Pawlenty: Any GOP Candidate Could Beat Obama

Thursday, 08 Sep 2011 04:53 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says if the election took place today any of the candidates who are seeking the 2012 GOP nomination could beat President Barack Obama “handily.” Pawlenty also told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto Wednesday he expects the GOP field to eventually be narrowed down to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
“Right now, if the election were held today, Neil, Barack Obama would be defeated, and I think defeated handily,” the former Minnesota governor said. “If you look at that electoral map and you look at those states that [Sen. John] McCain lost that are now tilting back Republican, including Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado.

“If the election were held today, Barack Obama would be defeated comfortably by the Republican,” he said. “They need a viable nominee — and we have got some — we have got plenty,” adding that he thought Texas governor Perry and former Massachusetts governor Romney had the inside track.

Cavuto asked Pawlenty what was his failed campaign’s biggest mistake.

“Well, one of the things, we put a lot of time into policy  — and I gave this big speech at the Council on Foreign Affairs in New York — thoughtful, worked on it for weeks about the state of things in the Middle East,” Pawlenty said. “It got a little paragraph here or there — it got kind of shoved aside. Put a lot of thought and effort into a comprehensive economy and jobs plan and proposal — that kind of gets dismissed as third- or second-tier news.
“My view is, we need serious people with serious experience leading,” he said. “And, unfortunately, so much of the news is about who called who a name, whose hair, or who did something.”

Pawlenty also told Cavuto he would not consider the second spot on a Republican ticket.

“I’m not even going to consider that — I have been down that road before with John McCain,” he said.

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