Pawlenty: GOP Shouldn't Allow Debt-Ceiling Hike

Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011 08:55 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty says the difference between his candidacy and rival Minnesotan Michele Bachmann’s is that he brings executive leadership to the table and has tackled issues, not just talked about them. The former Minnesota governor also said today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” the debt ceiling should not be raised.

Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann“I know Congresswoman Bachmann — I’ve campaigned for her — I’ve respected her over the years and I’ve worked with her over the years . . . but everybody brings something different to the table,” Pawlenty said. “One of the things I bring to the table is a record of executive leadership and results — I’m not just talking about these issues, but actually getting them done: on taxes, on spending, on market-based healthcare reform, public-employee pension reform, and much more.

“I think that’s one of the things people are going to be interested in — have you actually done these things, not just talked about them,” he said.

Pawlenty was asked what he thinks about President Barack Obama’s stepping into the debt-ceiling negotiations.

“He hasn’t done anything yet,” Pawlenty said. “This debt-ceiling issue is going to be a fork in the road. My view is the Republicans shouldn’t raise it, but if they do raise it, they need to get something permanent, and structural, and meaningful, like a constitutional amendment, real spending caps, and some changes in the spending in the near term.”

Host Joe Scarborough asked Pawlenty what Republicans would give up if Democrats are willing to move on entitlement spending and domestic discretionary spending.

“I don’t think this is a question of what the Republicans need or what the Democrats need — I think it’s a question of what does the country need,” Pawlenty said. “And setting aside the nonsense — or frankly the BS on both sides — just look at it as a matter of sixth-grade math, Joe: You can look at the spending, you can look at the revenues, they don’t ever catch up. And within 10 years this thing implodes financially.

“So this isn’t about Republican or Democrat — it’s about what does America need,” he said. “And a sixth-grader can look at the charts and determine for you that we need to slow down spending.”

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