For weeks former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been taking swings at Rep. Michele Bachmann, one of his many opponents for the 2012 Republican nomination. He bashed her record in Congress as “non-existent” on “Meet the Press,” and he suggested in a Fox News interview Bachmann’s migraines would disqualify her from being president.
Bachmann hadn’t responded. Until now. (Tim Pawlenty: Bachmann hasn’t accomplished much in Congress)
A statement released by Bachmann’s campaign slams Pawlenty for “leaving a multi-billion-dollar budget mess in Minnesota.” The statement also criticizes Pawlenty for praising “the unconstitutional individual mandate in healthcare,” supporting TARP and backing Cap-and-Trade legislation.
The full statement reads:
“Executive experience is not an asset if it simply means bigger and more intrusive government.
“Governor Pawlenty said in 2006, ‘The era of small government is over… the government has to be more proactive and more aggressive.’ That’s the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health care plan.
“Actions speak louder than words. When I was fighting against the unconstitutional individual mandate in healthcare, Governor Pawlenty was praising it. I have fought against irresponsible spending while Governor Pawlenty was leaving a multi-billion-dollar budget mess in Minnesota. I fought cap-and-trade. Governor Pawlenty backed cap-and-trade when he was Governor of Minnesota and put Minnesota into the multi-state Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. While Governor Pawlenty was praising TARP — the $700 billion bailout in 2008 — I worked tirelessly against it and voted against it. I have demonstrated leadership and the courage of my convictions to change Washington, stop wasteful spending, lower taxes, put Americans back to work and turn our economy around. I’m a hard worker who exhibits that courage in the halls of Congress and will take that same conviction to the White House.”
At the liberal Politico newspaper, Alexander Burns writes that Bachmann’s decision to respond with such a scathing statement opens a new chapter in the presidential campaign, and reveals that Bachmann views Pawlenty as a “competitor worth fighting.”