TAMPA, Fla. — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty took his best one-liners to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, jabbing at President Barack Obama by showing special interest in Vice President Joe Biden, already a favorite GOP punchline.
“Ah, the Obama White House: One bad decision follows another. Hard to say exactly just what his worst mistake has been,” Pawlenty said. “There’s so many to choose from: The stimulus. His energy policy. Obamacare. Taxes.”
Pause for dramatic effect.
“I hear Joe’s particularly interested in tonight’s proceedings. He even thought about coming here to Tampa,” Pawlenty said. “And he’s taking notes because when Paul Ryan speaks, Joe will finally get to hear what a real vice president sounds like!”
His jabs were met with a smattering of laughter, but mostly cheers.
Pawlenty hit Obama for his numerous vacations and golf outings, pointing out he’s created jobs for golf caddies while offering the rest of the American people more excuses than employment oportunities.
“I’ve come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young. But later on, that decision doesn’t look so good, and you wonder: What was I thinking?” he joked.
“But the worst part is you’re still going to have to explain it to your kids.”
The former candidate for the Republican nomination added that Obama has failed, joking, “it’s understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job.”
Pawlenty got serious when he spoke of the struggles of the middle class and the jobless.
“Jobs don’t come from politicians. They come from entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and risk-takers,” he said. “America’s entrepreneurs know taxes are too high, and regulations are too costly and complex. Obamacare frightens them. And they want more American energy.”
While the jokes received chuckles, the crowd became energized with Pawlenty’s admonitions about job creation.
“Just get the government off my back!” he said strongly, channeling the voices of American entrepreneurs and business owners.
“We need to let them know help’s on the way, and help’s name is Mitt Romney,” he said, advocating for Romney as a leader and success story.
“After four years of this president, we need Mitt Romney now more than ever,” he said, adding that he hopes “in a few months, Barack Obama will at last get some experience in the private sector.”