It seemed like a watershed on Thursday when CNN offhandedly described Gov. Pawlenty — who never seems to be quite as well known as he’d like to be — as “high profile.” Then Friday, as if on cue, the media put his comments about President Obama’s back-to-school speech up in lights.
Here’s what Pawlenty said to reporters at the Minnesota State Fair Friday morning, according to the Star Tribune, about Obama’s planned speech to school children:
At a minimum it’s disruptive, number two, it’s uninvited and number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it. I don’t think he needs to force it upon the nation’s school children.
And on his regular Friday radio show, joking about Obama’s purported request for letters from students:
There are going to be questions about — well, what are they are going to do with those names and is that for the purpose of a mailing list?
There was a time not so long ago when what T-Paw had to say at the State Fair or on his radio show — calling his wife, Mary, “fabulous, red hot, smokin’, sexy, wonderful,” trashing Obama — wouldn’t have traveled much beyond Minnesota’s borders.
But now that he has come clean about his presidential ambitions, such remarks — admittedly, on a hot topic during something of a late-summer news lull — are enough to draw attention from the likes of CBS, the Boston Globe, and far and wide via the Associated Press. (Heck, it’s national blog-fodder when Pawlenty gets ding-dong ditched.)
Indeed, the Democratic National Committee deemed Pawlenty’s jabs worthy of an official jab back:
One would think that encouragement and inspiration directly from the President of the United States to the next generation of Americans, an experience school children will not forget for the rest of their lives, would be something everyone would embrace. Outrageously, Governor Tim Pawlenty, who, as a leader in his state, should be encouraging the success of our children, would rather pander to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party by dismissing and joking about next week’s speech. The only joke here is Tim Pawlenty, who is clearly trying to out-Palin Sarah Palin in his sickening attempt to please the radical right-wing Glenn Beck’s of the world.
Pawlenty will be on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, as will Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
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