Pawlenty: McConnell plan is like a "band-aid on a broken bone"

In a pre-taped interview for this week’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” which airs this weekend on Bloomberg TV, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty expressed his disapproval of Mitch McConnell’s debt ceiling backup plan.

“I don’t like it,” Pawlenty said. “I think it’s a Band-Aid on a broken bone. … It doesn’t solve the problem. … I don’t like it.”

The interview featured some of the strongest quotes yet from Pawlenty, who, this time, kept the focus squarely on why voters should pick him over President Barack Obama, as opposed to why voters shouldn’t pick one or another of his GOP competitors.

Take his defense of his approach to tax reform. Pawlenty’s proposed tax plan would include the largest tax cut ever and, under that plan, the top 0.1 percent of wealthiest Americans would get an average cut of $1.4 million a year. Pawlenty refused to allow that to be painted as a negative proposal.

“If you’re into wealth redistribution, vote for President Obama,” he said. If you’re into growing the economy so the other 97 percent of us can have jobs and pay our mortgages and put gas in our car and get our kids to college, then vote for me, because I don’t really think the main issue in the country is whether some small percent of the country gets a little more wealthy or a little less wealthy. I think the issue is the economy overall has to grow, and we’ve got to provide jobs, so that the 95 percent or so of the country that depends on jobs for their quality of life has them available to them. That’s what I’m after.”

He wouldn’t be baited into class-warfare calls for increased sacrifice from top CEOs either.

“I don’t look at this from a wealth redistribution standpoint,” Pawlenty reiterated. That’s not the measure of our country. The measure of our country, are jobs growing? Are we providing jobs? … In my reform plan, I look at means testing part of Social Security, specifically the cost-of-living adjustment. So if you’re wealthy, you won’t get that. … It’s not government’s place to set compensation. … If you want to have wealth redistribution or focus on what percent of the top 10 percent are paying in taxes – and, by the way, they’re paying a bucket load already – then vote for Obama. That’s his argument. If you want Robin Hood, vote for Barack Obama. If you want to get the economy overall moving and do the things that are going to require you or help you get a job, vote for me.”

Solid, solid performance and one I’m proud to applaud.