Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said President Barack Obama’s move to nationalize the U.S. auto industry is “sadly reminiscent of the kinds of things we would expect from South America” some decades ago.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto," Pawlenty said the Obama administration’s nationalization of the auto industry is just the tip of the iceberg, noting Obama plans to nationalize one major industry after another and soon will attempt the full or partial nationalization of the health care industry
“You are soon going to see the nationalization under the Obama administration of the energy industry,” Pawlenty added. “And that, of course, puts the politicians and people making decisions that the market and private businesses should be making.”
Pawlenty told Cavuto politicians will chide the auto industry over size of cars and what they should do about business decisions and dealership decisions.
“That is not the proper province for the United States Congress,” Pawlenty said. “That should be a private decision.
Pawlenty, laying out talking points for a potential challenge to President Barack Obama in 2012, said the U.S. is going to be a very different country 12 or 24 months from now, and it's headed in the wrong direction in terms of government micromanaging or intervening, and, worse yet, funding and subsidizing and taking over entire parts of our economy.
“This is not the United States of America that we know and love and remember,” he lamented. “This looks like some sort of a republic from South America circa 1970s."
Pawlenty believes General Motors Corp. should have gone through normal bankruptcy proceedings last year and, if they had done so, they would probably be out of bankruptcy proceedings by now.
Pawlenty, who announced Tuesday that he will not seek a third term as governor of Minnesota in 2010, restated his reluctance to signing an election certificate in the Senate race if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Democrat Al Franken over Republican Norm Coleman.
“I don’t know whether [a certificate] would be required to be issued,” Pawlenty told Minnesota Public Radio in April. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t issue the certificate. I’m just saying we should have all of the facts in front of us before we precommit to something like that.”
Pawlenty told Cavuto that Minnesota law does not allow the governor to sign an election certificate until the state court process is complete. “It is not yet complete,” he explained. “But it may be about to be complete. And, when it is, and they direct me to sign the certificate, I'm going to sign it. There's not going to be some undue delay or the like. But I'm going to follow the direction of the courts in that regard. And we're going to have a decision here in the coming weeks."
Pawlenty said that assuming the Supreme Court affirms the Election Court ruling that Democrat Al Franken got the most votes, it's not clear whether they will explicitly order him to sign the certificate and give him a deadline. Coleman has said he may appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, or start a new action in a federal district court.
“When the Minnesota Supreme Court rules, that's the end of the state court process,” Pawlenty said.
“If they rule that Franken got the most votes, I will issue a certificate within a week or so. They don't have to order me to issue it; I know that's my job once the court process is completed. The only reason I might wait a week or so is to give Sen. Coleman a chance to seek a stay, either from a federal court or from the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Pawlenty said he’s not sure what the future holds for him.
“What I do know is this: I'm going to finish out my term in the next 19 months as governor as strong and effectively as I can. And that's still a good deal of time to have an impact here. But I also am going to lend my voice nationally and in Minnesota [on] how my party can improve and be a conservative party –– a modern, forward-leaning party.”
Pawlenty last week said last he "absolutely could have won and would have won a third term" had he decided to run for governor again. He pointed to recent polls showing his popularity is very strong compared to others governors.
"I still have a lot of ideas and energies left, but being governor should not be a permanent position for anyone. When it comes to how long someone should stay in an elected position, a little less is better than too much."
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