Pawlenty Responds To Criticism On ‘Today Show’

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO and
Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A war of words between past and present governors is brewing.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty used a national TV appearance on NBC’s ‘Today Show’ to respond to criticism made by his successor, Gov. Mark Dayton.

On Wednesday Gov. Dayton said in his State of the State address, “We were left with a horrendous fiscal mess. A decade of economic decline and state agencies poorly managed.”

On Thursday morning NBC’s Meredith Vieira asked Pawlenty, “What makes you better equipped to run the nations’ economy if you left your own house is such disarray?”

Pawlenty replied, “49 of the 50 states have a budget deficit. So if the disqualifier is any governor who has a budget deficit currently no governor could run for anything.”

He said the deficit left behind was a result of the worst economic collapse since World War II.

Gov. Dayton is currently looking at $6.2 billion deficit during his first term in office.

“As to Gov. Dayton and any other governor facing those challenges … that assumes by the way, the deficit in Minnesota … a 27 percent increase in spending, that’s the forecasted increase in spending, that’s preposterous! I could take care of that deficit as I did for my eight years as Governor and he should too by reducing government spending,” said Pawlenty.

Pawlenty cited his “A” rating from the Cato Institute. He’s one only four governors in the country that got an “A” grade in their 2010 Fiscal Policy Report for cuts to taxes and spending — higher cuts equal higher grades.

Vieira asked Pawlenty how he’s going to stand out from news makers like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney.

“I think people are probably tired of the hype and big speeches filled with false promises. I have a record of actually delivering the product and the goods,” said Pawlenty.

When asked what if he would like to make a formal announcement for the presidency Thursday he said “Absolutely!” After quick pause he laughed and said, “No I’m just teasing.”

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  • mike

    shut up!

  • gtV

    With all due respect to the former governor, “What a load of political horse feathers!”. The interview made his policies look ridiculous. If he wants to be President then why isn’t he sticking around Minnesota to rally the MN Republican troops to help the Dayton administration get back on the tracks to state budget stability.

    The money he would spend on a Presidential bid could be better put to use improving the plight of his country folk. The cut- slash-&-burn economic policies he espouses have a poor track record thus far. Even true traditional and Reagan Republicans cringe at such Pawlenty pronouncements.

    It’s time to go back to ECON 101 and Qualitative Economic Analysis 508 to truly find the straightforward solutions to “Minnesota’s” budget woes. If your immediate statehouse isn’t in good order and politically stable then don’t waste time running for President to fix the state of the nation.

  • What next?

    Minnesota is flooded with illegal immigrants. Thanks Tim

    • ronnie

      anyone who let’s an illegal immigrant work for them should be shut down!

  • richard

    I am getting sooootired of responding to this guys pronouncments. He is a light weight wannabe. He never saw a tax break for the wealthy and for corporations he didn’t like. He never saw ANY program that helped the poor, working and middle earners of Minnesota that he did like. He is a dictator (great with the veto pen). He spent the last 1 1/2 years of is stint in office writing an book and running all over the country “testing the waters” for a shot at the presidentcy. A clear demonstration of how much he cared about the citizens of Mn. Oh yeah….there’s that little issue of a %6.4 billion deficit. It has more to do with his lack of foresight and sense of reponsibility than the ression. In fact, whenever anything has gone wrong durning his tenure, he always blamed someone else. If you want to know how tim has done, just ask a Minnesoten.

  • JB

    considering this whole mess is on the shoulders of Margaret Anerson Kelihorse, do not see why anyone on the right would care what the current governor or his attack dogs say. She is the one that led the charge to over-ride the governors veto of her spending bill that spent more than we have. So, the democrats own this and then they all get kicked out of office and blame the republicans. Hey Current Gov, your party did this, so ask them how to sove it without killing me, the middle class tax payer.

    • Ignorance must be bliss

      If the Dems are to blame why is it that almost everything that they put on T Paw’s desk got vetoed? Read something other than his and Palin’s blog and get some facts. T Paw holds the record for vetos, the Dems could not do anything in office because of this.

    • St Paul

      JB – what planet are you from and where did you get this misinformation of yours?? How silly you are!!

      • GN

        St Paul — you must be a union freeluncher — too incompetent to work in the private sector non-union side.

  • Melissa

    Not really interested in another president who focuses so much on unproven, expensive environmental programs.

  • Mark

    For the sake of our country lets start a movement -ANYONE BUT TIM- what he did to this state is disgraceful. Do we really want a president who isn’t even honest enough to admit he has been running since the moment McCain picked Palin? Pawlenty and Bachmann are the best we can offer? Oh the shame!

  • Patrick

    Pawlenty is a moron. He destroyed this state and has as good a chance of being President of the United States as my ass does.

    • Ignorance must be bliss

      Sad to say, but I would vote for your ass if it came down to it.

  • Papa K

    50% tax for all political ads, campaign donations, and eliminating pensions and health benefits for all elected government officials.

    • johnnycmoun

      Do you work for free Papa K? The reason why many successful business men and woman stay away from politics is because of the expense and pay.

  • Goob

    He cut off the U of M and I don’t blame him….they are more corrupt than they are in St. Paul…Cost a lot of good jobs over there too. He said he’d like to get outta Minnesota and open a Marguerritta bar in Florida. What’s THAT tell ya…

    • johnnycmoun

      Your a Goober!

  • JigIsUp

    Go away already. So sick of this has-been. Why do you keep covering this whackadoo’s every movement?

  • Steve

    He is known as the double talking liar ex-gov. No new taxes but plenty of fee’s. Jesse was a better governor. If he gets the nomination I will vote for the democrat. As will all my conservative friend. This guy is a loser and liar.

  • john

    who ran the house and the senate for two decades it was the gov. it was the Democrats that’s why we are broke

    • Paul

      the gov vetoed EVERY THING TPAWS FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jimmy

      John you must have been there when the German’s bombed Pearl Harbor. The Dems only had the House since Jan 2007. The Republicans used the House and the Governors office to destroy this state.

  • john

    sorry wasn’t the Gov.

  • paul

    Tim Pawlenty YOU are nolonger the Govenor of Minnesota so JUST SHUT UP !! let our Govenor Mark Dayton do his job without sticking your BIG nose in the way !!!

    • johnnycmoun

      Paul you goof ball, Tim was responding to Gov. Dayton’s statement. It was Mark Dayton who initiated the debate. Good job reading the article though… hhhmmmm…..

      • Ignorance must be bliss

        So since Dayton was telling the truth I believe what Paul is trying to state is that T Paw should except the fact that he did screw the state up and not try to make an excuse for this. He should tell the truth for 1s and admit that he made some bad, BAD mistakes yet he continues to try to say he did everything right.

  • Rach

    This man needs some serious pharmaceutical help-yikes!!!

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