NEW YORK (WCCO) — Tim Pawlenty has a Bible verse for almost every situation. He relaxes by watching hockey fights online. And his advice for members of Congress responsible for America’s complicated tax code: Do your own taxes.
That’s the former Minnesota Governor — from elected office to the talk show circuit – promoting his new book “Courage to Stand,” which hit bookshelves on Tuesday.
In New York, Pawlenty was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and ”The View,” as well as Fox New’s Neil Cavuto.
A probable 2012 presidential candidate, Pawlenty won’t say whether he’s running, but is willing to joke about it, as he did on “The View” with co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
“Potential running mate?” she asked. “Who would be ideal for you do you think?”
“Whoopi!” Pawlenty quipped, grabbing host Whoopi Goldberg’s hand as the audience laughed and cheered.
“Courage to Stand” describes Pawlenty’s blue collar beginnings in South St. Paul, Minn. and his rise to the governor’s office.
On “Good Morning America,” he suggested Washington is out of touch with real people. He told the interviewer that members of Congress should be forced to fill out their own tax returns.
“I’d like every one of those individuals to have to do their own taxes every year,” said Pawlenty. “And live with the mindless burdens we visit on the American people every year.”
But back home in Minnesota, not all the book reviews are good ones.
A left leaning labor coalition, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, launched a website TruthAboutTim.com to tell what they say is the story that Pawlenty won’t.
Alliance director Denise Cardinal said Pawlenty “kicked the can down the road” while running for president, leaving behind a $6.2 billion deficit.
“He left behind what we’re referring to as really some rubble,” said Cardinal. ”He’s had Minnesota in the rear view mirror for far too long. For the latest two years, in fact.”
At every stop, Pawlenty found himself defending former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who’s been under intense criticism after the Arizona shootings because of rifle cross-hairs on her website.
He’s telling interviewers while it’s not his style, overheated political rhetoric is not responsible for the actions of one person.
The fiercest Pawlenty criticism so far: that he’s too nice.
Preparing to run for national office, Pawlenty said he’s unlike other candidates — he doesn’t have a lot of money, or any political novelty.
“I don’t have any of that, but I’ve got a great record,” he argued. ”I think I’ve got a good heart. I think I understand what the country needs. And I think I can help.”
WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler Reports