Consider this Tim Pawlenty’s entree into the 2012 sweepstakes. Freed of having to walk a fine line in Minnesota, Pawlenty has aggressively attacked not just Barack Obama’s health-care plan, but also the Massachusetts plan installed during Mitt Romney’s tenure as governor. Pawlenty notes that costs have tripled in Massachusetts, but saves the big guns for Obama:
“This whole health care proposal by president Obama is really quite a joke on a number of levels,” Pawlenty told Neil Cavuto. “I think he is scamming the American people. Even if you believe that it is only going to tax people over $1 million, what is known to happen is that is only going to cover about 25% of the total cost. the rest will be paid for by saving waste, fraud, and abuse. If you believe that, then I’ve got some January tee time in northern Minnesota.” …
He also took a shot at the Massachusetts model.
“The cost of that thing has nearly tripled in just 36 months and they’re looking for an additional federal bailout,” he said. “It has not been successful in containing costs.”
Minnesotans know that Pawlenty has some toughness hiding behind that Sam’s Club Republican persona. He’d be a dark horse for 2012, but don’t count him out, especially if he continues to hit Obama hard.
Update: Rick Perry goes 10th Amendment on ObamaCare (via the comments):
Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be “disastrous” for Texas.
Interviewed by conservative talk show host Mark Davis of Dallas’ WBAP/820 AM, Perry said his first hope is that Congress will defeat the plan, which both Perry and Davis described as “Obama Care.” But should it pass, Perry predicted that Texas and a “number” of states might resist the federal health mandate.
“I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying ‘no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare,” Perry said. “So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats.”
That sounds like it would be a fascinating political story, if it gets that far. I’m hoping that we can stop ObamaCare from happening first.