Pawlenty on Palin's Political Map: Crosshairs Not My Style

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that Sarah Palin's decision to put crosshairs on districts of vulnerable Democrats – including Rep. Giffords' – wasn’t what he would have done, but he doesn’t think it contributed to the terrible tragedy in Tucson on Saturday.

“It wouldn’t have been my style to put the crosshairs on there. But again there is no evidence to suggest that it had anything to do with this mentally unstable person’s rage and senseless act in Arizona,” Pawlenty told me.

The shooting that took six lives and injured 14 others will change the political climate in Washington, Pawlenty said, because it is causing people to step back and think about rhetoric.

“There is a line there as it relates to basic civility, decency and respect and not trying to invoke violence,” he said.

Pawlenty and Palin haven’t decided if they will run for president in 2012, but Pawlenty called his potential opponent a “remarkable leader” who “brings a lot to the debate and the table both nationally and within the Republican Party.”

Pawlenty outlined a few of his ideas to help the economy, should he throw his hat in the ring – including making members of Congress file their own taxes so they realize firsthand the complexity of our system.

“No help of an accountant or lawyer or tax specialist. And if they can’t do it we’ll give them a certification that they can go get some help,” he told me. “But I’d like every one of those individuals to have to do their own taxes every year and live with the mindless burdens we visit on the American people.”

Wonder if that idea will stick. What do you think of it?

-- George Stephanopoulos

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