Tim Pawlenty praises former Attorney General John Ashcroft

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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DERRY, N.H. — Tim Pawlenty praised former Bush administration official John Ashcroft here on Sunday as someone who he would think of when appointing an attorney general.

“I thought John Ashcroft did a great job as Attorney General of the United States of America,” said Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota.

The answer was in response to a man at a local bar, Halligan Tavern, who asked Pawlenty during a meet and greet if he would appoint an attorney general in the mold of Ashcroft, who was the nation’s top law enforcement officer on Sept. 11, 2001.

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“I want an attorney general just like I want judges in this country,” Pawlenty, dressed casually in jeans and a yellow shirt, responded. “I want somebody who first recognizes and respects the founding documents of this country and applies the law as written and doesn’t make it up on the back of a napkin and insert their own political judgment or personal views.

“We want strict constructionists in these positions,” he said.