CPAC Interview: Tim Pawlenty

posted at 8:45 am on February 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

This turned into one of the more enjoyable interviews I have had so far at CPAC. Governor Tim Pawlenty knows me a little bit and had some fun with me when he hit my corner of Blogger Row. He stood on a chair to make me look even shorter by comparison, and then scolded me for being cheap with my wife on our 16th anniversary, a portion of which carries into the interview. We both got serious enough to talk about Pawlenty’s well-received speech at CPAC, the lawsuit our state legislature filed against him for not spending the money they authorized, and his work in supporting GOP candidates around the country:

Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC has been very active already in this cycle. Expect Pawlenty to be a player where fiscal conservatism and common-sense governance will attract voters to a re-energized GOP.

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I’m still not ready to send him any $$$$$$$$$$$$$ yet…

OmahaConservative on February 20, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Ed, time to hit the gym, bud.

Dr_Irish on February 20, 2010 at 8:57 AM


Will this turd just go away, what an embarrassment!

I’d rather pull out my eyelashes one by one than listen to this guy.

How many independents and conservative democrats do you think are going to become inspired by listening to someone that makes you feel like you are hearing someone run their fingernails down a blackboard? Pathetic!

No wonder why the democrats call us the “stupid party”, duh.

Jayrae on February 20, 2010 at 9:02 AM

The duet version of “Don’t Stop Believing”

Jerome Horwitz on February 20, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I’ll listen to it soon. Does he still push flat tax?

AnninCA on February 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I heard Scott Brown intro Mitt @ CPAC. Scott Brown made a slip of Freudian nature. He intro’s Mitt as “Republican lite”….He’s right and doesnt know it.


OSUBuciz1 on February 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Ditto! – all of the above.

Anita on February 20, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Well, I listened. Same old red meat; freedom, values, spending cuts, yada yada. Not anything anyone else is not also saying. Would have been nice if Ed had focussed less on Minnesota-specific issues, and tossed in a question or two about Iran, China, monetization of the national debt, etc. What makes this guy different? I’m not feeling the love.

entropent on February 20, 2010 at 9:27 AM

The best coverage of CPAC around. When coupled with ‘Tea Party’ voice the Conservative message is made clearer than ever before.

Proof, that it is U.S. that are in charge and as such as owe it to all of U.S. on the bus to tell the driver to STOP! before he drives us off the edge of the flat earth they created.

MSGTAS on February 20, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Tim Pawlenty is a very attractive center-right governor. He knows how to maneuver around issues and he’s very comfortable agreeing with almost anybody to the right of Joe Lieberman. He was John McCain’s Minnesota campaign chief and he got on board very early.
Tim’s problem is that, like many in the political culture these days, he still doesn’t understand that the ground underneath his nimble feet has shifted out from under him. He still doesn’t understand that America is gradually beginning to understand the profound wisdom in Reagan’s remark that “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government IS the problem!” Especially the Federal Government!
Tim still sees success as being sent off to Washington to solve the problems of his day. He sees himself being on CNN and PBS, spending other peoples’ money to make the world over in someone’s image of “better”. He still wants to be the hero doing good for us, rather than the leader inspiring us to do good for ourselves.
He is young and photogenic and he may yet grow into what we need, but he’s just not there yet.

Lew on February 20, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Yawn. McCain mini-me.

Make no mistake – THIS is the guy the RNC will try to foist on us as our 2012 pres candidate.

At a dinner I attended last year, our speaker, he RNC national secretary, mentioned his name – TWICE – as a GOP leader and never mentioned anyone else.

Our GOP women’s group sat there in stone-cold silence when she said this.

When she opened it up for Q&A, I called her on it, and got a round of applause. Her eyes shot daggers at me.

After dinner, I was waiting to speak to someone else and she came up to me, actually grabbed my arm, and said she never meant to imply that Pawlenty was the only leader the GOP had.

When I asked her why she mentioned no one else and said his name twice, she said she couldn’t think of any other name at the time.

Right. The mask slipped.

Needless to say, she was NOT happy with me.

Marybeth on February 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Almost anyone is better than Obama simply on principles. Even uncharismatic people like me might make for a better president because I’d have to be humble enough to admit I did not know a lot and seek advice from principled people who do. Anyone with executive experience is better than Obama, and if that shows a history of an attempt a fiscal restraint then that is a start in the right direction. If they’ve shown some fight both practicaly and in their rhetoric, then again that is what we need. Throw in a character of integrity and I’m willing to look at the choices. Demanding a zombie Regan seems a bit impractical, so I’m willing to look at the horses that enter the race.

Also included in all of this is ignoring silly demands for some wet behind the ears legislator to assume the presidency just because they got us fired up for one vote. Season those for a couple of terms, preferably with some executive experience along the way and you will have a new crop in a few years; just not right away.

AnotherOpinion on February 20, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Right. The mask slipped.

Needless to say, she was NOT happy with me.

Marybeth on February 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Right. The mask slipped.

Needless to say, she was NOT happy with me.

Marybeth on February 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Interesting antecdote. I think that’s what went on in NY23. The GOP regulars, who are honestly not delivering the votes, are in a mindset.

For them? Pawlenty, Romney…..any guy with a good hair-do will do. LOL*

I asked and didn’t get an answer. Isn’t Pawlenty a flat-tax guy?

Oh please, America is so over that type of thinking. That’s so 1980’s. Nobody is going to go for flat-tax thinkers.

AnninCA on February 20, 2010 at 10:10 AM

All you nay-sayers don’t know squat about politics. Pawlenty very clearly and very convincingly explains conservative principals. He has held the line on taxes over 8 years of state budget deficit. He got elected twice in Minnesota when Democrats landslided the legistature. This man can be a game changer.

LakeLevel on February 20, 2010 at 1:29 PM