Pawlenty probably won’t use the term “Obamneycare” tonight Update: T-Paw passes on explicit opportunity to reiterate

posted at 6:10 pm on June 13, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Looks like CNN’s John King had it right. King predicted the Republican candidates will be polite tonight at the first Republican presidential debate in Manchester, NH. Pawlenty, at least, plans to play nice. The Daily Caller reports:

Tim Pawlenty downplayed the political significance of his newly coined term “Obamneycare,” saying he likely won’t use it tonight to attack Mitt Romney at the GOP presidential debate. …

“The point wasn’t to make a swipe at Mitt Romney. I was responding to the question of the similarities and the differences between Obamacare and what happened in Massachusetts,” he said Monday.

But he added: “During the debate, I’ll certainly respond to any questions that come up.”

Mixed feelings on this. All along, I’ve said I’d rather Pawlenty “respond to any questions,” as he put it, rather than whine about other candidates (“We need to quit worrying about bus tours”). But the Obamneycare comment was different: It was pointed, it was sharp and it directly raised the most relevant issue of the Romney campaign. Incidentally, as Allahpundit pointed out this weekend, it also provided Romney with ammunition against Pawlenty, who wasn’t always so opposed to Romneycare. Ideally, competition improves the performance of all the competitors involved. The primary process ought to refine all the potential nominees, but, for that to happen, some friction has to exist. I’d prefer it to spark over crucial issues like health care and I was hopeful Pawlenty’s Obamneycare comment signified that substantive — if also wittily veiled — sparring was ahead. Perhaps it still is. Pawlenty still has time to use it tonight — or to surprise us all with an entirely new term that casts doubt on another contender or, better yet, captures the essence of his own campaign in an equally unforgettable way.

Update: T-Paw flatly refused to take the bait CNN moderator John King tossed him tonight. Politico’s Maggie Haberman has the story:

CNN’s John King just asked Tim Pawlenty four different  ways, including finally head-on, to repeat his “ObamneyCare coinage from Fox News on Sunday, but to no avail.

The exchange began with Mitt Romney getting asked about the criticism, which he declined to discuss but did call Obama’s plan “terrible.” It was also a moment that Pawlenty needed to turn effectively, and with strength, and he failed to do it.

 


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Pawlenty probably won’t use the term “Obamneycare” tonight

The full phrase should be:

Controversial and Unconstitutional Obamneycare

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

In other words, a typical Pawlenty debate perfomance.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Norwegian on June 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

The “Minnesota Nice” boy from the “mean streets of St. Paul” needs to go after Romney.

Is he going to go soft on Obama too?

He might as well start saying “My Frineds…”

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Gutless GOP RINOs

Disgusting species all of them.

PappyD61 on June 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Nice guys finish last, Timmy.

Naturally Curly on June 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM

“During the debate, I’ll certainly respond to any questions that come up.”

Especially any questions regarding Weiner…

/

Seven Percent Solution on June 13, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Someone hand me a pillow.. This is go *YAWNS* to get ….zzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

upinak on June 13, 2011 at 6:17 PM

predicted the Republican candidates will be polite tonight

“We are all Huntsmen, now.”

Marcus on June 13, 2011 at 6:19 PM

TPaw… go for it. At least I’ll get a good youtube clip out of you or something!

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:20 PM

And how many of you think Ron Paul is going to be holding back? I don’t.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:20 PM

He might as well start saying “My Frineds…”

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Could he that bad? I like the guy but if he starts off reminiscent of John McCain thats it for me.

fourdeucer on June 13, 2011 at 6:20 PM

RINO folds up like a cheap RINO suit.

tarpon on June 13, 2011 at 6:20 PM

And if were nominated, he wouldn’t use “Obamacare” in a debate against Obama.

