Skip to comments.Tim Pawlenty, Global Warming Alarmist
Posted on 08/28/2008 4:46:15 PM PDT by vadum
Rumors are circulating that GOP presumptive presidential candidate Senator John McCain plans to select Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as his vice presidential running mate.
Rumors are circulating that GOP presumptive presidential candidate Senator John McCain plans to select Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as his vice presidential running mate.Pawlenty certainly talks a good shtick when it comes to free markets, low taxes, and limited government, but his views on climate change and energy policy are downright frightening.
"We should not spend time on voices that say [climate change] is not real," Pawlenty said even as new evidence surfaces almost daily that undermines the alarmist consensus.
"We should have listened to President Carter" about energy policy, Pawlenty said.
President Jimmy Carter, readers may recall, gave his infamous "malaise" speech (also known as the "Crisis of Confidence" speech) live on television on July 15, 1979.
In it Carter blamed Americans for the problems in American society at that time. He told Americans they were too materialistic and greedy and that they needed to make do with less. He told Americans that turning down their thermostats and wearing sweaters indoors would help solve the nation's problems.
That was Jimmy Carter's energy policy.
And Pawlenty says we should have listened to President Carter?
McCain, too, believes in man-made global warming. Does it mean we shouldn’t vote for the ticket at all?
I am convinced . McCain will pick him .
I’m gonna be sick.
Can’t we have anybody that’s NORMAL running in this presidential election?
Do they all have to be “mavericks” and outright tin-foil kooks?
This is the significant downside to Pawlenty. He’s very squishy on energy policy and his views on taxes and fees are suspect. I’ve watched him as governor here and though he isn’t afraid to stand up to Democrats, he’s got his weak points. This is definitely one of them.
As soon as I heard Pawlenty spouting this nonsense I knew he was going to be the VP, and perhaps even the P someday.
Picture of Tim Pawlenty (Gov. of MN), and his wife (a judge) (http://www.firstlady.state.mn.us/images/ph_06_med.jpg)
I think the VP nominee may be Pawlenty based upon two things I heard this morning on Fox.
In the 9:00 hour Bill Hemmer (FNC) asked his quest, Michael Steele, who he hoped McCains pick would be and he said, Pawlenty, elaborating on his reasons for why he would be a good choice.
In the 10:00 hour (10:20 aprox), Hemmer had Rush Limbaugh on the phone to get his take on the DNC convention so far and Hillarys speech last night in particular.
During the phone interview, Hemmer asked Rush who he thought would be a good VP choice for McCain that would excite his base. Rush said that the McCain campaign is really hitting on all cylinders right now, what with all the great ads theyre putting out, etc., and that McCain needs to make sure he doesnt blow it with a bad VP choice. He mentioned Pawlentys name first, as one that would excite the base and Romneys name second.
Just guessing, but if I was a betting person, I would bet that the inside word is Pawlenty.
If we hear Pawlentys name being promoted on talk-radio today, I will be even more confident on my take.
McCain may want to create some buzz out there about Pawlenty so as to give people something other to think about other than the DNC dog-and-pony show going on in Denver.
189 posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:33:12 AM by Matchett-PI
From August 9th - John Fund:
Minnesota’s Vice Presidential Contender
By JOHN FUND
August 9, 2008; Page A9
Being on John McCain’s short list for vice president makes Tim Pawlenty a busy guy.
One day last week began with a meeting on security for the upcoming Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., where Gov. Pawlenty will play host. Then it was off to Farmfest, the state’s biggest agricultural fair. Following that, a side trip to Iowa where, as national co-chair for Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign, he passed out tire gauges as a way of poking fun at Barack Obama’s suggestion the energy crisis be addressed by having Americans better inflate their cars.
The next day it was off to Washington, D.C., for a speech to GOPAC, a grass-roots conservative training academy, meetings with reporters, and a nationally televised speech at the National Press Club. If there is such a thing as campaigning to become somebody’s vice president, Mr. Pawlenty is doing a good job in the auditions.
Not that he will countenance discussion of the subject. At the Press Club, he is asked what the most important qualities a vice presidential candidate should have. “Discretion,” he quickly said and then sat down. But Mr. Pawlenty was anything but discrete about his vision for the Republican Party when I caught up with him recently in Colorado Springs, Colo., as he spoke to a group of business leaders and their families.
