Pawlenty Bolsters Republicans In Shutdown Standoff

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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty sidetracked from the presidential campaign trail to urge fellow Republicans at the Capitol to not back down in their budget standoff with his Democratic successor.

Pawlenty held a news conference at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Thursday evening on the brink of a Minnesota government shutdown. The candidate for the GOP presidential nomination says spending needs to be controlled in both Washington, D.C., and in St. Paul.

Democrats in Minnesota call Pawlenty responsible for the state’s $5 billion projected budget deficit at the heart of the dispute between Dayton and the GOP. But Pawlenty says the deficit is caused by projected increases in spending needs that he does not support.

Minnesota’s last government shutdown was in 2005, when Pawlenty was governor. It lasted eight days.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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