Pawlenty, Bachmann Spar Over Qualifications for Presidency
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty once again used the Sunday shows–“Meet the Press” in this case–to go after a rival Republican in the presidential race, this time fellow Minnesotan and rising Iowa contender Michele Bachmann. Pawlenty said “her record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent” and that their party’s choice to take on the president should have more than just speech capabilities.
Bachmann’s response, issued Sunday evening, reflected the air of calm that has emanated from her campaign since a widely-praised showing in the first debate:
“This is an election about the future of our nation – one where voters will have to decide who is best equipped to lead our nation by looking at our records, as well as our vision for the nation. Instead of negativity, I want to focus on my accomplishments.
“I have fought the cap-and-trade agenda, rather than implement it, and I will work to end cap-and-trade as President of the United States. I stood up against President Obama’s support of the $700 billion bailout rather than defend it.
“I was a leading voice, fighting against Obamacare and the unconstitutional individual mandates; I did not lift my voice in praise of it. My message brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington D.C. to oppose Obamacare. As President I will not rest until Obamacare is repealed. And I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.
“People can count on me as a fighter; I am proud of my record of fighting with resolve, and without apology, for our free markets, for sane fiscal policies, and in opposition to the advancement of the big government left. As President, the American people can count on me to stand by my record of advancing pro-growth policies to put our nation back on the right track.”
Pawlenty, of course, helped steer a cap-and-trade bill to passage in Minnesota, his only violation of Republican orthodoxy. But lagging in the polls since he jumped into the campaign months ago, the former governor has been free to use most TV appearances to generate buzz by slamming his rivals–and has experienced little pushback in return.