By Baird Helgeson
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has turned Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s recent deer hunting controversy into fodder on the campaign trail.
Rybak, who is running for governor, was asked at a Dec. 3 gathering of the local chapter of Drinking Liberally if, as governor, he would take the time to track a deer he shot during the opener.
Hunters criticized Pawlenty for wounding a deer during the opener in November and then leaving for an Iowa fundraiser before the animal could be found. Other members of the governor’s hunting party tracked the deer without success.
“The deer incident I wouldn’t go after him on, but I think there’s a pretty long … um… example of things he shot in the butt and hasn’t finished off,” said Rybak, setting off a round of laughter and applause.
That was not Rybak’s only shot at Pawlenty.
“We stand at a very, very complicated period of time in Minnesota, were we have been so incredibly fortunate to have stood on the shoulders of generations who built a community that is about more than ourselves,” he said. “And now, unfortunately, we’ve been led by people in these last few years who have forgotten that. They knew Minnesotans were tough, but didn’t understand that Minnesotans can do incredible things when they come together."
Too subtle? How about this jab at Pawlenty’s possible presidential aspirations:
“I think this is one of the most cynical political people I’ve seen in a long time, in the governor,” Rybak said. “But I think we know his deal. He’s certainly not in it for Minnesota right now; he’s in it for primary states.”
See video from Rybak’s speech here.
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