Conservatives like me are clamoring for a dependable, solid, principled candidate with a record of conservatism to stand on, with the intellect to convey and articulate the message that will win the hearts and minds of the undecided. Tim Pawlenty would have you think he is that guy. With establishment backing and a pile of cash, he could convince many.
|Tim Pawlenty: Sam's Club Conservative|
Once under consideration as a running mate for John McCain in 2008, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute uncovers his true big government, nanny state record:
Pawlenty, who reportedly coined the term “Sam’s Club conservative” to describe his political philosophy, has been an economic populist and big-spender generally. Among other things, he:
- Supported government subsidized health care for all children as the first step toward universal health insurance, and opposed President Bush’s veto of a Democratic bill that would have expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance program (SCHIP) to families earning as much as $83,000 per year;
- Supports Massachusetts-style health care reform, including a “health care exchange” and an individual mandate;
- Has called for banning all prescription drug advertizing, and seeks government imposed price controls for drugs offered through Medicare;
- Proposed a $4000 per child preschool program for low-income children;
- Pushed a statewide smoking ban smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars;
- Increased the state’s minimum wage;
- Imposed some of the most aggressive and expensive renewable energy mandates in the country;
- Was an ardent supporter of the farm bill;
- Received only a “C” ranking on Cato’s 2006 Governor’s Report Card, finishing below such Democrats as Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and tied with Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Here is another scathing blog entry that links to a Wall Street Journal article authored by Jason Lewis in which Pawlenty is quoted:
"The era of small government is over . . . government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."
-- Tim Pawlenty, 2006.
When he raised the cigarette tax in 2005 by $.75 per pack, he called it a "health impact fee". Are you kidding? He clearly engages in doublespeak like any other typical politician. Call it what it is, the least you can do is be honest about it. I'm sure he will call additional spending "investments".
There's his cap and trade ideas, his support for subsidies of all kinds (renewable energy, stadiums, farm bills), all of which are an irrefutable part of Pawlenty's record.
Oh, and I'm going to pistol whip the next moron who calls him T-PAW.
Let's be serious. This is not the guy we need to lead us out of this quagmire. We need someone firmly committed to reducing the size and scope of government, adherent to Constitutional principles, and able to convey the message effectively. Remember, it's really the undecided vote that will decide the election.