Pawlenty positions himself as successor to Gov. Daniels in Facebook town hall

In a Facebook town hall Tuesday, presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty positioned himself as the logical alternative to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who announced on Sunday that he would not enter the race for the White House.

Continuing in the same vein as his official announcement yesterday, Pawlenty talked tough about ending ethanol subsidies and reforming entitlement programs.

“There just can’t be anymore sacred cows,” he said, repeating his call for phasing out ethanol subsidies.

He also discussed health care, saying, “we have to repeal Obamacare,” and that he would focus on entitlement reform as a way of reducing the size of government.

Then the former Minnesota governor took one question on the subject of his education policies.

“In the state of Indiana, our governor has been really hard on teachers,” asked one girl. “What is your view of education?”

Pawlenty voiced a position on education similar to the reforms passed by Daniels in the last Indiana legislative session: school choice and vouchers, support for charter schools, and saying that education policy should be geared to help children and should “put their needs first, rather than the interests of adults in public employee union movement.”

The choice of the question seemed deliberate, as a way to position Pawlenty as the natural alternative for Daniels’ supporters.

There was a marked contrast between Pawlenty’s presentation and the way another candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, conducted a Facebook town hall last week.

Pawlenty sat at a table in Florida in front of the U.S. flag and a state flag. He wore a suit and tie and read questions off his iPad, conveying a serious atmosphere and emphasizing his tech savvy.

Romney, who has been accused of being too stiff and buttoned down, wore a shirt during his town hall, with the top two buttons unbuttoned. The town hall took place in Nevada, and in the background were a number of people who had volunteered to make phone calls to fundraise for the former Massachusetts governor.

Pawlenty’s town hall seemed much more produced and polished. But despite the fact that a Facebook town hall is meant to convey the idea that anyone can have access to the candidate, it was clear that both chose their questions carefully.

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  • Faber Castell

    In other words, Pawlenty (errr T-PAW) positioned himself with some other candidate that no one cares about.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Prack/100001408183788 ReaganisGod

    Under Obama, everyone’s headed to the poorhouse. Sorry bud, his record is dismal in every measurable way.

    • GeniousIQ

      Ok ReaganisGod… let’s see what Reagan said about the debt ceiling:

      The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.

      In a 1987 radio address, Reagan also said, “Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinksmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar.”

    • rod paul

      Reagan is no fiscal hawk, by any stretch of the imagination

      First president to ever blow the budget beyond 1-trillion dollar mark. The supply side economics model encouraged investors to act imprudently that resulted in savings & loan scandals. The market crash of 1987 also happened on his watch.

      Finally, he appointed Greenspan, probably the worst Fed chair ever and all subsequent presidents sheepishly retained him.

  • Jamal H. Jackson

    Over forty years ago, Dr. King said: We Will Get to the Promised Land.

    President Barak Obama is a catalyst, an agent of change, that will help everyone get there.

    Just my two cents.

    • RoadtoFREEDOM

      I’d agree if by catalyst it means that Obama is the straw that broke the camels back… he push too much government too fast and the progressive path we’ve been on reached a boiling point. By Promised Land I mean returning to a land of liberty, opportunity, individual responsibility, and an utter repudiation of the welfare state.

      Obama has done more damage to the Democrat party than any living Republican… and I am forever grateful for that, may he finish the party off by 2012. A conservative renaissance can then follow to rebuild this nation. Pawlenty, Cain, and others would be great leaders to pull us back from the brink of open socialism and we’d be free at last of the shackles of big government. Ok, going overboard here… but that’s what would be a dream for the majority of Americans.