Tim Pawlenty: A GOP-led Congress should force Obama vetoes before any compromise

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who’s considering a 2012 race for president, said Thursday that – if Republicans take control of the U.S. House – they’d better force President Barack Obama to veto a few bills before participating in any compromises.

The Republican governor was at the Capitol to meet with state legislators, including House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who hosted a session with reporters.

Asked what the public could expect from Republicans if they take control of all or part of Congress, Pawlenty said:

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.

”I think the country is in big trouble, and bold and courageous actions are going to need to be taken. I think that’s what the people are looking for. I think it’s really important that people campaign like they’re going to govern, and govern like they campaign.

“Because if you don’t do that, the public understands that’s a form of hypocrisy. And that’s why they don’t like politicians.

“So you’ve got Republicans all over the country making certain promises and statements about what they want to do and what they’re priorities are – it’s important that they do it….”

The Republican governor, who has been required to work with a Democratically controlled state legislature, conceded that the task will be harder if the U.S. Senate remains in Democratic hands. Even so, Pawlenty said:

”I don’t think they should go in there and pull their punches or say, because President Obama is opposed to something we’re not going to try.”

But should House Republicans be prepared to accept something less than what they want? Said Pawlenty:

”As long as the president is still there to veto things, they’re not likely to get everything they want. But they’ve got to try their very hardest and they’ve got to be able to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. I think they’ve got to at least be true to their word, and send him stuff that they campaigned on and believe in.

“If he vetoes it, and they don’t have the votes to override it, then you’ve got to go to Plan B.”

Pawlenty said election results next week could determine the fate of the Bush tax cuts in Congress:

”There are some conservative Democrats who support that perspective and after the election next Tuesday there may be a lot more. So I think you may find the extension of the Bush tax cuts will not only be deemed to be wise, but you’re going to see increasing bipartisan support for it.

“And the question for President Obama is, are you going to sign that, if you get a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats who send him an extension of all of them – not just some of them. Then is he willing to be constructive and sign the bill?”

Pawlenty said he’ll decide early next year whether to jump into the presidential contest. Ralston, who sat beside the Minnesota governor, was asked whether he was ready to declare his support.

The House speaker said he’s still shopping. Mitt Romney late last month. Newt Gingrich hosts a Gwinnett County rally this afternoon. But Ralston dropped clues that he intends to shy away from a Sarah Palin-style populist:

”What’s important to me is that, if we are successful Tuesday, that we nominate someone in 2012 who has been successful, who can appeal to a wide range of voters, who’s done it under difficult circumstances.

“I like Governor Pawlenty very, very much. Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to visit with him further – and others. It’s early.

“But the important thing is, I think, that this is not about giving great speeches and firing crowds up. This is about us putting forth a candidate that can win and that can govern. We flunked that test in the mid-‘90s, and I don’t want to see us do that again.”

As for the governor’s race: ”I really believed, through this past weekend, that we would have a runoff,” Ralston said. But based on his intuition and data that he’s seen recently, the House speaker is predicting that Deal will win outright on Tuesday.

Even if he’s wrong, Ralston said, Deal will still become the next governor on Nov. 30.

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11 comments Add your comment

Keith

October 28th, 2010
2:57 pm

Extension of the Bush tax cuts will be Obama’s litmus test. Senate and house will pass it, regardlessof whether GOP gets sente majority or not. If Obama signs it he buys himself some breathing room. If not, he will slide into oblivion.

Ralph

October 28th, 2010
3:07 pm

No brainer. Every president whose party doesn’t control Congress has to consider vetoes.

When Obama and Democrats had control, they crammed all sorts of legislation through – some of which may actually get repealed, or at least (think Obamacare) greatly modified.

Gridlock is going to be welcomed by many.

Ghetto Grandpa

October 28th, 2010
3:08 pm

I get it. Obama should compromise, but Republicans never have to compromise — because we all know that only Republicans are patriotic americans who care about freedom, but Obama is a nazi-socialist, jihadist secret muslim who wants to destroy america.

Tommy Maddox

October 28th, 2010
3:29 pm

Yes sir – that about covers it.

Last Man Standing

October 28th, 2010
3:44 pm

Ghetto Grandpa:

Welcome to reality!

DannyX

October 28th, 2010
3:46 pm

“Gridlock is going to be welcomed by many.”

Gridlock has been the Republican game plan for the past 2 years.

Even if the Republicans pick up both Houses repealing or modifying legislation will be virtually impossible. Republicans have raised the bar on the filibuster so high that it takes super human strength to get anything passed. On top of that you have the veto to contend with.

Now think to 2012. Say the Republicans win the presidency, the House and Senate. Good luck getting to 60 in the Senate, something Republicans have never done. Dems will raise the bar, probably by filibustering your judicial nominations. (The few they allow through using stalling maneuvers.)

Oh yes. There will be grid lock in the future. Your starting point is a little off. Gridlock began 24 months ago.

Oh btw, to that future Republican President to be elected 2 years from now, (whoever you are,) you are doing a horrible job. Pathetic. I think Congress should looking into impeachment.

Douglas

October 28th, 2010
4:07 pm

I’m betting that if the Dems loose the House then Pelosi will not let a vote on the tax cut extension come up and, Bingo!, the cuts expire. The outcry will be huge, and the new congress will have to come up with something quick, something the president will sign, and he’ll get a lot of what he wants out of that.

As for gridlock, that’s what we had when Newt became speaker, but bother Congress and the President found ways to work together constructively and we experienced some of our best growth and reductions in spending and debt seen in generations. Then we got Dubya and his minions in the Congress, and all hell broke loose, spending went through the roof (must be some definition of “fiscal conservative” I’m not familiar with). I’m all for the GOP runing the House, but they had better be ready to actually govern (that means working with a Demo Prez and Senate) or they will get the hind end two years fom now.

john

October 28th, 2010
6:11 pm

Tim reminds me of Roy.

The Centrist

October 28th, 2010
7:03 pm

Ralph, two questions: (1) What specific parts of Obamacare are you against? (2) Do you agree that the 48-page GOP healthcare plan that has 22 pages of pictures is sufficient present as a bill to replace Obamacare?

vuduchld

October 28th, 2010
10:24 pm

If the idiot Tea Beggers take control of the House, I expect President Obama to use the veto pen and use it for every single time these monkeys say NO. It time for these cowards to stop running and expose them for what they are – toothless maggots.

gaetano

October 29th, 2010
8:59 am

Let obama veto all he wants. That will be a sure bet that he will be past history in 2012.I don`t care if everything in this country come to a halt, at least we will know that we Americans are still free and can start working again for what we believe.People failed to see what Obama was really like, and hated Bush so much, that Obama was elected.BUT, now I do believe those that voted for this parasite, are truly sorry,even if they won`t admit it,and will work together to get our country back on track. I do know that the only thing that Obama has accomplished has been to back up the countries racial disputes to about fifty years, and will take another fifty to get them back.