“I’m the son of a truck driver and a housewife from a meatpacking town,” he introduced himself, “who wants to provide a better quality of life for ordinary folks without growing government.” His audience stirred: This was clearly a different sales pitch than they were used to. “We must be the party of Sam’s Club Republicans, not just country club Republicans,” he continued.
In 2002, Mr. Pawlenty invented the term “Sam’s Club Republicans” to describe the voters he fears the party is losing. They most likely didn’t graduate from college, often hold socially conservative views, struggle to make ends meet, and want a government that delivers real value for their tax dollars and programs that make their lives a little easier without “getting in their face.” These swing voters are key to reviving the GOP, which lost independents by 18 points in 2006.
While Mr. Pawlenty tiptoes around the Bush political legacy, he allows that the party’s years in power left it with a “name brand a little damaged and out of fresh ideas.” Merely retreating to Reagan nostalgia won’t do. “I love Ronald Reagan,” says Mr. Pawlenty, who at age 47 came of age during the Reagan years. “But we have to recognize that to voters younger than me he is an historical figure.”
I ask him later what lessons he imbibed from Reagan. “He was proudly conservative,” he replies, “but we sometimes forget he got things done as governor and president that represented compromises. If today you went to someone and outlined Reagan’s record without using his name some conservatives would want to throw him out of the party. But he never wavered on core principles and he made the country a better and more conservative place.”
Mr. Pawlenty wants people to see him in that light. Minnesota, he’s quick to note, is the only state that hasn’t voted Republican for president in the last eight elections. But he has won statewide twice in that chilly environment, and currently sports an approval rating of 56%.
Since he took office in 2003, at least one house of the legislature has been controlled by Democrats. Currently, they enjoy near veto-proof majorities in both houses. In the last legislative session, Mr. Pawlenty set a record by vetoing some 70 bills and was only overridden once — on a gas-tax increase pushed through in the wake of last year’s bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
But Mr. Pawlenty says his record is more than just stopping bad ideas. He believes he has stood by the no-new-taxes pledge he took as a candidate, despite having signed a cigarette tax hike that he claimed (and state courts later agreed) was “a health impact fee.” He now says the levy “was a bad idea” but notes that it was a way to solve a nine-day government shutdown: “We blocked a lot of other taxes by holding fast everywhere else.”
Gov. Pawlenty’s tenure can be divided into two parts. In 2003, he roared into office facing a huge budget deficit which he closed by passing a no-growth budget. He signed laws establishing a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, tax-exempt zones for depressed rural areas, and allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons.
After his party lost seats in the 2004 election, he pivoted in a populist direction. He reversed course to back taxpayer funding for new sports stadiums, called for government health insurance to cover all children, and embraced ethanol mandates. He also backed requiring 25% of electricity be produced by renewable fuels by 2025.
But nothing riled conservatives as much as his support for a regional cap-and-trade approach to global warming, which would require companies to pay for the right to make carbon emissions. Mr. McCain also favors cap-and-trade.
Today, in the wake of the U.S. Senate’s June failure to pass a cap-and-trade bill, he sounds a tad defensive about his views. “Climate change is occurring in large measure because of natural cycles, but some portion is due to human behavior,” he says. “Whatever we ultimately do about it shouldn’t imperil the economy or cut back on our ability to produce jobs.” While that may not be completely coherent, it demonstrates just how much $4 a gallon gasoline has changed the environmental debate.
Mr. Pawlenty agrees with Mr. McCain’s support for more domestic oil exploration; he says he can live with the candidate’s opposition to government subsidies or tax credits for the next generation of alternative fuels. His own state government isn’t standing in the way of a proposed new coal-based power plant, and Mr. Pawlenty supports nuclear energy.
On health care, Mr. Pawlenty says, “We have to dramatically realign health care so patients and doctors are in charge, not government or insurance bureaucrats.” He acknowledges his state could do a better job policing its own health-care program for children, which has become crowded with adults taking advantage of it. This past February, a health-care task force he appointed supported a requirement that everyone in the state buy health coverage, à la Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Mr. Pawlenty rejected it, saying that a mandate would simply fine or impose criminal penalties on low-income people who can’t pay for insurance.
