Pawlenty hits Romney on RomneyCare again — on, er, Twitter

posted at 4:55 pm on June 16, 2011 by Allahpundit

I don’t know, guys. I just … don’t know.

Alternate headline: “Maybe Huckabee was right.”

I’ll resist the urge to turn this into a hackish “wimp factor” post — although the alpha/beta dynamic at the debate was palpable, and distressing — and turn it instead in an almost-as-hackish critique of T-Paw’s political instincts. I can understand why he might pass on attacking Mitt at the debate: Maybe Pawlenty saw this as a chance to introduce himself to the public and didn’t want the introduction obscured by a shooting war with Romney just yet. (Said Pawlenty’s spokesman, “We take the long view, which is the right view. Presidential campaigns are marathons.”) That doesn’t make much sense since T-Paw wants to position himself as the “not Romney” in the race and attacking RomneyCare is the fastest path to doing that, but it makes a little sense. So far, so good.

If you’re going to do that, though, why would you (a) preface that non-attack with a headline-grabbing dig at “ObamneyCare” on one of the Sunday morning shows and (b) then follow that non-attack — three days later! — with yet another dig? And not only a dig, but a dig that’s actually framed as an admission that he blew it at the debate in not attacking? And not only that, but a dig whose unfortunate timing will help overshadow a tone-deaf gaffe made by Romney himself that’s in the news today? What exactly is the strategy here? “RomneyCare is a horrible mistake — but let’s not say it around Mitt in case it hurts his feelings”? Given the opening left by T-Paw for an aggressive anti-Romney candidate, if I were Rick Perry, my presidential announcement would consist of stepping to the podium, pulling out a photo of Mitt signing the RomneyCare bill in Massachusetts, and lighting that sucker on fire. Instant frontrunner. As it is, before too much longer, you’re going to have some Republicans fretting that Pawlenty as nominee would take the same kid-gloves approach to Obama as McCain did three years ago.

Speaking of alpha males and confrontationalism, here’s Trump weighing in on the debate (and Weiner) with Laura Ingraham this morning. Skip ahead to 2:20 for his take on Pawlenty’s big whiff. “Terrible.”

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On being wasels:

Mitt – 0
Pawlenty – 0

Voters – 1

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

I do so hate agreeing with Dave Weigel, but he called it. This is a shining example of staircase wit. It’s Pawlenty’s “jerk-store” moment.

KingGold on June 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

T-Paw Tormenting Mittens!!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

On being weasels

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Apparantly it’s only a violation of the 11th commandment if Romney is there to defend himself.

Kataklysmic on June 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Tim Pawlenty, the drive-by candidate.

Doughboy on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Gutsy call.

Or something.

steebo77 on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

I can’t give up hope on Pawlenty yet. He is more credible than Romney is.

He needs to come out hard against Romney, before the GOP Groupies start hammering him to Shut Up to save Romney’s butt.

portlandon on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

So Mitten’s “tone deaf gaffe” doesn’t warrant it’s own thread? Seriously? Buried in a Pawlenty piece? Honey, it’s going to lead in the MSM and you know it. They’re screaming about it on Twitter which makes me
tickled to death. I can’t stand the man.

Marcus on June 16, 2011 at 5:00 PM

if I were Rick Perry, my presidential announcement would consist of stepping to the podium, pulling out a photo of Mitt signing the RomneyCare bill in Massachusetts, and lighting that sucker on fire. Instant frontrunner.

I needed that laugh!

catmman on June 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

As it is, before too much longer, you’re going to have some Republicans fretting that Pawlenty as nominee would take the same kid-gloves approach to Obama as McCain did three years ago.

“Before too much longer”? Have you read the comments in these threads over the past year, AP? That’s always been a fear of ours with T-Paw. Monday’s debate validated those concerns.

Doughboy on June 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I have to go with the idea that Tpaw didn’t want his first real debate appearance to be as an attack dog against Romney, a slow and steady approach. Does that make him a wimp, only if he fails to be more aggressive in the next debate.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Second (or third) look at Pawlenty?

T-Paw gets glittered:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/06/glitter-bandit-strikes-again-tim-pawlenty-latest-gop-candidate-to-get-glittered.html

Doncha love how the lib media give these leftist assault perps lots of space to air their sick grievances?

itsnotaboutme on June 16, 2011 at 5:02 PM

I do so hate agreeing with Dave Weigel, but he called it. This is a shining example of staircase wit. It’s Pawlenty’s “jerk-store” moment.

