One of the characteristics that describe Republican 2012 Presidential contender Tim Pawlenty among his fellow Republicans is timid. Some would even call him soft, so it was no surprise when he was given the chance today on Meet The Press to criticize his fellow Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, Pawlenty again side-stepped the question. But when the question turned to Michele Bachmann, Pawlenty didn’t bite his tongue, stating that the female Republican contender don’t have a record to stand on.
When host, David Gregory asked Pawlenty about Mitt Romney’s health care policies, the question was a straight forward one. “Are you saying he [Romney] cannot be the nominee, unelectable as, as the nominee of the party, because of his position on health care?”
Question: Can Romney be the Republican nominee? Is Romney unelectable? The answer should have been simple – yes he can be the nominee, or no, he cannot!
Instead, the softness of Pawlenty went on full display.
GOV. PAWLENTY: I think if you’re going to prosecute the political case against President Obama and one of the top three or four issues is going to be the direction of the country in health care, it’s going to be very difficult for our nominee to be one of the co-conspirators or co- designers of that.
MR. GREGORY: I know that’s the argument. I’m asking you what your conclusion is.
GOV. PAWLENTY: It’s going to be very difficult for him to be successful with that on his record.
MR. GREGORY: In other words, he can’t be the nominee if he’s got this background?
GOV. PAWLENTY: I think as we — it’s going to be difficult for him to beat the president with that on his record. And, you know, his record is beyond just health care. It’s also a question of how did he do on judicial appointments? Where did we stand on bail outs? So all of us are going to have to account for our record. I’ve got a record. Governor Romney’s got a record. All the other candidates have record. I’ve got the best conservative record in the race.
The question was left unanswered.
Then the question turned to the only female in the race so far, Michele Bachmann. Pawlenty was asked what he thought about Bachmann’s candidacy and to distinguish himself from Mrs. Bachmann. Another simple question and amazingly, Pawlenty had a simple answer.
“I like Congresswoman Bachmann, I’ve campaigned for her, I respect her,” said Pawlenty on the program. “But her record of accomplishment in Congress is nonexistent. It’s nonexistent. And so we’re not looking for folks who, you know, just have speech capabilities, we’re looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. I’ve done that, she hasn’t.”
Although I agree with Pawlenty and the facts back up his statement that Michele Bachmann have no accomplishments in Congress, one can only wonder why when the question is asked about a male he chooses not to participate in pointing out that opponent’s deficiencies. But ask about his female opponent, and Pawlenty suddenly had a lot to say.
I actually looked up the meaning of “soft” in the dictionary, and no, Pawlenty’s picture was not there, but it’s still early. Give it some time…!