Pawlenty visits Minnesota to opine on the shutdown
June 30, 2011 — 10:48pm
Bob Von Sternberg and Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, now running for president, said that both the shutdown he oversaw in 2005 and the one now happening were the fault of Democrats during a stop at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport Thursday night.
Although he blamed DFL Gov. Mark Dayton for the current shutdown, Pawlenty did not take responsibility for the 2005 government closure.
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty spoke to the media at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport after arriving from Florida (RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER/STAR TRIBUNE)
"The equivalence is this both in '05 and now -- You had Democrats demanding that we raise taxes and raise spending, " Pawlenty said.
In 2005, the shutdown ended with Pawlenty inking a budget deal that included what he called a "health impact fee," but most called a cigarette tax.
He said he bore no responsibility for the $5 billion deficit economists projected he left behind and the current lawmakers and governor are working to close. He said the deficit is "a projected deficit" based on spending he would not have approved.
The former governor met with the press at the airport because he had just flown in from a campaign swing in Florida.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."