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Gov. Pawlenty: Get Back to Republican Basics

Thursday, 13 Nov 2008 07:38 PM

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an oft-described “rising star” in the Republican Party, believes that his party can regain its majority status by sticking to principles, but modernizing its means of communication.

Unfortunately, said Pawlenty, many of the party’s leaders in recent years have strayed from those principles by embracing wasteful spending that inevitably led voters to doubt the conservative core message of fiscal responsibility.

“We lost our way,” Pawlenty said in a Newsmax interview. “In the federal government level you can’t be the party of fiscal discipline and responsibility and accountability and then run the country into bankruptcy in terms of spending, earmarks and pork barrel spending.”[To see full video, go here now]

One example of that failing might prove to be the huge $700 billion bailout of Wall Street that now seems to be expanding to include the rescue of the U.S. automobile industry. Pawlenty and other governors appearing in Miami frequently criticized the measure.

“Senator McCain did what he thought was right for the country, as he always does, but I think there’s going to be a lot of second guessing about where that money went and was it the right thing to do,” Pawlenty said, referring to McCain’s vote to support the bailout package during his presidential campaign.

Appearing at the two-day Republican Governors Association convention in Miami, Pawlenty joined other state executives in lamenting the poor state of communications being used to spread the party’s message.

The party’s principles must remain “steadfast,” Pawlenty said, but “we have to apply them in a more modern way.

“We have a lot of work to do with respect to younger voters, women, with Hispanic voters, with voters of modest incomes and other groups that we don’t do well with,” Pawlenty said.

“It’s not about changing our principles and ideas but we have to explain them and communicate them in ways where people who are not yet conservatives say, ‘Ah, good idea. I like that. I think I’m going to support that.’”

“Republicans and conservatives are 15 years behind,” Pawlenty added, echoing other party leaders who believe Barack Obama and other Democrats dominate the Internet in terms of both fundraising and communicating. “Now, that’s more of a tactical observation but that’s part of being effective is being able to communicate.”

To see full video, go here now

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