Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota
GLENN: From Los Angeles, California, hello, you sick twisted freak. Third most listened to show in all of America and strangely we’re proud of that. Welcome to the program. Boy, we’ve got a lot of insanity on the plate today. We want to start with the governor of Minnesota, the guy who a lot of people said was going to be the vice president and then, my gosh, John McCain just picked this hate monger of a woman who the latest that I heard was that she now hates Eskimos. I find that a little strange seeing that her husband is half Eskimo but, what do I know. Let me go to Tim Pawlenty now, the governor of Minnesota. How are you?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: I’m good, Glenn, although I don’t know about the introduction when you say we’ve got a lot of insanity and then you introduce me.
GLENN: Well, I mean, you are in the political spectrum and I got to tell ya, you know, while I appreciate you and a lot of your positions, oh, my gosh, I don’t think I can take politics anymore. I really don’t.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Well, I think that Governor Palin was a great pick.
GLENN: Me, too.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: And I really appreciate Senator McCain’s courage and wisdom because she electrifies the base, she reaches out, got a lot of voters not just outside the Republican party and opens doors in other ways we couldn’t reach those voters and I think she is going to be a substantial reason why Senator McCain’s elected the next President of the United States.
GLENN: You know what, I have to tell you with all the stuff that has come out about her, first of all, you know, the lie that Trig is somehow or another not her son or you know this latest where she’s just a racist that hates Eskimos, to, she’s banning books in the library. All of these things are out and out lies. This is why people don’t run for higher office. How do you do it?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Well, I think first of all the Obama campaign’s getting hysterical. She see what’s happening is Senator McCain’s searching the polls, a big part of that. So they are trying to discredit her. But it’s not working. And when you spread false things, eventually the press and the public figure that out and they will be even more supportive of Governor Palin and Senator McCain but as to how you do it, it’s not Tiddlywinks and as long as it relates to issues, as long as it relates to your policy position, either actual or alleged, I think it’s fair game to have to discourse. That’s why young people ask me, Glenn, should go into public service or politics, I would say it depends. Depends on whether you’ve got the ability to kind of weather through it. It’s not Tiddlywinks. It’s stuff.
GLENN: But it’s not you know, there’s one thing about being taken on, et cetera, et cetera. But some of the stuff that has been said about Sarah Palin is just, I mean, it’s beyond compare. I mean, I can’t compare it to anything I’ve ever seen.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: It’s awful about the good thing is you have places, credible third party sources debunking it and the American people aren’t stupid. You know, if you have enough of this debate, they will figure it out over time and that’s why you are seeing a surge in the polls for Senator McCain and Governor Palin.
GLENN: You know, they are saying that John McCain, this again the media, that John McCain just didn’t do the vetting process, he didn’t know until the night before. What kind of vetting process did you go through?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Again I can’t speak to other candidates but for me if I had to submit a very, very lengthy set of documents and answer a whole series of questions about every aspect of your life as well as corresponding documents to back it up and plus the
GLENN: What are the questions on there?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Oh, everything relating from your health, you know, your medical conditions to your personal finances, your tax returns, you know, all the controversial political fights you’ve been in over the years, personal background, personal behaviors, you know, everything. Everything you’d want to know about somebody who might be President or vice president. Plus, you know, plus they did a whole bunch of Internet search and had a separate independent review going on beyond that and with lawyers and the like. So the process, he was extremely thorough from what I can glean from the newspapers. They did a similar process for Governor Palin.
GLENN: Do you as you were going through all of that because I saw some of the questions, have you ever had an affair, have you ever done drugs, have you ever done this. And I was thinking to myself, you just have to be dumb as a box of rocks to lie on that.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: You’ve got to be straightforward and forthcoming. But you look at Governor Palin’s record, Glenn, and all the stuff that they brought up so far has been debunked. I know her from the NGA, National Governors Association, RGA, and I don’t know everything about her but she is a steadfast, forthright person of deep value and deep conviction and I think she’s going to be fine in terms of the vetting. And I would say she’s going to be extraordinarily good in terms of the campaign itself.
GLENN: Oh, yeah, she’s I just, you know, we followed her since April when Trig was born and just, have just found her to be a remarkable, remarkable woman. I said last week when John McCain gave his speech, he should have given her a position. He should have said, you know, and one of the things I’m going to have her do is, you know, rat these weasels out or go after energy and now she has a position on energy. Any comments or thoughts on that?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Well, it’s a natural for her because, of course, Alaska’s one of our huge producers of energy and one of Senator McCain’s fames is more domestic production, drill here, drill now, drill offshore, you know, do all that we can to stimulate more supply, both of the traditional kind and at least the kind of renewable stuff that makes economic sense. So it’s very consistent with a priority team, that campaign is consistent with her background, her area of expertise. So I think having her weigh in on energy and help lead those efforts makes sense.
GLENN: Help me make sense of something. You and John McCain both are for cap and trade. The one company that was the leading champion of cap and trade was Enron because these big companies can trade nothing. They can trade air.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: I would say a couple of things. First of all, anything that adds cost to energy prices right now, Glenn, is going to be viewed, you know, with a great amount of concern and so you notice the cap and trade debate has kind of faded into the background and it’s unclear, you know, what that would look like when and if it re emerges. I would also say Senator McCain supports that approach but how you do it is really important. And this cap and trade is not the same across the board. There’s a lot that rises or falls depending on the details of that and so that’s yet to come.
GLENN: But I mean, don’t you think that that’s just another all it is is another tax. That’s all it is.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Well, it depends on how you do it. But my view, personal view of it is this. You can argue, you know, that the world is the globe is warming as it always has for natural reasons but I think the way indicates, at least some of it, you can argue whether it’s 1/2% or something more substantial, you know, is caused by human behavior. So there are some things we can reasonably and voluntarily do to reduce the human impact without wrecking the economy or without violating, you know, Republican and privilege principles. I think there’s some room within those, that description to do something but what you do and how you do it matters a lot. The details matters a lot. But in the wake of this energy crisis where people are, you know, struggling to pay the bills, that debate on cap and trade has just fallen to the background for understandable reasons.
GLENN: What do you think of the bailout for Fannie and Freddie?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Philosophically I don’t like it, Glenn. It’s not what government should do but, you know, we guaranteed those entities de facto or implicitly and so to not live up to that word and to allow it to ruin the markets more deeply, would set out deeper problems, deeper concerns but, you know, we violated the philosophical principle some years ago when we implicitly guaranteed those operations and now we’ve got to back up the guarantee.
GLENN: You know, George Soros’ ex partner said that we are more communist today than communist China because of that bailout.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: From a conservative standpoint you’ve got to wonder what we were doing allowing those two entities to get that big, to have an implicit government guarantee. You know, if they go south and royal the housing markets and the economy further, there’s all kinds of bigger collateral damage. The problem was when we started with the notion that those were going to be implicitly government backed, government guaranteed agencies, they should have been private market to begin with.
GLENN: What do you think of the Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews being taken off as anchors of MSNBC?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: I think it makes a lot of sense because, you know, if you are going to have not advocacy shows but you’re going to have news shows where they are reporting on the results of the election and commenting on the election night, you want somebody in those chairs that is not, you know, a partisan or an advocate, at least that dramatically. So it was hard to watch those shows that were reported to be news shows knowing that Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are, you know, such partisan advocates. It really wasn’t an appropriate role for them. So now they can. So now they can be advocates before everybody understands the advocates.
GLENN: Let me see if we agree on this. If MSNBC would have said, you know, and had Keith Olbermann come out and say, look, I’m not a journalist, I’m a commentator, I am clearly for Barack Obama and I want you to know that coming up and here’s here we are covering the Democratic convention or the Republican convention, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that. It was the
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: I agree. You and I are in agreement on that. They were holding them out as news anchors.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: There was some sort of ethics and credibility around that when in fact they are just obvious advocates. So they have got to recede back to that role of commentators.
GLENN: I appreciate it, governor. Thanks for being on the program. One last question. Do you think it was significant that Hillary Clinton didn’t mention Sarah Palin yesterday?
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: Yeah, I think it was significant and I just think the Sarah Palin ticket is brilliant and substantively and strategically, Glenn. She for all the obvious reasons. I mean, if you are a member and supporter of the military, she has a son in the military. She’s one of them. If you are a mom, she’s one of you. If you are a parent of a disabled child, she’s one of you. If you like to hunt and fish, she’s one of you. If you are from small town America, rural America with related concerns, she’s one of you. If you are a Sam’s Club Republican, she’s one of you. On the list she opens up so many doors and pathways to voters that Republicans don’t always have or don’t traditionally have. It’s just terrific. It’s a great pick substantively and strategically and I’m not surprised that Senator Clinton didn’t take her on because who would want to. That’s not a good bet for Senator Clinton.
GLENN: Do me a favor, will you? I know you talk to John McCain. Tell John McCain that yesterday I said on the air, and I know nobody follows me and it doesn’t really matter to anybody, but he has convinced me to pull the lever for John McCain with this pick. Absolutely.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: What do you mean nobody listens to you? You’re a rock star. You are like a Mick Jagger of talk television and radio. You should grow your hair out and do kind of a strut like a Jagger strut.
GLENN: Yeah, that’s me, that’s me. All right, governor, thank you so much.
GOVERNOR PAWLENTY: All right, goodbye.
GLENN: We’ll talk to you again. Bye bye. Okay.