Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said he'll file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with federal agencies to obtain information about Democrats' work to promote healthcare reform.
Pawlenty hit the Democratic National Committee (DNC) with his own FOIA request after ABC News reported on Wednesday that the DNC had filed similar requests with the Pentagon for information on a series of potential Republican presidential candidates in 2012, including the Minnesota governor.
"Next week's election isn't even here — and it will largely be a referendum on the president's failure to create jobs, out-of-control government spending and an ill-conceived healthcare bill — but I find it ironic that they have given up the current fight and are instead so focused on the president's own reelection," Pawlenty said in a statement.
"But since they asked, and since they are so worried, I have some questions of my own about his time in the White House," he added. "For example, what was the DNC's role in selling ObamaCare? Did Obama's political advisers know the true costs of ObamaCare?"
The DNC's actions are seen as fairly typical for a party preparing for the next election — albeit a bit early. The party is building opposition research files against candidates, and has already taken chances so far this year to jab at Pawlenty and other 2012 contenders, like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).
Pawlenty's FOIA request will specifically target the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and "other relevant agencies" for information about the timing of ads, polling and other promotional actions taken by the DNC to bolster President Obama's healthcare bill.
“That Tim Pawlenty, who has taken more trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this year than to several counties in Minnesota — the state he’s supposedly governing — would talk to anyone about where their focus is is certainly funny," shot back DNC national press secretary Hari Sevugan. "Maybe if he were focusing on his job, rather than angling for another one, his poll numbers at home would be better."
Updated 5:19 p.m.