Presidential races

To Tea Party, Pawlenty on Obama: ‘What planet is he from?’

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty accused President Obama and Democrats
of “coddling” unions and applauded the Tea Party movement as “modern-day Paul Reveres.”

Speaking to a convention of Tea Party activists in Phoenix on Saturday,
the Republican White House hopeful sounded a populist tone while
blasting unions and Democrats. “Thank you for standing up to the ruling
class … and big bailed-out businesses,” he told attendees.

{mosads}Pawlenty has taken an increasingly tough tone in recent weeks when
talking about Obama as he seeks to endear himself to a Republican
primary electorate ahead of an expected presidential run next year.

former governor said he wasn’t one to “question the existence of the
president’s birth certificate,” which drew laughs from the audience.
“But when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least think, what
planet is he from?” he said. “We don’t share President Obama’s world

Pawlenty cited the labor standoff in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott
Walker (R) has proposed stripping public-sector employees of
collective-bargaining rights and rolling back their benefits.

Obama said recently that the move seemed to be “an assault on unions.”

“And I think it’s very important for us to understand that public
employees, they’re our neighbors, they’re our friends,” the president
told WTMJ TV.

Holding up a copy of the Constitution, Pawlenty
said the government wasn’t mandated to “coddl[e] out of control public
employee unions.”

“Mr. President, Wisconsin does not need a lecture from somebody who’s never balanced a budget in his life,” he said.

touted his record during two terms as governor of Minnesota. “I cut
spending in real terms for the first time in my state’s 150-year
history,” he said.

He cited Jimmy McMillan, a quixotic candidate for governor of New York, who ran last year on the slogan “rent is too damn high.”

“So here’s our simple motto, the government’s too damn big,” said Pawlenty. “America needs job growth, not government growth.”

He speech drew a standing ovation from the crowd.


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