Video: Pawlenty on McCain the Underdog

posted at 6:30 pm on June 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Our governor, Tim Pawlenty, got a bit chippy on Fox News yesterday while discussing John McCain with Bret Baier. He called the oft-used intro as potential vice presidential candidate “tiresome”, but otherwise sounded quite upbeat about John McCain’s prospects. Even in Minnesota, where polling looks bleak at the moment, he thinks that McCain will make an 11th-hour run at Barack Obama and take the contest in the final days:

Pawlenty lays out Obama’s flip-flops well in a short but devastating review. Noting that Obama has based his campaign on rhetoric rather than record, Pawlenty then offers a number of reversals by Obama to show that he’s mostly all about words instead of action. “Pretty soon you see a pattern,” Pawlenty notes, and for a candidate who says that words matter, that pattern clearly demonstrates that they don’t — at least not to Obama.

Pawlenty does well in this appearance; he stays on offense, and he presses home the sheer volume of abandoned positions already in this contest from Obama. Romney may be the leading candidate for VP — a choice I’d love to see — but Pawlenty will make an excellent campaign surrogate even if he doesn’t get the nod himself.


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I cannot imagine most of the nation voting for a lightweight like Obama over the experience of McCain.

RobCon on June 30, 2008 at 6:33 PM

I cannot imagine Obama ever gaining the candidacy of a serious political party.

And he didn’t.

profitsbeard on June 30, 2008 at 6:35 PM

He is a great debater and impressive. Not a bad choice.

jencab on June 30, 2008 at 6:39 PM

He is a great debater and impressive. Not a bad choice.

jencab on June 30, 2008 at 6:39 PM

He doesn’t seem conservative enough for me. One of the only times I’ve actually seen him in a lengthy interview was Meet the Press and he was arguing for McCain’s cap and trade thing. Ed probably has a more educated opinion on him seeing as he lives there.

malan89 on June 30, 2008 at 6:44 PM

You can fit Barry’s resume on a bar napkin and have plenty of room for some beergoggled phone numbers at last call.

If you take his teleprompter away from him, idiotic and incorrect things spew out of his mouth.

He has never had one second of executive experience in the military, the business world or government.

And he’s the best they could find.

Chuck Schick on June 30, 2008 at 6:45 PM

So, there are affective,well-spoken,and knowledgeable
Republicans,superb,now get them on the dam(n) talk
show circiuts to counter Lefty talking points,ASAP!

Underdog,well its hard to trump integrity,truth,honour
and facts,unlike the Fence Turtle Pole of Obama!

canopfor on June 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Pawlenty called into the Howie Carr show here in Boston a few days ago. He was excellent. I was impressed.

TheBigOldDog on June 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Isn’t he one of those big-government, “compassionate” conservatives?

I’ll pass.

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Isn’t he one of those big-government, “compassionate” conservatives?

I’ll pass.

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Where did you get that idea? He’s the most tax-adverse Governor we’ve had in ages. In Minnesota that might be a low bar, but he’s still the most hardcore against raising taxes we’ve seen in recent decades. Keeping taxes low (keeping government small) was his signature issue.

RBMN on June 30, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Ed, thanks for introducing Pawlenty to those of us who don’t know him. He comes across as thoughtful, very intelligent, well versed, responsible and capable, respectful and pleasant.

maverick muse on June 30, 2008 at 7:18 PM

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:08 PM

When someone hurts, government should move, don’t cha know.

VolMagic on June 30, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Underdog,well its hard to trump integrity,truth,honour
and facts,unlike the Fence Turtle Pole of Obama!

canopfor on June 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

The Post Turtle makes an indelible impression, I see.

Wouldn’t it be fun to photoshop the animated Underdog with McCain’s face?

maverick muse on June 30, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Keeping taxes low (keeping government small)

While they do dovetail, they are not one in the same.

How much do you have to raise taxes to pass a trans-fat banning bill? How high do you have to raise them to ban hand-guns? How high do you have to raise them to pass any number of multi-culti laws?

Keeping taxes low is one part of keeping government small, not the entirety of it.

VolMagic on June 30, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Where did you get that idea?

RBMN on June 30, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Here, for one.

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:27 PM

When someone hurts, government should move, don’t cha know.

VolMagic on June 30, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Yeah. I’m hurting for a yacht.

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:28 PM

Here, for one.

