Timorous tenther Tim Pawlenty ‘thinks outside the box,’ says Karl Rove


Karl Rove gave Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty high praise at a speech at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., last week: “Tim’s smart, thoughtful, thinks outside the box. He has a lot of new ideas.” But in an interview with the Washington Times over the weekend, Pawlenty tried to put one new idea – invoking states’ rights to fight federal health-care reform – back in the box.

Here’s what Pawlenty told the Washington Times about the role he sees for Tenth Amendment objections in the health-care debate:

It is important to raise the issue – not through lawsuits or threats to secede – but because doing so makes a philosophical statement and political statement for policymakers to take seriously. The federal government shouldn’t boss us around as states. It’s another example of federal government’s encroachment on markets and individual freedoms.

The newspaper said Pawlenty “sounded most of the right base notes as a Republican who is clearly eyeing his party’s 2012 presidential nomination”:

He equated abortion with murder, noted that the Earth is cooling, not warming, and said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and the Treasury secretaries in the Bush and Obama administrations were “misguided” at best in declaring certain financial and manufacturing organizations too big to be allowed to fail.

But that isn’t good not enough for the Club for Growth, whose vice president assailed Pawlenty as “not the true believer that the conservative base is looking for.”