It’s an old routine, and the RINOs think they’re going to pull it again in 2012. They have no idea.

rrpjr on June 13, 2011 at 6:21 PM

hey no worries, we are just like Greece, so we will just play nice tonight.

djohn669 on June 13, 2011 at 6:22 PM

And how many of you think Ron Paul is going to be holding back? I don’t.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:20 PM

okay, Paul may be the only source of entertainment. But I am going to be bored and checking out coupons on FB. And no I am not joking, I love coupons.

upinak on June 13, 2011 at 6:22 PM

okay, Paul may be the only source of entertainment. But I am going to be bored and checking out coupons on FB. And no I am not joking, I love coupons.

upinak on June 13, 2011 at 6:22 PM

I’m hoping the head Ronulan gives plenty of entertainment. Maybe Cain, too. I bet he feels no need to play “tea cups”

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

I hate this RINO VANILLA campaign nonsense!

FIRE UP THE BASE!!!

Or be cast aside as complicit enablers for everything bad the left has done!

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

upinak on June 13, 2011 at 6:22 PM

But, I will say, if TIMMY manages to pull a few jabs at centralized HC, it will be so much fun watching Petunia and her gang meltdown again.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

He left his balls in Minn. I thought politics required sharp elbows?

Kissmygrits on June 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM

The reason why Pawlenty will never cat3-4%.ch on. He’s a wimp. And we don’t need a wimp going up against Obama.

kevinkristy on June 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM

And if they all sit around and talk about how they love Paul Ryan’s plan, my suggestion would be that they nominate him.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Well I guess Pawlenty wants a cabinet position in Mitt’s Administration. So its Rinopalusa tonight !

William Amos on June 13, 2011 at 6:27 PM

This is frustrating. Because T-Paw is my default candidate.

He better pick it up a little.

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Tim Paintdrying rides again.

Slowburn on June 13, 2011 at 6:29 PM

This is frustrating. Because T-Paw is my default candidate.

He better pick it up a little.

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

oh port… you poor man.

upinak on June 13, 2011 at 6:29 PM

FIRE UP THE BASE!!!

Or be cast aside as complicit enablers for everything bad the left has done!

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

If you want to fire up the base, the person can’t be from Washington. It needs to needs to be some that states opinions based from facts and will defend it. Not respond with safe answers coached from political PR people. He or she needs to be true, smart, articulate, and energic. It won’t come from this crowd.

Oil Can on June 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

This is frustrating. Because T-Paw is my default candidate.

He better pick it up a little.

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

If he doesn’t, the rest of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy may not have a default candidate.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

have beer in hand, ready for open thread….

local brew this time, four peaks kiltlifter, out of tempe

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:31 PM

oh port… you poor man.

upinak on June 13, 2011 at 6:29 PM

I know, huh?

If the conservative candidates don’t get nominated, I have to support T-Paw. Romney is unacceptable, and not qualified to run a nation.

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM

The reason why Pawlenty will never cat3-4%.ch on. He’s a wimp. And we don’t need a wimp going up against Obama.

kevinkristy on June 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Not true! He comes from a long line of meat packing, blue collar workers. Or was that the Weiner family? Well, never mind. Tim will remind everyone that he grew up in MN’s version of Hell’s Kitchen.

No sleep aids for me tonight. I’ll be listening for at least ten minutes…… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Cody1991 on June 13, 2011 at 6:35 PM

CNN Shindig!
(sarc)

canopfor on June 13, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Someone else may bring it up.

AshleyTKing on June 13, 2011 at 6:36 PM

ot: Obama Jokes at Jobs Council: ‘Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected’…the jokster is back

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM

cmsinaz:Typical,and yet if Bush said that,talk about the
“Concerned” media,especially,with the state of the
economy is in,

he would of been labelled,”Out of Touch”!!:)

canopfor on June 13, 2011 at 6:39 PM

ot: Obama Jokes at Jobs Council: ‘Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected’…the jokster is back

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Maybe Bammie and the Weener can go on the road as a comedy duet, like Mutt and Jeff, or a ventriloquist with a dummy on his knee.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2011 at 6:41 PM

ot: Obama Jokes at Jobs Council: ‘Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected’…the jokster is back

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Barry Schukster puts Fun in FUNEMPLOYMENT!