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:27 PM

Most of that is pretty disturbing (especially the smoking ban), but I have to defend him on individual health care mandates. That’s a pretty small govt proposal. Most states pay WAY to much in free emergency health care for moochers w/ insurance. A mandate is, in this case, a necessary evil.

malan89 on June 30, 2008 at 7:34 PM

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:27 PM

You should’ve seen what the Democrats had on the table instead. In Minnesota, any Republican Governor is fighting for the least worst outcome. We never get pure conservatism from the Democrats in the Minnesota House and Senate. Pawlenty’s certainly not perfect, but perfect can’t get elected here.

RBMN on June 30, 2008 at 7:36 PM

Liked Pawlenty’s interview, although it was a bit of a softball. I don’t like the idea of it being only June and counting on an 11th hour push to pull out a victory. Sorta like not putting in your designated hitter until the bottom of the 9th, isn’t it?

Limerick on June 30, 2008 at 7:38 PM

RBMN on June 30, 2008 at 7:36 PM

I’m not unsympathetic to his dilemma.

There was one other article/post I seem to remember about how he’s coming off his “no new taxes” pledge, but I can’t find it now. Citing a cigarette tax, maybe?

I confess to having next to zero knowledge of Pawlenty (or Minnesota, for that matter ;)), which is why I was asking instead of telling. And I don’t have an ax to grind against him, that was just the impression I’ve gotten.

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:58 PM

Wouldn’t it be fun to photoshop the animated Underdog
with McCain’s face?

maverick muse on june 30,2008 at 7:21PM.

maverick muse: Fun,and besmirchment of John McCain,
absolutely NO!

canopfor on June 30, 2008 at 9:49 PM

I confess to having next to zero knowledge of Pawlenty (or Minnesota, for that matter ;)), which is why I was asking instead of telling. And I don’t have an ax to grind against him, that was just the impression I’ve gotten.

You have it pretty well nailed. If Pawlenty isn’t a Rino, he’s only a step or two away. He’s all too happy to “reach across the aisle” unless we light up his phone line.

RJL on June 30, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Liked Pawlenty’s interview, although it was a bit of a softball. I don’t like the idea of it being only June and counting on an 11th hour push to pull out a victory. Sorta like not putting in your designated hitter until the bottom of the 9th, isn’t it?

Limerick on June 30, 2008 at 7:38 PM

Or sorta like not giving a heart attack victim CPR until the mortician is on his way, isn’t it?

MB4 on June 30, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Pawlentys is a big time Liberal Republican just like McCain. So for Ed McCain is a Great Republican nominee. He created the SAMS club Republican. AKA Liberal country club republican aka Bush republican

BroncosRock on June 30, 2008 at 10:43 PM

The electorate has been dumbed down, and Obama knows this ( and so do I ). Lets get ready for another four years of Carterism politics…just this time the ppl will believe it.

If you don’t believe me, ask the next 15 year old anything about American history.

As I said before, the NEA has accomplished their mission.

lsutiger on June 30, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Pawlentys is a big time Liberal Republican just like McCain. So for Ed McCain is a Great Republican nominee. He created the SAMS club Republican. AKA Liberal country club republican aka Bush republican

BroncosRock on June 30, 2008 at 10:43 PM

“Sam’s Club Republicans” is just another word for the Reagan Democrats and small business people that want to be left alone–not Country Club Republicans. Country Club Republicans don’t shop at Sam’s Club. And Pawlenty didn’t invent Reagan Democrats. According to Reagan (and Pawlenty) someone who agrees with me 80% of the time is not my enemy. It’s not something new.

RBMN on July 1, 2008 at 12:19 AM

Too bad he’s about as fiscally conservative as Huckabee.

EduardoOTI on July 1, 2008 at 12:39 AM

I really like Pawlenty. Smart man.

Terrye on July 1, 2008 at 7:06 AM

I live in Minnesota. Pawlenty has his hands full with a full tilt leftist House and Senate that is hell bent on raising every conceivable tax it can while also bringing back the nanny state at every turn. He has done what he can to brunt these dill weeds where he can but our state is caught in a socialist renewal right now and he’s fighting a losing battle… I’d hate to see him ruin his political career hooking his future to McAmnesty who is going to get destroyed by “The Magic Negro” during the first debate!

sabbott on July 1, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Uff da!

Ah, ein Norska!

mojo on July 1, 2008 at 2:56 PM