Bachmann and Pawlenty duke it out during Iowa debate

AMES, Iowa — Say goodbye to Minnesota nice.

The gloves came off Thursday night as Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, the two GOP presidential candidates from Minnesota, traded one-liners during a fiery Republican presidential debate at Iowa State University.

It started with Pawlenty during the Fox News-sponsored showdown, saying Bachmann’s “record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent.”

“The American people are going to expect more and demand more,” said Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, “and in fact we need somebody who can contrast with Barack Obama on results.”

Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman, countered by accusing Pawlenty of favoring the “cap and trade” environmental legislation. She also said he has praised “the unconstitutional individual mandate” for purchasing health insurance.

“You said the era of small government was over,” Bachmann said about Pawlenty. “That sounds a lot more like Barack Obama if you ask me. During my time in the United States Congress, I have fought all these unconstitutional measures, as well as [fighting] Barack Obama.” (RELATED: Pawlenty promises to cook dinner and mow lawns)

But Pawlenty swung back: “She says that she’s fighting against these things. She fought for less government spending, we got a lot more. She led the effort against Obamacare, we got Obamacare. She led the effort against TARP, we got TARP. She said she’s got a titanium spine. It’s not her spine we’re worried about, it’s her record of results.”

“If that’s your view of effective leadership with results,” Pawlenty continued about Bachmann, “please stop because you’re killing us.”

He also said Bachmann has “a record of misstating and making false statements, and that’s another example of that list.”

Minutes after the exchange, Bachmann’s staffers at the Iowa debate site passed documents to reporters elaborating on her remarks about Pawlenty’s record.

Bachmann and Pawlenty are counting on strong performances tonight and at Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll. Each sees the other as standing in the way.

Also participating in the debate were Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

  • http://www.jay-adler.blogspot.com/ JayAdlerComment

    As long as we do not get a surprise on Governor Perry, he has Romney, Bachmann and Palin to consider the VP spot although that always entails much wrangling and leaving your ego at the door in order to get us out of this mess. The Democrats have not only lost their fragile GOP ticket argument, now we have a candidate that has a record setting job creation bio. They will not be able to debate him very well. In essence, Perry has no competition with his opposition having a negative record and no plan. The voters want jobs and they have the evidence that Perry can deliver. 2012 will be a 1960 Southern strategy except the action will be one step up from where LBJ was. The battle ground states are teetering on a bring with massive unemployment. Nothing is sure now but I would say Obama would need a miracle.

  • Pingback: Washington in a Flash: Packers invade White House