And what a difference a year and some change makes.
Pawlenty – who during the campaign famously and contentiously coined the term “Obamneycare” in regards to Massachusetts health care reform under Mitt Romney – is now co-chair of Romney’s campaign and naturally no longer has the subdued vitriol for his once-opponent.
Pawlenty joined Morning Joe today to discuss a number of subjects – from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s comments on the current state of the GOP, Romney’s campaign and what he considers to be President Obama’s broken promises to the country.
“I have a great deal of respect for Jeb Bush,” Pawlenty said when considering Bush’s comments that neither his father, former President George H.W. Bush, nor Ronald Reagan would feel comfortable in the current Republican Party.
“The Republican Party and the conservative movement isn’t a monolith; it’s a coalition of various pieces,” he said.
When it comes to Romney’s campaign and the anticipation of his Vice Presidential pick, Pawlenty deflected any notions he was in the running by saying it was campaign policy to not discuss such matters. “Anyone would be honored if they were asked,” he did say.
Pawlenty did freely discuss the president’s shortcomings and why Romney deserves a spot in the White House.
“Obama has made a ton of promises and broke a lot of them,” Pawlenty said before discussing how Obama “tripled” the deficit and changed his positions on the “marriage issue,” presumably a comment on the president’s recent statement he’s in support of same-sex marriage.
He’s the president, we’re not going to re-elect him because he got a participation ribbon. You actually have to do something. He’s the participation-ribbon president. It’s not good enough to get re-elected with this economy and these challenges having just occupied the office. You have to do something….He inherited a difficult and challenging situation, obviously. But then the question is did his policies subsequently add to or subtract from the efforts toward recovery? I think that’s a legitimate debate. We would say his policies on energy – stifling American energy development – on health care, on taxes, on labor issues have stifled job growth and economic growth.