KingGold on June 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Jerk-store, indeed! And we all know Mitt’s nothing but a Willard.

flyfisher on June 16, 2011 at 5:02 PM

It’s over for Pawlenty.

I am sure he will try and overcompensate in the next debate and use the “ObamnyCare” line 139 times. But it will only look like desperation.

Too bad, he had potential.

Norwegian on June 16, 2011 at 5:03 PM

I’m having trouble finding the Hot Air post-debate poll results. Would someone please help? Thanks.
Semper Fi

crash72 on June 16, 2011 at 5:03 PM

TPaw the sidewinder.

Sir Napsalot on June 16, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Jeebus, a single debate appearance and Tpaw’s death certificate is ready to be signed, and Michele Bachmann is on her way to the White House? Give them more than a single appearance to prove themselves, especially this early in the process.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

T-Paw did say, albeit reluctantly, during the debate that Obama based his plan on RomneyCare.
AllahPundit, how many candidates said something tougher against RomneyCare?
Hmmm?

itsnotaboutme on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

cslouis hardest hit.

fossten on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

OT: Great take on the ATM’s

ConservativePartyNow on June 16, 2011 at 5:07 PM

My bet is T-Paw was wearing cute little Bermuda shorts when he typed this.

jake-the-goose on June 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Jeebus, a single debate appearance and Tpaw’s death certificate is ready to be signed, and Michele Bachmann is on her way to the White House? Give them more than a single appearance to prove themselves, especially this early in the process.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Even moreso now that Twitter has compressed the news cycle, quickly shuttling stories and analysis along their paths. (Unless, of course, your last name rhymes with “cleaner.”)

Everybody has way too much fun killing current campaigns and formulating nonexistent ones.

KingGold on June 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Dude, if you can’t man up to Mittens about O-care, how are you going to handle the abuse from the O-machine?

Jorge Bonilla on June 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

If T-Paw wins the primary he will Twitter Obama into surrender.

“Never bring a gun to a Twitter fight” will be T-Paw’s motto for posterity.

Geochelone on June 16, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Nope. This is all sound and fury. T-Paw had an awkward moment, that’s all. Sarah whiffed on Supreme Court decisions because you just know she wanted to bring up Roe v. Wade but was tangled up by handlers.

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

“Twit” ter.

jake-the-goose on June 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

T-Paw gets glittered:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/06/glitter-bandit-strikes-again-tim-pawlenty-latest-gop-candidate-to-get-glittered.html

itsnotaboutme on June 16, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Ridiculous quote from the Gingrich glitterer: “I invited Newt to feel the rainbow.”

steebo77 on June 16, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I’m giving him credit for sticking it to himself with that tweet, but dude, you can’t trash people behind their back, and then pussyfoot around to their face. That’s weak.

I still want T-Paw (and in fact ANYONE more conservative than Romney) to do well, just for the sake of continuing to move the candidates more to the right.

So don’t let another opportunity pass you by, Pawlenty, they don’t come ’round too often you know.

DrAllecon on June 16, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I can’t give up hope on Pawlenty yet. He is more credible than Romney is.
portlandon on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

More credible, just in a wussy, pathetic kind of way? bleh to both of them.

Bee on June 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM

T-Paw needs to remember that Mittens is not in the White House…

… and the jackalope that is, has ruined this country!

Concentrate on Obowma, point our all of the disastrous effects of his failed policies, tell us how you are going to let us drill for our own oil and generate trillions in revenue and create millions of jobs…!

… This “patty-cake” between candidates is just waisted energy.

Seven Percent Solution on June 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM

My comment was eaten, I figued out why after the fact, so to briefly summerize:

I give T-Paw credit for sticking it to himself in the Tweet.
I’d like to see him and anyone more conservative than Romney (ie: nearly everyohe) continue to do well.
Don’t let too many opportunities pass you by, you do that too many times and you’ll be left in the dust.

DrAllecon on June 16, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Try this again,Ugh!
=======================

Jeebus, a single debate appearance and Tpaw’s death certificate is ready to be signed, and Michele Bachmann is on her way to the White House? Give them more than a single appearance to prove themselves, especially this early in the process.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Bishop:That sounds logical to me,give’m a chance part!!

On a side note,from Election Debate Night,I caught
this,Liberal Rhetric,maybe T-Paw needed a hatchet!:)
============================================================

Cornell Belcher
**************

On Pawlenty, who had been critical of Romney the day before on his health care reform plan while governor of Massachusetts but backed away from the opportunity to continue his criticism during the debate:
—————————————–

“I think the Pawlenty thing was a big deal because of this: As much as we don’t like — we say we don’t like negative campaigns, the truth of the matter is, if someone occupies the space that you want to occupy, and they’re ahead of you, I’m sorry, you have got to make that person — you got to cut that person and make them bleed.

“Now, do you take a hatchet to him the first-night debate? No. But you have to make them bleed because you are never going to get ahead of that person unless you cut them and you make them bleed.

“Pawlenty was served up an opportunity to sort of start that bleeding tonight, and he looked punk. He could not back up what he has said aside when he was standing on the stage with Romney. He looked tentative and he looked weak. I think he missed a prime opportunity to make this guy bleed.”
=========

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Jeebus, a single debate appearance and Tpaw’s death certificate is ready to be signed, and Michele Bachmann is on her way to the White House? Give them more than a single appearance to prove themselves, especially this early in the process.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

It seems like Hot Air commenters are more and more like the know nothing voters we all condemn.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

My bet is T-Paw was wearing cute little Bermuda shorts when he typed this.

jake-the-goose on June 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM

A true beta wears capris.

Kataklysmic on June 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

No idea why *NN linkys don’t go through,from Election Night,
Cornell Bletcher,Political Contributor to *NN,I’d post the
link,but it would get bounced for the fifth attempt!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM
=====================================
It seems like Hot Air commenters are more and more like the know nothing voters we all condemn.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Vince:Can you elaborate,or expand on your point,in regards
to your theory!!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:24 PM

He’s trying SO hard to seem like a badass.

nickj116 on June 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Agreed, it was a missed opportunity, but Tpaw has never been that sort of direct attack politician. Some people don’t seem to like his subdued manner, me, he was my governor and I thought did a pretty good job.

That being said, if he doesn’t come out harder in the next debates to go after the things that need going after, then I’ll write him off.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

cslouis hardest hit.

fossten on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

.
Funny, when I Google cslouis I get C. S. Lewis… what could be wrong?

ExpressoBold on June 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

T-Paw, the geeky dude with absolutely no tude.

This is like watching 2 yr old girls fight.

upinak on June 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Vince:Can you elaborate,or expand on your point,in regards
to your theory!!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Yep! Whenever someone has a “moment” good or bad, there is always a climbing on the bandwagon or off the bandwagon. Trump, Cain, Bachman, Perry.

I agree with Bishop. Why not give this thing time to flesh out without condemning to hell anyone who has a minor flub or declaring sainthood for anyone who had a moment of glory?

It’s all emotion all the time.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM
yup, hope he does better, we need more ppl against mitt

djohn669 on June 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM

TPaw the hard hitter admits he whiffed it on twitter.
Bachmann does well and makes Palin lapdogs bitter
Obama as president put US in the sh!tter
So many things rhyme with twitter

hanzblinx on June 16, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Maybe, if he included a pic?

Fallon on June 16, 2011 at 5:33 PM

TPaw, just drop out already.

MeatHeadinCA on June 16, 2011 at 5:36 PM

It is early and doubt this will hurt him. UNLESS it becomes a pattern. If he does this again, he’s toast!

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Jeebus, a single debate appearance and Tpaw’s death certificate is ready to be signed, and Michele Bachmann is on her way to the White House? Give them more than a single appearance to prove themselves, especially this early in the process.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I’ve seen multiple appearances by TPaw. He’s not what I’m looking for.

MeatHeadinCA on June 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:24 PM

It’s all emotion all the time.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Vince:Well said,and yes Bishop has a great point,and for the
love of gawd,its waaaaaay tooooo early!!

And one must seperate emotions from ones Politics,or
dare I say,one could wind up,a ZombieObamaVoterBot
type(i kid on the VoterBot thingy)!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I agree with Bishop. Why not give this thing time to flesh out without condemning to hell anyone who has a minor flub or declaring sainthood for anyone who had a moment of glory?

It’s all emotion all the time.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:31 PM

That’s what I’m doing – but the Pawlenty thing was a moment of character – there are some moments when a guy can’t be rehearsed – he just reacts in accordance with whatever his character is. T-Paw looked like a coward and that’s going to be hard for him to overcome.

I expect he’ll try though – and go out of his way to correct this. He might then run the risk of looking like he’s trying “too hard”.

I dunno – we’ll see.

Bachmann had a great nigh – she’s a long way from the nom though.

HondaV65 on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Speaking of attacks on GOP Candidates,it reminds me of the
MSM theme on Michelle Bachmann’s SOTUA,where she was painted
as a idoit,for not looking into the camera!

Btw,also,that incident caused alot of hand-wringing
and was an attempt to right off BachmannOverDrive!!

As an example!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

I’ve seen multiple appearances by TPaw. He’s not what I’m looking for.
MeatHeadinCA on June 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Fair enough, I’m not trying to make up anyone’s mind for them, but there’s been a lot of disemboweling and traumatic amputating debating here lately about whether someone is done or too late to the show or on their way to the big house. I’m just saying that Tpaw is far from done, it’s only been one debate.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Say it to his face or shut your piehole, Timmy.

Naturally Curly on June 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Pawlenty, hitting like a girl.

Can’t someone convince him to run for the U.S. Senate?

BuckeyeSam on June 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

It is early and doubt this will hurt him. UNLESS it becomes a pattern. If he does this again, he’s toast!

csdeven on June 16, 2011 at 5:37 PM

csdeven:Makes me think of Hopey/Changey snafu`s,at the rate
Obama has screwed up,ya would think,he would of,

VAPOURIZED himself by now!!

canopfor on June 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM

As it is, before too much longer, you’re going to have some Republicans fretting that Pawlenty as nominee would take the same kid-gloves approach to Obama as McCain did three years ago.

I like Pawlenty, but that is a discomforting thought.

iurockhead on June 16, 2011 at 5:46 PM

if I were Rick Perry, my presidential announcement would consist of stepping to the podium, pulling out a photo of Mitt signing the RomneyCare bill in Massachusetts, and lighting that sucker on fire. Instant frontrunner.

I needed that laugh!

catmman on June 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Well Mitt might just run around and hold up this…..

http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/files/legacy/perry%20ACORN.jpg

tencole on June 16, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Sniping from the sidelines isn’t too courageous.

Pawlenty should have been prepared for that question, and explained that Romneycare is a mistake. It makes him look timid not to hit that head on. No reason we can’t debate policy in the republican debates. We don’t have to avoid the tough topics just ’cause we’re on the same team.

Romneycare has real consequences for real people – and Romney was there making it happen. No reason not to hold him accountable right there.

A bit too cowardly for me – and I’ve been a big fan of Pawlenty.

Pablo Snooze on June 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

tencole on June 16, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Heh. Well played.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Its so easy to be brave in cyberspace and TVland. But the cowardice Pawlenty displayed in public, and in person at the debate.

People want to hear him make a cogent argument and not these too cute by half snarks. I think Pawlenty will face from here on out unless he can convince voters he is the courageous leader we need. Tweets are for cowards.

Lori on June 16, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I’m just saying that Tpaw is far from done, it’s only been one debate.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

I agree; however, I’m not exactly looking at “debate performance” as much as swing in the wind like a little girl. That he does.

Frick, he came off more RINO-y that Romney. Fair Trade? And then he plays these little “strong man” games and blows it again and again. He strikes me as the dog that is all bark and no bite.

Anyway, was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on past policy things given his “bold” moves on ethanol subsidies but I was disappointed to see him swing back to squish central on other policies.

Hey, maybe he’s not “done,” but he’s not going to beat Mitt by being Mitt, right?

MeatHeadinCA on June 16, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Pablo Snooze on June 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Yep! He screwed up. Now let’s see if he can recover.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 5:52 PM

A bit too cowardly for me – and I’ve been a big fan of Pawlenty.

Pablo Snooze on June 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

While not a big fan, I really thought he had potential, especially after coming out with his own budget policy.
But daaaang……first of all he just puts me to sleep talking about it and then he couldn’t even back up his own plan while Wallace was questioning him about it.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/06/16/pawlenty-hits-romney-on-romneycare-again-on-er-twitter/comment-page-1/#comment-4659647

Not going after Mitt at the debate was an opportunity lost…. one he’s not going to get back.
By the time the next debate comes along it will have already been brought front and center and T-Paw will look like an also ran.

Pawlenty….no fire in the belly for the good fight….no thanks.

tencole on June 16, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Not over yet for T-Paw, but what this does is assure that at the next debate, barring any other major issues coming up, the main thing people are going to be looking for from Pawelnty is whether or not he’s willing to go after Romney (or any other opponent he’s at odds with) face-to-face. If he backs off again, he earns the “ueberwimp” label for the remainder of the 2012 campaign season.

jon1979 on June 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Pablo Snooze on June 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

You know that this will be brought up at the next debate. We will see then how he responds.

Vince on June 16, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Not over yet for T-Paw, but what this does is assure that at the next debate, barring any other major issues coming up, the main thing people are going to be looking for from Pawelnty is whether or not he’s willing to go after Romney (or any other opponent he’s at odds with) face-to-face. If he backs off again, he earns the “ueberwimp” label for the remainder of the 2012 campaign season.

jon1979 on June 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM

I think you can say that about all of them.
I have a feeling that the next debate will be much more lively. :)

tencole on June 16, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Just be calm and factual: Mitts mandate is a moral and fiscal disaster.

AshleyTKing on June 16, 2011 at 6:17 PM

There is a huge disconnect between REAL REPUBLICANS and the pundits regarding the MassCare/RomneyCare issue. Every poll is a proof that this issue isn’t hurting Romney.

By the way Rick Perry has too many dirt on his hand and is too easy to find it.

Falz on June 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I can’t give up hope on Pawlenty yet. He is more credible than Romney is.

He needs to come out hard against Romney, before the GOP Groupies start hammering him to Shut Up to save Romney’s butt.

portlandon on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

..c’mon, DOn, you’re working too hard..

The War Planner on June 16, 2011 at 6:48 PM

He strikes me as the dog that is all bark and no bite.

MeatHeadinCA on June 16, 2011 at 5:52 PM

That’s why Lassie always had to rescue Timmy.

Geochelone on June 16, 2011 at 7:50 PM

What a wimp…He’s hemming and tpawing again…

Gohawgs on June 16, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Romney would be the worst candidate that we could field. That’s why the mainstream propaganda media is backing him. Be gone you phony!

Mojave Mark on June 16, 2011 at 8:50 PM

portlandon on June 16, 2011 at 4:59 PM

T-Paw is the Mitt of ’08 without the bank account. T-Paw has flipped flopped on Man made global warming, on Cap & Tax and on ethanol subsidies…And, now on calling obamneycare, obamneycare…

Gohawgs on June 16, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Jeebus, a single debate appearance and Tpaw’s death certificate is ready to be signed, and Michele Bachmann is on her way to the White House? Give them more than a single appearance to prove themselves, especially this early in the process.

Bishop on June 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

All the news that’s fit to print that fits our narrative!!

IOW, standard media practice. After all, Romney’s the front runner, so there’s no room for TPaw. Bachmann is the cheeky challenger. And they’re hoping for a sweet reconciliation at the end with them both on the same ticket — but Romney at the top, natch.

tom on June 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Every poll is a proof that this issue isn’t hurting Romney.

Falz on June 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Polls prove nothing, especially this far out. They’re just one more piece of evidence.

Like most statistics, it’s easy to lie and often hard to catch the lie. Gullible people hear the numbers and assume they must be right.

And that is why polls are used to shape opinion in the early part of campaigns, and to measure opinion as you near the finish line.

tom on June 16, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Tiny Tim…what a pathetic, small,…um…er…this is the part where I’m supposed to say “man”, but this teenage girl fighting style just won’t let me use the word “man” to describe Cap and Tax Timmy.

Tiny Tim indeed.

SuperCool on June 17, 2011 at 1:41 AM

Tiny Tim…what a pathetic, small,…um…er…this is the part where I’m supposed to say “man”, but this teenage girl fighting style just won’t let me use the word “man” to describe Cap and Tax Timmy.

Tiny Tim indeed.

SuperCool on June 17, 2011 at 1:41 AM