At tea party summit, Pawlenty is grateful for activists ‘standing up to the ruling class’
Tim Pawlenty made a splash at the Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit on Saturday in Arizona. The former governor scored a close second in the event’s straw poll and threw plenty of red meat to tea party activists in his speech Saturday evening, including thanking the tea party for “standing up to the ruling class” which includes unions.
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain was the favorite of the summit attendees with 22 percent of the straw poll vote. Pawlenty finished second with 16 percent, followed by Ron Paul at 15 percent, Sarah Palin with 10 percent, Mitt Romney with 6.5 percent and Rep. Michele Bachmann with 5.6 percent.
“The mood at this summit shows that Tea Party activists are looking for leaders who share our principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government and who will vow to uphold policies that reflect those principles once in office,” Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, said in a statement.
“I’m here today to say, ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for standing up to the ruling class,” Pawlenty told the crowd. “Thank you for standing up to the liberal power brokers, guardians of the status quo and the royal triangle of greed: big government, big unions and big bailed-out businesses.”
“The Constitution was not written to limit freedom, it was written to limit government,” Pawlenty said. “It appears President Obama has forgotten what this says. It says in the Constitution: ‘In order to form a more perfect Union.’ Mr. President, that does not mean coddling out-of-control public employee unions. And Mr. President, Wisconsin does not need a lecture from somebody who’s never balanced a budget in his life.”
He added, “Speaking of Wisconsin, will you join me in applauding Governor Walker for standing strong against overreaching unions?”
Pawlenty also shared a joke about Obama’s citizenship, one he’s told at several stump appearances.
“Now, I’m not one who questions the existence of the president’s birth certificate. But, when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least wonder what planet he’s from? We don’t share President Obama’s worldview.”
He also took a dig at Al Franken. “Big government spenders come with excuses. They say, ‘Oh, Governor, how do you do that? It’s too hard. The politics are difficult and the unions are too tough,’” Pawlenty said. “I know something about the spenders — and I know something about difficult. I’m from the state of United States Senator Al Franken, but we cut government in Minnesota. If we can do it there, we can do it anywhere. It wasn’t easy. I set a record for vetoes.”
Finally, he borrowed a line from Jimmy McMillan, a 2010 candidate for mayor in New York City who ran on the “Rent is too Damn High” ticket.
“Do you remember the guy who ran in the NYC mayor’s race who ran his entire campaign on a simple motto: He said over and over: ‘The rent is too damn high.’ So here’s our simple motto: ‘The Government’s too damn big!’”