What’s for dinner tonight Honey? Hot Water with a chicken Boullion cube.

Rimshot

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:41 PM

“fire up the base”

The “base” doesn’t mean much in New Hampshire. New Hampshire allows independent voters to vote in the Republican Primary. 45% of New Hampshire’s voters are “undeclared” and eligible to vote in the Republican Primary. So — “the base” is swamped by Independents.

All of the registered Republicans could vote for a single candidate and that candidate can still lose the Republican primary.

Romney is running as “Democrat Lite” and will likely win the nomination by attracting independent and crossover Democrats who don’t want to vote for Obama in states that allow non-Republicans to vote in the Republican primaries.

crosspatch on June 13, 2011 at 6:42 PM


“The best defense is a good offense”

It should be readily apparent with where this country is going that the GOP needs to be on offense.

They’re not going to win this fight curling up in a fatal position in the corner hoping the Democrats and the Media won’t beat up on them for just being Republicans – because they will, you can count on it.

The GOP should be the ones on offense, they should be demanding that the Democrat’s show us their budget plan.

They should be demanding the Democrats show us their plan for saving Medicare and Social security.

Where are their plans?

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Just following Reagan’s 11th…

Political Chef on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

canopfor on June 13, 2011 at 6:39 PM

exactamundo

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:44 PM

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2011 at 6:41 PM

heh….the new jeff dunham

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:45 PM

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:41 PM

zing!

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:45 PM

They should be demanding the Democrats show us their plan for saving Medicare and Social security.

Where are their plans?

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Sure would be a good start.

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 6:46 PM

This is embarrasing.

What a bunch of wimps.

stenwin77 on June 13, 2011 at 6:46 PM

They don’t need to attack each other. Just point out the truth of how Socialism has hurt this country.

Romney hardest hit.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

you think they would say it loud and often during this debate tonight…it’s ALL about the O, and will see CNN bring up all the social issues instead including abortion….

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Just following Reagan’s 11th…

Political Chef on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Reagan’s 11th commandment is completely misused.

Reagan said not to speak ill of other republicans.

However, attacking a candidates positions,and past decisions are completely on the table. Watch a couple of Reagan’s primary debates from 1976 & 1980 and you will see that. Reagan went after George Bush’s policy decisions hard.

portlandon on June 13, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Cowardly Cowering Cowlenty

Western_Civ on June 13, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Hey, is the debate tonight being streamed somewhere?

JohnGalt23 on June 13, 2011 at 6:51 PM

dang i thought it started at 7pm….

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:52 PM

JohnGalt23 on June 13, 2011 at 6:51 PM

maybe on the cnn site??

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:52 PM

They should be demanding the Democrats show us their plan for saving Medicare and Social security.

Where are their plans?

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Sure would be a good start.

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 6:46 PM

The GOP is cowering in a corner covering it’s head pleading that they stop saying bad things about the Ryan plan and why oh why aren’t they just nice to them for once….

The ought to be on their feet demanding the Democrats show some leadership for once and show us what they would do to save the country from fiscal oblivion.

[Something OTHER than tax us all into third world status.]

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Most of the candidates- Pawlenty included- are still in the “getting to know you” phase.

As much as many of you want to be entertained WWE style, it makes sense for the candidates to spend most of their effort talking about themselves and their own policies rather than that of an opponent.

Romney has name recognition, Pawlenty doesn’t. Spending time debating with Romney only gives Romney that much more time to give his scripted answers; all that would be talked about the next day is how Romney responded, not who slapped him.

Hollowpoint on June 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

you think they would say it loud and often during this debate tonight…it’s ALL about the O, and will see CNN bring up all the social issues instead including abortion….

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 6:48 PM

The Democrats are the ones that are supposed to be the Geniuses.

Well, why don’t they trot some of that extensive intellectual firepower and show us what they would do for once.

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Just following Reagan’s 11th…

Political Chef on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Romneycare does not count.

