Exclusive: Pawlenty addresses Palin-attack story

posted at 5:37 pm on January 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, the media reported on a supposed dust-up between Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin over the controversial use of “crosshairs” symbols on her website. Peter Hamby at CNN tweeted that “Pawlenty didn’t really ‘jab’ or ‘swipe’ at Palin,” but the former Minnesota governor began taking criticism from Palin supporters nonetheless.  What Pawlenty said was that the imagery wasn’t really “his style” and he wouldn’t have used them while defending Palin from accusations that her website had anything to do with the act of lunacy that took place this weekend in Tucson.  Pawlenty and I talked about this and I asked him to clarify what he said, and discuss what he has written about Palin in his new book Courage to Stand:

EM: Welcome to the podcast.

TP: Good to be back with you, Ed, thanks for having me.

EM: Well, the reason why — I know we only have a couple of minutes here, Governor — is you’ve, ah, you’ve been doing a lot of interviews and you made mention of the, ah, controversy surrounding the shootings in Tucson, the awful, awful shootings in Tucson. And one of the things that you’ve said apparently has been misconstrued or, or misunderstood. You were asked about the “crosshairs” on Sarah Palin’s website, and you were asked if you would have used that type of symbolism. You said no, that wasn’t really your style. Would you like to talk a little bit more about that and tell us what was it you were intending?

TP: Sure, Ed. You know, all day long I’ve been getting asked about the incident, and I’ve been saying we need to make sure we are clear about the evidence, the facts here, and not make any sweeping judgments or condemnations, judgments about anybody or anything. What we have here is a mentally deranged individual, who sadly undertook a senseless and irrational act, and to assign blame to anybody — Sarah Palin or anyone else — is not fair and it’s not correct, and I’ve been saying that throughout the day. In these other interviews I got asked about the bullseye or the crosshairs, and I said, you know there is no evidence, no evidence that that contributed to or was a cause or a motivating factor at this point in this incident. And people should quit trying to connect those two. And then unrelated to all that, of course I get asked about whether would I have done it, and I just said it’s not my style. I think in one of the interviews I said I wouldn’t have done it, it’s just not my style. But I didn’t try to connect that to the incident or blame anybody for the incident.

EM: I mean, were you — you weren’t criticizing Sarah Palin’s choice to do this, on her website, then?

TP: In fact, I’ve been using the day to say people shouldn’t try to connect this to Sarah Palin, because there’s no evidence of that and that it’s unfair. In fact, I just got off Cavuto here five minutes ago and said exactly that on the air; I’ve been saying that throughout the day. So to say somehow this is, you know, the reverse of it, that somehow I’ve been criticizing her just isn’t accurate.

EM: Governor Pawlenty, you have the new book out Courage to Stand; it’s just come out today, in fact. And you do talk about Sarah Palin in the book. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you say about Sarah Palin in the book?

TP: Thank you, Ed. I think Governor Palin is a remarkable leader; I have a lot of respect for her. I think she is really is a dynamic voice for the conservative movement. And I think she has gotten unfairly criticized. I spend a lot of time in the book talking about how much I admire and respect her, in positive terms. And I hope people have a chance to look at that in the book Courage to Stand, so thank you for asking about that, and like I said, I think she is a remarkable leader and I have a lot of respect for her.

EM: Governor Pawlenty, just really quickly, I know you’ve got to go, but this … really quickly, do you think that the media has, has performed well in the last 72 hours on this story?

TP: Well, some have and some haven’t, but again with all of these things, it was like the bridge collapse on the 35W.

EM: Yes.

TP: You had people spouting off, some in the media, some in politics, you know, saying that they were going to use it to carve me up politically. There were others just making wild accusations about how and why the bridge fell. It turned out a year later the National Transportation Safety Board found the bridge fell because of a 1960s-era design flaw, and people were just wrong. So in these moments of crisis, in these moments of emotion, it’s really important that people get good information and good facts, and distribute it fairly. And I think some elements of the media jumped on this in a way that was wrong. There is no evidence — repeat, no evidence — that this mentally deranged individual had as a motive or a cause, some politicians or media outlets behavior [inaudible] connected at this point, Ed, and people who are trying to connect them are unfair and inaccurate. And it’s wrong.

I’ve seen the excerpts from the book regarding Palin and I know that Pawlenty spoke highly of her in the book.  He called John McCain’s choice of Palin as a running mate “a bold move,” and wrote that it energized the GOP campaign.  His answer appears to have been used out of context as a criticism rather than a description of his own campaigning style, which is how he intended it.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

PS… “Palin’s retreat into self-pity and victimization”???

Hamsher can read minds now?

powerpro on January 11, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Jane Hamsher nails it

It’s difficult to take anyone whose specialty is photoshopping Joe Lieberman in blackface seriously.

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 8:57 PM

chumpThreads on January 11, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Are you sure you’re at the website you meant to visit?

Aitch748 on January 11, 2011 at 8:58 PM

And I think some people did the same thing with Pawlenty here. It seems that so many people are ready to just jump all over someone without even bothering to get all the facts.

Terrye on January 11, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Did you even bother to read what Ed wrote and what all has been said by Pawlenty today?

Knucklehead on January 11, 2011 at 9:03 PM

It’s difficult to take anyone whose specialty is photoshopping Joe Lieberman in blackface seriously.

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Translation: I can’t come up with a rebuttal so I’ll try out a non-sequitur. Yeeeaaah! That’s the ticket!

chumpThreads on January 11, 2011 at 9:07 PM

“Sarah Palin and her hateful rhetoric at work again.”

Hillary Clinton Falls Getting Onto Plane

Nearly Nobody on January 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

I can’t come up with a rebuttal

I have no need to rebut racists. Your admiration of Hamsher’s unique wont in photoshopping is self-rebutting. But thank you for trying to play anyway, laddie. Cheers!

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

For those who aren’t yet hip: this tells you all you need to know what Jane Hamsher is all about.

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 9:17 PM

I have no need to rebut racists. Your admiration of Hamsher’s unique wont in photoshopping is self-rebutting. But thank you for trying to play anyway, laddie. Cheers!

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Translation: “Oh rats! It didn’t work the first time so I’ll have to double down. Boy, evading the topic is hard work!”

chumpThreads on January 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I have no need to rebut racists. Your admiration of Hamsher’s unique wont in photoshopping is self-rebutting. But thank you for trying to play anyway, laddie. Cheers!
whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Translation:

Sorry, lad, but it was pretty clear without the “translation”. Now it’s up to you to explain why anyone should take a racist seriously and your why appreciation for Hamsher’s “work”.

Conversely, you can denounce/renounce Jane Hamsher’s racism. Your choice. Cheers!

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Hey, chump, I responded to your idiocy directly. Funny how you deflect by blaming someone else of deflecting, even though Hamsher’s POV is entirely relevant, given how she feels she’s qualified to intuit Palin’s thought processes and emotional state based on little more than the texture of her own belly button lint.

powerpro on January 11, 2011 at 10:07 PM

even though Hamsher’s POV is entirely relevant
powerpro

Yup, it is. That’s why my response to the lad is to ask why a blackface photoshopper should be taken with any seriousness at all. Would be the same as if someone claimed “David Duke nailed it!” – it’s rightly dismissed out of hand.

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM

OT: We want to drive to Cooperstown, NY to the weekend of the Hall of Fame (July). Roberto Alomar will become part of the immortals, like Clemente and Cepeda, and we’re finding it hard to figure out where to stay.

It’s like a weirdo version of a tiny town: Small shops and lots of b&b’s, which does’t make sense. I MUST get there and see my past crush and cry like a baby when he gets the award he so much deserved. I traveled to the SkyDome to see him play, and any baseball “winter season” he could play in PR.

I will start some phone calls tmrw because this event will be swarmed with PRicans like me.

ProudPalinFan on January 11, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Is Loughner Palin’s secret love child?

Tomorrow meme du jour.

profitsbeard

Pawlenty responds when asked by Matt Lauer: “Well, it’s not my style to have a crazed murderer as a love child and there’s no certain proof yet that Palin did. Hey Matt, will you buy my book? I’m working with ya here, y’know.”

whatcat on January 11, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Weak. Buh-bye, Timmy.

Cylor on January 12, 2011 at 12:45 AM

Leaders take leadership positions, not suck up to the host by trying to look centrist.

That’s actually the opposite of leadership. in that situation Lauer was the leader.

If your gut reaction is to go along to get along, your in the wrong business at this time in history. We’re dumping those loads and looking for can-do types.

Lonetown on January 12, 2011 at 4:35 AM

Agreed, very weak and passive and he still says “at this point” – weasel words.

Missy on January 12, 2011 at 7:57 AM

The problem with not having a strong set of core principles, is always having to clarify what was said.

“Courage” would be leaving no mistake where you stand, and that political speech is NEVER responsible for slaughter.

Maybe core principles is why people play Barry White music while Chris Christie speaks, and Barry Manilow music while Tim Pawlenty speaks.

MNHawk on January 12, 2011 at 8:53 AM

the imagery wasn’t really “his style”

A bs statement by an opportunist who is closer to bill clinton than to Ronald Reagan. I wish the self promoting moderator would stop pushing the islam appeasing, squishy presidential candidate on us. Hoping for press secretary, ed?

peacenprosperity on January 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Timmy The Weasel is supposed to be on Hannity’s radio program. After Ed called him to tell him how badly his weaseling went over and led him through an equally botched do-over, will he double down on the “Well, it’s not my style and we haven’t proven she’s guilty yet.” Or will he manage a less sleazy walkback with Hannity leading him in yet another do-over salvage attempt?

whatcat on January 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Comment pages: 1 2