Mr. Pawlenty’s blue-collar roots inform his personal beliefs, as well as his political sense that Republicans have no future without making more inroads among working families. He grew up in gritty South St. Paul, his boyhood filled with hockey, fishing and hunting. He became an avid fan of rock music — leaning towards Van Morrison and Tom Petty.
But he also became the first member of his family to graduate from college. After law school he was a prosecutor. By age 33, he had made partner at a local law firm and been elected to the state House. In 1999, he became his party’s majority leader. The next year he became vice president of a local computer technology firm at the height of the Internet bubble. He told the business leaders in Colorado it was a humbling experience to watch a firm of great promise sink. “You need a business plan that provides access to capital and responds to marketplace needs and sharp competition,” he says. “I learned a lot about the private sector.”
Mr. Pawlenty’s easy self-confidence is smoothed over by a hefty helping of Minnesota Nice, the impeccably polite manners of most state natives. “He’s a very likable fellow,” said GOPAC chairman Michael Steele after Mr. Pawlenty spoke to his group this week. “I think he’d make a great accompaniment to John McCain.” Indeed, in many respects Tim Pawlenty could be the ideological son of John McCain, albeit without his combative nature.
“If he had his druthers he’d always do the conservative thing,” says David Strom of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. “But if it’s a choice between something conservative and something really popular he’ll often go with the latter.” Despite this tart observation, Mr. Strom is in awe of his governor’s political skills. “He’s a natural. I’d give him an A-minus for navigating Minnesota’s political waters. On issues, I’d give him a B-minus or C-plus, but I’m a tough grader.”
Phil Krinkie, a former conservative state legislator who now runs the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, says Mr. Pawlenty “is about the most conservative governor this state could elect. There’s an old joke that a Republican in Minnesota couldn’t get elected as a Democrat in Mississippi.”
In political terms, what would Mr. Pawlenty bring to the McCain campaign? His most important asset would be that he is someone Mr. McCain genuinely likes and trusts — a wingman he could count on not to upstage him or make rookie mistakes. Mr. Pawlenty lacks foreign policy experience, but is comfortable with the candidate’s positions: “The surge in Iraq worked, and John McCain was one of the first to call for it,” he told his Colorado audience.
Electorally, there’s a chance Minnesota could be in play this fall — Mr. Bush lost it by less than four points twice. Because of the Minneapolis media market, Mr. Pawlenty is also well known in parts of neighboring Iowa and Wisconsin, two of the closest states in both 2000 and 2004.
The candidate for vice president may not be crucial for either John McCain or Barack Obama, since the vast majority of voters focus on the top-of-the-ticket. But Republicans need to pay attention: Should Mr. McCain become president at age 72, his No. 2 will be a likely contender for a future presidential nomination. “Selections have consequences,” notes David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. Ronald Reagan’s choice of George H.W. Bush in 1980 “meant we wound up with two Bushes in the White House.”
Tim Pawlenty is not every conservative’s dream of a leader. But in a time when the party’s market share is perilously low, he has a proven record of success in a tough state, and has many more political hits than strikeouts in his record.
“He’s thought a lot about the country’s political future and how to adapt conservatism to changing demographics and pressures,” says Minnesota GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachman, who sometimes tangled with Gov. Pawlenty when she was in the state legislature. She notes his ability to move with equal ease between business audiences and evangelicals like herself.
I might add that those national media figures who lie in wait hoping to sandbag new Republicans on the national stage will have a hard time with the smooth and fluent Mr. Pawlenty. “Sam Club’s Republicanism” may be partly a marketing tool. But it will probably play better with voters leery of the GOP than “compassionate conservatism” ever did.
Mr. Fund is a columnist for WSJ.com.
See all of today’s editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal.
Global warming is SOOOOOOOO yesterday.
It will probably still get lip-service, but it will be so on the D-List in a McCain administration.
No tin foil required. Just follow the money.
Sorry to hear that about Pawlenty.
I cant say Im moving to another country because I already live in another country.
Well, it’s these two GOP losers, or a muslim/communist. Take your pick.
I don’t like this about Pawlenty, but I guess I can live with it. At least the man is pro-life, unlike some of the VPs McCain was considering. I seriously don’t think I could vote for him if he picked Ridge or Lieberman or Hutchison. I can vote for McCain-Pawlenty even though they’re far from perfect. They are better than the alternative. I can’t say I’ll be thrilled if they win though. It’s going to be a long four years either way I’m afraid.
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