Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty railed against President Barack Obama, like every other Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speaker, but the likely 2012 presidential candidate surprised the audience with his high-energy delivery.
The often-staid Pawlenty kicked off by saying Obama has “done the impossible,” by proving that “someone can deserve a Nobel Prize less than Al Gore.”
The former Minnesota governor joked that, “there might be some Democrats in the room, so I’ll say this real slow: ‘We can’t spend more than we take in.’”
Pawlenty ripped the mainstream media as well.
“I do tip the cap to President Obama in at least one area: He’s pretty good at duping the mainstream media,” Pawlenty said. “In fact, some of them have been reporting that he’s behaving like Ronald Reagan. Can you believe that?”
He took a jab at Keith Olbermann, too, tying his rants into how the government spends money.
“The federal government spends our money the way Keith Olbermann talks: too much without a point and it leaves the whole country confused,” Pawlenty said.
He said the debt ceiling should not be raised and that the Constitution should be amended to force Congress to balance the budget. He also said the tax code should be thrown “overboard.”
To great applause, Pawlenty called on members of Congress to be much more personally fiscally responsible.
“Let’s start by requiring, under penalty of perjury, every member of Congress to do their own tax returns without the help of a tax preparer, accountant or lawyer,” Pawlenty said. “Let them experience firsthand the moronic, burdensome and intimidating beast that our tax system has become.”
Pawlenty made his case for fixing the economy, but didn’t hint too far at a presidential run.
“By the way, in Minnesota our unemployment rate, as I left the governorship, was significantly below the national average,” Pawlenty said. “And since the crash, we’ve been helping lead the nation towards recovery.”
He called for strengthening relationships with allies like Israel, and for having stronger responses against Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and other enemies of the United States.
“The current administration doesn’t seem to understand this principle,” Pawlenty said. “We undermine Israel, the U.K., Poland, the Czech Republic and Colombia, among other friends. Meanwhile, we appease Iran, Russia and adversaries in the Middle East, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Pawlenty finished with standing ovation, calling for Americans to “get the job done.”