Slowburn on June 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Most of the candidates- Pawlenty included- are still in the “getting to know you” phase.

As much as many of you want to be entertained WWE style, it makes sense for the candidates to spend most of their effort talking about themselves and their own policies rather than that of an opponent.

Hollowpoint on June 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM

What is WWE style? Never mind..

What is wrong with asking the Democrats what they would do?

Today we had a report that we are in Worse shape than Greece, so what is wrong with asking the people who got us in this mess, how they would get us out?

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

i hear ya

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Dems calling up the heavy hitters: Fox News just said that Robert Gibbs would be available to CNN tonight to conduct interviews and provide commentary.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Romneycare does not count.

Slowburn on June 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM

I agree.

Pawlenty = Milt Milquetoast.

BuckeyeSam on June 13, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I just want one question, what do you think of O

I swear if any of them literally says, he sucks

I would vote for him/her, but no nuance

djohn669 on June 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Then T-Paw won’t be the nominee.

If he doesn’t have the balls to come out swinging when he’s in single digit numbers and has virtually no name recognition …

Then he really doesn’t want to be the Republican nominee.

HondaV65 on June 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Today we had a report that we are in Worse shape than Greece, so what is wrong with asking the people who got us in this mess, how they would get us out?

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Eight years of George Bush – six of which were with a Republican Congress that reversed the budget surpluses of the ’90′s. Nothing done to correct the ills of Freddie and Fannie. Nothing done to fund Medicare Part D …

The American people are RIGHT to be skeptical of the GOP because the GOP is partly responsible for the problems we’re experiencing now. Sure – Obama has made things one hundred times worse but without the excesses of the GOP in the years 2000-2006 – there would be NO Obama. Obama, a leftist radical who was proven such before he was elected – was elected as a result of a BACKLASH against the carelessness of the GOP elite.

HondaV65 on June 13, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Nobody will hear him anyway. His weird hand and arm movements are distracting.

faraway on June 13, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Norwegian on June 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Here ya go, enjoy this.

MJBrutus on June 13, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I expect the debate will be cautious at first. With each candidate testing for weaknesses. After that who knows….

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Mike Tyson

csdeven on June 13, 2011 at 7:28 PM

If he doesn’t have the balls to come out swinging when he’s in single digit numbers and has virtually no name recognition …

Then he really doesn’t want to be the Republican nominee.

HondaV65 on June 13, 2011 at 7:17 PM

We’re definitely on the same page. “Coming out swinging” has been on my mind for the last 2 1/2 years. Someone has to do it, and if they don’t, the Republicans are finished.

Someone has to stand up and throw this big hot mess right back in BO’s face. Someone has to speak for us.

Cody1991 on June 13, 2011 at 7:30 PM

“Coming out swinging”

This is why Cain is rated so high at the moment.

faraway on June 13, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Today we had a report that we are in Worse shape than Greece, so what is wrong with asking the people who got us in this mess, how they would get us out?

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Eight years of George Bush – six of which were with a Republican Congress that reversed the budget surpluses of the ’90′s. Nothing done to correct the ills of Freddie and Fannie. Nothing done to fund Medicare Part D …

The American people are RIGHT to be skeptical of the GOP because the GOP is partly responsible for the problems we’re experiencing now. Sure – Obama has made things one hundred times worse but without the excesses of the GOP in the years 2000-2006 – there would be NO Obama. Obama, a leftist radical who was proven such before he was elected – was elected as a result of a BACKLASH against the carelessness of the GOP elite.

HondaV65 on June 13, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Understand, I’m not absolving the Republicans of all of this, but the original purveyors of these programs were the Democrats, so they should show some leadership in solving them instead of cowardly sitting attacking those who are.

At least Some Republicans are trying to take the bull by the horns and..

(Might be a Weiner joke in there somewhere….)

Chip on June 13, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Romney has name recognition, Pawlenty doesn’t. Spending time debating with Romney only gives Romney that much more time to give his scripted answers; all that would be talked about the next day is how Romney responded, not who slapped him.

