President Obama’s had a pretty good week, even his potential 2012 opponents congratulated him.
So I asked one of those possible GOP candidates what he would say in a debate standing next to a president who says he kept his promises on killing Osama bin Laden, weakening al Qaeda and bringing our troops home?
“I do congratulate him George, for the fine job that he did in finding and killing Osama bin Laden,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty told me.
“But there is a number of other security and foreign policy questions that I think he’s answered in the wrong way. For example when he said that he was going to surge the troops in Afghanistan which I think was the correct call, I don’t think he should have simultaneously announced the withdrawal date and sent the message that we’re really not committed there to finish the job,” he said.
The day after the first Republican debate Pawlenty – who as my colleague Amy Walter pointed out views the race as a marathon, not a sprint - went after Obama on issues closer to home:
The Economy: “We have a president who said George, that he was going to cut the deficit in half if he got elected president. He didn’t keep that promise. Our federal spending is out of control, I think Americans realize we can’t be a debtor nation and that’s ruining our country.”
Health Care: “He said he was going to fix the health care system with a focus on costs and affordability. He broke that promise. He didn’t do it with Republicans like he said. He said initially he opposed the individual mandate now he’s in favor of it. And I think the health care crisis is going to continue, he didn’t solve the problem.”
Raising the Debt Ceiling: “[Obama] said, don’t raise the debt ceiling when he was a candidate or when he was a Senator because that’s an example of ‘failed leadership.’ And now he wants to raise the debt ceiling. So the list goes on and on and on. He made all these promises and he broke most of them.”
Watch my interview here: