Pawlenty, Bachmann Spar Over Credentials for White House

Monday, 11 Jul 2011 10:12 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann have set aside the “Minnesota Nice” approach their state is known for and instead squared off in a sparring match over credentials to win the White House. Pawlenty, who hadn’t criticized his Republican presidential rival, started the bout Sunday morning with his jab that Bachmann hasn’t accomplished anything in Congress. She punched back with a list of her legislative accomplishments.

Pawlenty, Bachman, president, GOPPawlenty continued the feud today by saying “it’s not a stretch” to say that the White House needs someone with executive experience. On “Meet the Press” Sunday, he had said that Bachmann has a "non-existent" record in Congress.

Asked today on Fox & Friends what he meant, Pawlenty said: “The point I was trying to make with respect to Congresswoman Bachmann — or any other candidate — is simply this: It’s not a stretch to say that we need somebody in the Oval Office who’s going to be president of the United States, the commander in chief, who has executive experience leading a large enterprise in a public setting, getting results in balancing budgets, cutting taxes, doing healthcare reform the right way, no mandates, no takeovers, and the like.”

Pawlenty added: “And not just talking about it, not just giving speeches at rallies, but leading as an executive and getting results in that kind of setting. And with all due respect, she just doesn’t have that kind of experience.”

Pawlenty also reiterated his contention that her congressional record is lacking.

Michele Bachmann, Tim PawlentyFor her part, Bachmann released a statement Sunday night that said, in part: “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 As president, I will not rest until Obamacare is repealed.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,” Bachmann said. “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.”


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