Hollowpoint on June 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM

I don’t see the full on attack mode working in NH. That is a different breed of voter there. They don’t respond to stiff necked ideology and they are tired of the politics of personal destruction.

csdeven on June 13, 2011 at 7:35 PM

He needs to rip into Romney.

Who wants our 2012 choice to be between Obama and Obama Lite?

ButterflyDragon on June 13, 2011 at 8:01 PM

http://youtu.be/E01OCQcvrHc

DeathB4Tyranny on June 13, 2011 at 8:04 PM

What? Is T-Paw afraid to goof on Romney to his face? If T-Paw is afraid to say something directly to Romney during a debate why should I think T-Paw will go after the obamanation in a General election. We all saw how well McCain’s “genteel” approach worked in ’08, didn’t we?

Gohawgs on June 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Gohawgs on June 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Bingo. Courage to Stand with your hands in your pants should have been the title of his book. Hard to come out swinging with that posture.

Geochelone on June 13, 2011 at 8:26 PM

According to the update, both Mitt and T-Paw declined to talk about obamneycare when asked…

Milk meet toast….

Gohawgs on June 13, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Minnesota Nice is not going to cut it against Chicago Rules. So next.

Tasha on June 13, 2011 at 8:48 PM

If Pawlenty’s smart, he’ll pretend to make them drag it out of him. Then he’s still nice, but standing up for the truth.

Ok, that’s a cynical approach. But this is politics, so don’t be surprised if Pawlenty suddenly reverses himself on some pretext.

tom on June 13, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Pawlenty was gutless.

GO MB, HC and RS!!

knob on June 13, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Ridiculous. I have this sneaky suspicion that the majority of those voices wanting Pawlenty to get down in the mud, are actually supporting other, and at least in their view ‘more conservative,’ candidates. Doesn’t make sense that the guy earns the epithet of “RINO” right out of the box just because he failed to insult an unpopular opponent.

Behaving like a sulky teenager isn’t going to help Pawlenty in his campaign. Consistent messaging will. Particularly if he improves his speech delivery.

Murf76 on June 14, 2011 at 8:09 AM

This is the same gutless behavior that caused us to lose the last presidential election. Somebody needs to tell these bums that if they’re not up to the fight then get out.

rplat on June 14, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Behaving like a sulky teenager isn’t going to help Pawlenty in his campaign. Consistent messaging will. Particularly if he improves his speech delivery.

Murf76 on June 14, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Nonsense . . . sulky teenagers sulk they don’t don’t fight. McCain lost because he wanted to be a nice guy and it didn’t work. Now, this guy backs off right out of the blocks and that’s not good. If you don’t mean what you say then don’t say it, but if you do then back it up.

rplat on June 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Nonsense . . . sulky teenagers sulk they don’t don’t fight. McCain lost because he wanted to be a nice guy and it didn’t work. Now, this guy backs off right out of the blocks and that’s not good. If you don’t mean what you say then don’t say it, but if you do then back it up.

rplat on June 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Is Pawlenty your Number One?

See.. I’m thinking that alot of these folks who want to see a “fight” are the same ones who have probably been calling him a “RINO” even though there’s not a hair’s difference between his platform and say, Bachman’s or Cain’s.

McCain had a clear opportunity when the market crashed in 2008 to step into the leadership void and shine. He failed to do it. Further, in a year when a Republican shouldn’t have had a shot, the guy was running ahead until that he missed that important moment.

I think there are some people who just want to see a spectacle, a little blood-letting. Because if it was just about the “fight” against Democrat-sponsored socialism, they wouldn’t be so outrageously outraged about a guy refusing to get down in the mud like a pig in a sty.

Murf76 on June 14, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Tough call. At the end of the day, we’re all supposed to be on the same team. Still, the answer did seem a bit weasel-y.

Pablo Snooze on June 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Smart. First debate, not good to kill friendlies.

eaglesdontflock on June 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM