Pawlenty campaign manager: Bachmann won’t last over the long haul

posted at 1:00 pm on July 24, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Tim Pawlenty’s campaign manager yesterday sent out an e-mail outlining Pawlenty’s accomplishments and assuring supporters that the former Minnesota governor’s fan club will continue to grow, while enthusiasm for other candidates — most implicitly, Michele Bachmann — will fade.

“In 2008, voters elected a member of Congress with no executive experience. We can’t afford the cost of inexperience any longer, and Iowans are getting that,” Ayers wrote. “[A]s more Republican primary voters start to tune in to the race, they are finding out that the governor’s record and message will stand the test [of] a brutal campaign. Other candidates’ records (or lack thereof), and plans for the future (or lack thereof) won’t.”

Even though Ayers never mentions Bachmann by name, it’s clear she’s the primary object of his statements.

Pawlenty’s persistent picking at Bachmann has drawn so much press attention that some even questioned whether the Pawlenty campaign planted the story of Bachmann’s supposedly “incapacitating” migraines. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin explains how that insinuation — and the Pawlenty campaign’s failure to completely dispense with it — continues to plague Pawlenty’s prospects:

In essence, the campaign’s defense is that they let the press run with a story without effectively rebutting it. If that is the case, and there is no definitive proof at this point to suggest otherwise, this will only multiply concerns that Pawlenty’s campaign is not firing on all cylinders. In any event, the issue has now created another worrisome distraction for Pawlenty, who has failed to make a dent in the polls and needs to finish near the top of the pack in Ames.

Meantime, Bachmann’s own handling of the headache issue has actually served her well. This weekend, she even slipped in a witty quip about her “condition” during an Iowa appearance:

Michele Bachmann went beyond her prepared statement about her migraines during an Iowa appearance today, making a joke about the story that dominated the 2012 coverage for much of last week:

“This week, they were talking about me and headaches. All I want you to know is I’ve been giving a lot more headaches in Washington than I’ve been getting,” she joked to laughter and raucous applause. … “And as president of the United States, I intend to give those big power brokers a lot more headaches, because we’re going to give the country back to you.”

Pawlenty’s persevering criticisms of a competitor continue to betray insecurity. Ed eloquently defended candidates’ rights to question their competitors’ records — and I initially conceded Bachmann’s migraines to be a legitimate cause for concern (at least until her doctor settled the issue definitively) and praised T-Paw’s common-sense quote about the requirements of the presidency — but, at this point, if I were Pawlenty, I would steer as far away from any mention of Bachmann — explicit or implicit — as I could manage. He doesn’t appear to be hurting Bachmann, but he is denting the best shield he has against attacks against him: His reputation as a stand-up guy who’s running on his own merits, not money or a popular image. He’s at his best when he talks policy, not petty quibbles.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Haiku Guy on July 24, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Points for style you get
Even when your thoughts are wet
Stay with the fun shtick

MJBrutus on July 25, 2011 at 6:25 AM

MJBrutus on July 24, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Oh stop. I’ve seen your exchanges. lol, you should talk about anyone else crying over someone’s comments.

Anyways, you are the epitome of class. Don’t let your friends tell you otherwise.

hawkdriver on July 25, 2011 at 7:08 AM

hawkdriver on July 25, 2011 at 7:08 AM

Are you completely out of your mind? Where are these supposed insults and angry words hurled your way be the mean on stranger?

You show up here with no other purpose than to pick a fight with me. I declined to get in some stupid pi$$ing contest with you but you go ahead and play the poor, wounded innocent anyway. Boo freaking hoo.

MJBrutus on July 25, 2011 at 7:32 AM

You show up here with no other purpose than to pick a fight with me. I declined to get in some stupid pi$$ing contest with you but you go ahead and play the poor, wounded innocent anyway. Boo freaking hoo.

MJBrutus on July 25, 2011 at 7:32 AM

You really do think the world revolves around you. You’re funny. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to come “pick a fight” with you. It is inevitable with anyone that enters comment with you though. Reread the thread. I asserted your comment about Palwenty “having the virtue of being right” about Bachmann was opinion. You, as always, went off the deep end.

Get over yourself.

hawkdriver on July 25, 2011 at 7:49 AM

You, as always, went off the deep end.

hawkdriver on July 25, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Off the deep end? The entirety of my reply was, “Du-uh.” Was that the insult or was it the anger? No seriously, I don’t know which so I need you tell me.

I see your point. As I read your words and listen real carefully I can actually hear a distant, lone, plaintive violin. It’s all so tragic.

MJBrutus on July 25, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Now – of those substantially growing their base, which are bad-mouthing other Republicans?

beatcanvas on July 24, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Glad you asked, actually.

KingGold on July 24, 2011 at 2:59 PM

“Governor Pawlenty said in 2006, ‘The era of small government is over… the government has to be more proactive and more aggressive.’ That’s the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health care plan.

A. He attacked her and this is her “response” to his attack.

B. Pawlenty’s statement is pretty damning.

C. Her response is issue-oriented, not “he’s not competent” (of similar).

And I’m not a Bachmannite.

mankai on July 25, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Both Bachmann and Pawlenty will be gone after Super Tuesday. Pawlenty will probably be gone before then, though. Bachmann has the fundraising hounds from hell to keep her in for a while longer.

ddrintn on July 25, 2011 at 9:03 AM

T-Paw sinks in polls
Each time he attacks Bachmann
Cause and Effect, Dude!

Haiku Guy on July 25, 2011 at 9:54 AM

He sinks anyway
Not because he attacks her
He cannot campaign

MJBrutus on July 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM

The only question is who will be gone first. It’ll be Timmy.

PA Guy on July 25, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Did Tim own it and chastise his campaign manager like Bachmann did after Rollins went after Sarah? If he did, I missed it.

beatcanvas on July 25, 2011 at 11:31 AM

We must grow the pie.
T-Paw steals from other’s plates,
Drives voters away.

Haiku Guy on July 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I hate it when the candidates focus on destroying other candidates. Yeah, I know – that’s how the election cookie crumbles. But we’re really out to beat Obama, you guys. Don’t hamstring anyone out of the gate. Let them do it to themselves.

disa on July 25, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Wow! whats up with Pawlenty’s constant attacks on Mrs. Bachmann. He seems to be fixated on trying to bring her down politically. He should save his venom for the other party. He must think that she is the weak animal in the heard because I do not see him attacking other Male Republican candidates with such fervor? Mr. Pawlenty your poll numbers are miserable and that has to do with the public’s view of you as a candidate and as a person. You give me the impression of being an underhanded weasel. A word of warning for you: Attacking Michelle will lead to your political undoing.

SGinNC on July 26, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 2