Soledad O’Brien · Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty suggests that Soledad O’Brien doesn’t understand English

Tim Pawlenty speaks to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien

The Raw Story

Romney surrogates going up against CNN host Soledad O’Brien clearly haven’t learned their lesson.

A day after former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu angrily told O’Brien to “put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead,” former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney’s national campaign co-chair, suggested that the CNN host didn’t understand English.

During an interview on Wednesday, O’Brien told Pawlenty that one of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate’s ads falsely claimed that President Barack Obama had cut $716 billion from Medicare — but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had determined that it was actually reduction in spending, not benefits.

“Isn’t that just patently untrue in that ad?” she asked the former Minnesota governor.

“No, that’s not correct, Soledad,” Pawlenty replied. “It is absolutely beyond factual dispute that [Obama] has cut $716 billion out of the money that was projected to be spent on Medicare over the next 10 years.”

“But, sir, it’s not a cut in Medicare, right?” O’Brien observed. “Let me just read from the CBO. It’s a ‘permanent reduction in the annual updates to Medicaid’s payment rates.’ It’s a cut in the spending — future spending. And it’s cut that actually goes to insurers, right? I mean, it’s not cuts to individuals.”

“No matter how you say this, it’s a cut to Medicare,” Pawlenty insisted. “You can’t even with a straight face, look your viewers in the eye and tell [them] that it’s not a cut to Medicare.”

“Well, I can’t look viewers in the eye from where I am,” O’Brien pointed out. “I’m saying the way the CBO puts it. … That is a savings.”

“Do you know what that is in English?” Pawlenty quipped.

“I speak English incredibly well, sir, as you know,” O’Brien shot back. “So, tell me what it is in English.”

“In plain speaking is this — and I just mean in compared to the mumbo jumbo in the bureaucracy in the CBO — what they’re saying is that Medicare was going to go up by X and now it’s going to go up by X minus $716 billion. There is no question that is a cut in where current law was before Obamacare was passed. There is no way you can present that in any other way.”

“Of you can call it a savings is actually the other way to present that,” O’Brien explained.

Although O’Brien is of Latino (and Irish and African American) descent, she actually only speaks English fluently.

On Monday, Sununu, who serves as the chairman of Romney’s national steering committee, had  lashed out at O’Brien after she tried to fact check his claims about vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s plan to cut Medicare.

“Soledad, stop this!” Sununu shouted. “All you’re doing is mimicking the stuff that comes out of the White House and gets repeated on the Democratic blog boards out there.”

“I’m telling you what tells you, I’m telling you what the CBO tells you, I’m telling you what CNN’s independent analysis says,” the CNN host explained.

“Put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead when you do this!” the frustrated surrogate shot back.

“You know, let me tell you something,” O’Brien said. “There is independent analysis that details what this is about. … And name calling to me and somehow by you repeating a number of $716 billion, that you can make that stick when [you say] that figure is being ‘stolen’ from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.”

Watch this video from CNN Starting Point, broadcast Aug. 15, 2012…

Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty’s New Hampshire Ally: Obama is a “Jungle Alien”

It’s going to be a long campaign season.  Some have predicted that it will be the nastiest campaign in our nation’s history. 

Ray Shakir, a staunch Pawlenty supporter, seems to be piling on more of the same old bull crap that folks have hurled at President Obama since his announcement to run for the presidency in 2007.

Fasten your seat belts folks, its gonna be a long, bumpy ride to November, 2012.

Mother Jones


During his recent swing through New Hampshire for CNN’s presidential debate, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty courted more than a hundred Republicans at a house party in the town of North Conway. But the Pawlenty campaign’s choice of a host for the event, which was arranged by the candidate’s regional field manager in the Granite State, was nothing if not controversial. The party took place at the home of Ray Shakir, a local Republican activist and retired construction executive, who calls President Obama a “jungle alien,” Hillary Clinton “Osama’s dream girl,” and once labeled certain disabled children “uneducatable” and thus undeserving of taxpayer-funded schooling.


In an interview, Shakir says Pawlenty addressed tough issues at the house party, such as cutting subsidies for corn ethanol and implementing right-to-work legislation, which would allow employees to opt out of union membership but still receive union-won benefits. Shakir praises Pawlenty as “a real nice guy, very gregarious,” adding, “at this point in the game, Tim Pawlenty is my choice for president.”

Continue reading here…



Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty Gets Glittered by Gay & Women’s Rights Activists

The Huffington Post

First they targeted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Now the glitterati have struck former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, in hopes of drawing attention to his opposition to the policy priorities of both gay and women’s rights advocates.

On Thursday, representatives from the groups Reproductive Rights and CODEPINK showered Pawlenty with sparkly pink confetti at a book signing for his memoir, “Courage to Stand, held at a private health insurance conference he attended, for a fee, in San Francisco. The activists demanded “courage” from the Republican presidential candidate on both reproductive rights and LGBT issues.



