pawlenty's remarks here:
"I come from the state of McCarthy, Mondale, Humphrey, Wellstone and now United States Sen. Al Franken," Pawlenty said to the crowd, who began to boo. "
Some of the best politicians our country has ever had and they boo them? The entire group and their sweethearts lost all credibility with me. Although Bachmann has never had any to start with. Check the facts folks. They are all liars for their cause and will say absolutely anything for a contribution or a vote. We need balance in power.
Pawlenty is an embarrassment to Minnesota. His obvious unwillingness to provide secular representation to the people living in this state speaks for itself.
"But we cut government in Minnesota and if we can do it there, we can do it anywhere."
Except you didn't.
Government expanded under your watch and you kicked the debt can down the road the entire time. We have a huge budget shortfall that was your issue years ago when you put it on your State credit card by not paying debts on time.
When Gov. T-Paw saw the State's looming budget disaster coming 'round the bend, he did the only thing any true conservative could do: run for higher office and hope that no one is paying attention to the carnage he left here in Minnesota. "Carol Molnau for veep!"
Pawlenty, you are embarrassing! When people outside of MN realize that you did nothing in your two terms, they will wash you out of their memory. You put Minnesota in a worse position than before you served as governor. You refused to do anything about the debt, increased the size of government, and left with your head high. Now you are trying to convince people on the national level that you can run the country? Wow! Remember that whole unallotment stunt, more of a dictator move instead of trying to come up with a real solution.
Pawlenty is a joke. I couldn't agree more with BillM. MN is better without him..but he left a mess. We can only hope the republicans are ashamed enough to try and fix it. Bachmann is good for only one thing, but Palin lives to far away.
Pawlenty and Bachmann are both a joke! I hope they form a team and make a run for the White House, thus ensuring Obama another four years! LOL!!
Minnesota will be better without Pawlenty, once we pay off the huge debt he left the state with! Bush did the same thing with the entire country. None of the Republicans believe in Pay-go! Just "Charge and spend!"
What do you expect from this water carrying choir boy who tried to make an art form of mediocrity? Hopefully this nation comes to it's senses soon and stops paying heed to the Bachmann's and Pawlenty's of the world.