Former presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday he sees no conflict in his decision to become co-chair of Mitt Romney’s campaign and comments he made about the former Massachusetts governor’s healthcare plan when they both were in the 2012 running.
“Mitt Romney has unmatched skills and experience when it comes to private sector job growth, and leadership, and turning around the economy — I think he’s the right candidate for the job of president of the United States,” the former Minnesota governor told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
“I talked to Mitt and he shared with me directly — as he has repeatedly with the nation — that he’s absolutely committed to repealing Obamacare,” Pawlenty said. “And on day one when he’s in office, he’ll issue an executive order to allow states to opt out, and to waive Obamacare for those states, to the fullest extent possible.”
Van Susteren noted the perception in most Republican circles is that Romney continues to support the healthcare plan implemented in Massachusetts when he we was governor, which many say was a model for Obamacare. Pawlenty himself once referred to the Massachusetts healthcare plan as “Obamaneycare.”
“Well, we agree on this, Greta — Mitt and I agree on this: Each state can try their own thing —and Massachusetts tried its own way,” Pawlenty said. “But he agrees — and I agree — it is the wrong program, the wrong direction for the country. And he’s committed to repealing it.
“Beyond that, you look at that debate last night — look at his skills — I mean, steady, smart, engaged, informed, presidential,” he said. “But importantly, his background is about turning around bad economies, bad economic situations — and that is precisely the talents that we need for the next president.
“If you look the total scope of his business — private sector business record, it is about incredible economic investment and job growth overall,” Pawlenty continued. “Were there some companies that didn't do as well? Of course. But you look at his total record; it’ll be unmatched in this race. And we need a president — as we painfully have learned with Barack Obama —you put somebody in that Oval Office who’s not served in a leadership position, executive position, ideally now in the private sector, and you’ve got yourself a problem. And that’s part of the reason we’ve got a problem now.”
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