While Pawlenty is the second presidential-hopeful to fall victim to this stunt, it’s telling that the groups that pulled it were not behind Gingrich’s glittering as well. It was Nick Espinosa, a lone political activist, who glitter-bombed Gingrich, and he used different colored glitter.

Perhaps it’s not a trend yet, but by the time the third Republican presidential candidate suffers this fate — and that now seems destined to happen — it will be.


Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty: “I’m Sorry” I Once Cared About Climate

Most pundits will claim that politicians like Tim Pawlenty are kowtowing to the “tea party” types when they reverse their positions in favor of tea party ideology. 

I believe the tea party is the middle man for corporations. 

This is all about pleasing the corporations and reaping the corporate benefits that their lobbyists are tasked to give out in the form of  “campaign contributions”.

Mother Jones

Thursday night’s Republican debate was worth watching if only to see Tim Pawlenty try to talk his way around his previous support for efforts to cut planet-warming emissions. As governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty not only acknowledged that climate change is a problem, but also endorsed a cap-and-trade plan to deal with it. That makes him something of a pariah among other Republicans these days.

In a very “This is Your Life” moment, the Fox debate hosts replayed a 2007 ad that Pawlenty recorded for the Environmental Defense Fund in which he argues for cap and trade as a solution for climate change. When asked to discuss the ad, Pawlenty abashedly replied, “Do we have to?”

After trying to explain that he didn’t actually support cap and trade policy as governor—he just supported the “study” of it—Pawlenty decided to try apologizing:

“I’ve said I was wrong. It was a mistake, and I’m sorry,” Mr. Pawlenty told the Fox television audience, presumably filled with potential Republican primary voters. “You’re going to have a few clunkers in your record, and we all do, and that’s one of mine. I just admit it. I don’t try to duck it, bob it, weave it, try to explain it away. I’m just telling you, I made a mistake.”

Pawlenty has apologized for this before. In March, he told conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham that his support for cap-and-trade was a mistake and pointed to other Republican 2012 hopefuls who made similar “mistakes.”

Pawlenty’s flip-flop on climate is probably the most damning among the viable contenders for 2012. He formed the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group as governor to study the impacts of global warming and make policy recommendations. (He later ignored those recommendations.) He was also at the forefront of the effort to get the Midwest Governors Association to sign onto the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. He was even best buddies with a famed Arctic explorer and climate activist.

Pawlenty has been trying to talk his way out of all this ever since he signaled he is running for the Republican nomination. Last night probably didn’t do much to end the questions. Pawlenty will be dealing with this for some time to come.

Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty Recycles Birther Joke At Arizona Tea Party Summit

This is why Pawlenty’s quest for the GOP presidential nomination will never happen.  He’s merely a fringe idiot!

Huffington Post

Former Minnesota Governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty appeared at a Tea Party summit in Arizona Saturday and repeated, word for word, a birther joke that he used just a few weeks ago.

“Now, I’m not one who questions the existence of the president’s birth certificate,” he said, according to the New York Times. “But when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least wonder what planet he’s from?”

During this year’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. earlier this month, Pawlenty rolled out the joke for the first time, drawing some laughs from the crowd.

Despite the comedic faux-pas, Pawlenty’s material wasn’t entirely stale in Arizona. In an effort to channel folk hero and aspiring national politician Jimmy McMillan of New York’s “The Rent Is Too Damn High Party,” Pawlenty pushed his smaller government message, telling the crowd, “The government’s too damn big.”

Newt Gingrich · Sarah Palin · Tim Pawlenty

Tucson shooting presents 2012 test for GOP Candidates


In the wake of Saturday’s attempted assassination of an Arizona congresswoman, the task of finding — and calibrating — a response commensurate with the solemn occasion is one that is facing not only President Barack Obama but also his would-be 2012 challengers.

It’s a delicate exercise and one that is revealing much about many Republicans in contention for their party’s 2012 nomination.

Their widely divergent reactions — from Tim Pawlenty’s subtle distancing from his beleaguered rival, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; to her virtual disappearance; to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s feeding of the right-wing base — are telling for what they show about the pols’ potential roles in the GOP field and their distinctive political temperaments.

Perhaps, surprisingly, it is Pawlenty, the mild-mannered former Minnesota governor, who has arguably come out looking the best.

The tragedy occurred as Pawlenty was preparing to embark on a book tour to promote his new memoir, which was released Tuesday. That meant he already had plenty of previously scheduled bookings for television interviews and print profiles.

Thus, Pawlenty couldn’t be accused of seeking the spotlight to raise his political profile, which would have been distasteful. But he couldn’t avoid the topic either.

His take on the shooting was common-sensical and somber. He told ABC News on Tuesday that, while “we could all benefit from a more civil and thoughtful discourse in this country,” there’s no evidence the incident was anything other than a “senseless” act by a “mentally unstable person.”

The comment that made all of the headlines, though, was his implicit criticism of rival Palin, whose target map of 2010 congressional races, with a cross hairs icon aimed at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s (D-Ariz.) district, has inflamed many on the left.         More…