RUSH: It is funny, but I gotta tell you something. Mitch Daniels, he pulled out, and we all know why. His wife doesn’t want what Sarah Palin got. She doesn’t want any part of it. You and I both know that whatever Democrat seeks to run, the media is not gonna question their authenticity or their legitimacy, but you will be. You’re gonna be called every cliched conservative name in the book: racist, sexist, bigot homophobe, all of these things. How are you going to deal with that?
PAWLENTY: Well, the same way I dealt with it in Minnesota, Rush. That’s the land of McCarthy, Mondale, Humphrey, Wellstone, Ventura and now US Senator Al Franken, and I got pummeled. It’s a deeply blue and probably the most liberal state in the country, and that’s why you gotta have the fortitude for this job. I’m not Pollyannish about what’s coming and all the hits we’re gonna have to take, but Mary and I, my wife Mary, you know, we’re very wide-eyed about this but we believe in this cause, and I think we’re steeled and prepared for what’s coming, and I got a lot of good practice getting the you-know-what beat out of me in Minnesota. if we can do this there, we can do it anywhere.
RUSH: What about money? Mitt says he’s gonna be able to put his hands on a billion dollars. Obama’s throwing that figure around. Do you believe that’s what it’s gonna cost to win the presidency this year?
PAWLENTY: Well, the president’s backed off that number somewhat, but on the Republican side in the early days, you know, Mitt will be, my friend Mitt will be the unquestioned money champion. I mean he’s just got the national network and all of that —
RUSH: Is Mitt really your friend or do you guys just say that stuff?
PAWLENTY: No, he’s my friend. I know him, we served together and, you know, we don’t agree on everything, but he’s a good guy. He is my friend. I try to take Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment seriously. But, look, we’re not gonna be the Mercedes campaign or the BMW campaign when it comes to fundraising but we’re gonna have a good steady Buick and we’re gonna have enough to be competitive and win in these early states and whoever the Republican candidate eventually is it’s gonna be me, I think is gonna be able to match Obama, but early on, Mitt will be the unquestioned money champion, there’s no question about that.
RUSH: You feel qualified to debate Obama on foreign policy?
PAWLENTY: Yeah, I think I’m gonna have, with the possible exception of Jon Huntsman, the most international experience of the field, mostly because they’re all governors, but I’ve been to Iraq five times. I’ve been to Afghanistan three times. I’ve been all over the Middle East, including Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, meeting with world leaders. I’ve been to Bosnia, Kosovo. I’ve been all over Europe, led trade missions to South America, Asia, India, so I’ve got a lot of international experience for a governor, and I feel strongly that Obama’s headed in a very dangerous direction. I’ve spoken very forcefully about that. I should say, Rush, on the money thing and the campaign more broadly and the Facebook town hall from Miami tomorrow, I hope people will check out our website at TimPawlenty.com. That will give them all the information they need about our campaign.
RUSH: Okay. You’ve been to China, too, haven’t you?
PAWLENTY: Several times, yeah. Yes, I have.
RUSH: The question — I actually misphrased it. I know you’re qualified. You have the guts, too. One of the things that frustrates Republicans is that there seems to be this reluctance on the part of everybody in this party to take President Obama on. Frankly, the reason Donald Trump excited people is because he took it straight to Obama. Netanyahu on Friday, there’s some negative blowback which you can expect, but people were cheering that because Republican voters in this country for two and a half years have watched their party act afraid of President Obama, afraid of the media, afraid of what people are going to say about them. You’re debating Obama. You’re gonna have the ability to say, “Mr. President, you’re just flat-out wrong about the way you’ve gone about creating jobs,” if you think he’s wrong. Are you gonna be able to say that to his face?
PAWLENTY: Of course, Rush. If you look at my comments on foreign policy, as an example, we blasted him on the 1967 boundary comments. I’ve been pounding on him relentlessly on foreign policy, on Libya, on the Middle East, and I think I’ve been the first and hardest hitting opponent of his of anybody in the field. And those — you know, that’s all on the website again, too, and other places. So there’s no hesitancy on that front, and as I get better known and more visibility those will be more widely distributed, obviously, but don’t mistake any sort of, you know, unfamiliarity with my record with a hesitancy to attack Obama. We do that all the time. We do it hard. And I’m an old hockey player, you know, I still play some hockey. I know exactly what it takes to go dig the puck out of the corner, take some elbows, give some elbows, and we’ll make sure that that gets done. But don’t confuse people and your listeners with being loud with being strong, either. I mean there’s a lot of people in bars who shoot their mouth off and usually they’re the ones who can’t back it up. You look at my record, I back it up.
RUSH: I want to play for you one 30-second sound bite from your video that you released on TimPawlenty.com. This is a segment of the video where you talk about the American dream, and you can expand on this when it’s over.
PAWLENTY (VIDEO): I know the American dream ’cause I lived it. And I know for it to be there for the next generation we’re gonna have to do more than give fancy speeches. We’ve had three years of that and it’s not working. Join me tomorrow and around the country in the days and weeks ahead. You won’t hear empty promises. You’ll hear solutions. Together we’ll change our country. And this time, it will be for the better.
RUSH: People really want that. They really want somebody to do that, Governor.
PAWLENTY: Well, Rush, it starts with making sure you understand what made America great. You know, the way forward isn’t complex. It’s not some big mystery. All we gotta do is go back to the things that made the country great. The Founders gave us the road map, they put it in the Founding Documents, you can look back at the chapters, the success of this country, and see what made us great. We just gotta bring those forward and remind each other of what they are and apply ’em to the challenges of our time. And for the last group that’s gonna decide the election we’ve gotta have a candidate who can connect at a heart and gut level. You know, I got great white papers on Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank and health care reform and we’ll have those online, but you also got a make a heart and gut connection.
I grew up in a meatpacking town. My mom died when I was young. My dad was a truck driver. He lost his job not too long after my mom died for a while and he got promoted later to dispatcher. My brothers and sisters couldn’t go to college, not because they didn’t have the capability, they just didn’t have the opportunity. And I’ve lived the American dream, and through hard work and a lot of other help and a loving family and many other things, but when you share that story, I know when people say, “Hey, you Republicans, you don’t know what it’s like not to be able to afford gas in your car or pay your health care or worry about college costs or how you’re even gonna pay the mortgage,” I said, “Yeah, I can, because I’ve walked in your shoes,” and that gives me the chance then to convince them why being a conservative, why joining our team is better, ’cause they just don’t stiff arm us right out of the gate.
RUSH: Governor, thank you. You’re good. You closed with 15 seconds left in the segment and you didn’t know it. Your instincts are right on the money. Thanks so much for your time. Great to talk to you, and best of luck in your quest.
PAWLENTY: Thanks for the opportunity, Rush. I appreciate it and hope people check out TimPawlenty.com.
RUSH: TimPawlenty.com. Governor Tim Pawlenty, our guest, and we will continue after this.
*Note: Links to content outside RushLimbaugh.com usually become inactive over time.