Pawlenty targets Romney on health care

Gov. Pawlenty decided against taking an open shot at Mitt Romney during last week’s appearance on Good Morning America. Instead, Pawlenty decided to rip the possible 2012 foe during an appearance in New Hampshire. Pawlenty didn’t openly take a shot at Romney but it was clear who he was targeting when he criticized the Massachusetts health plan to the Nashua Telegraph.. Romney signed the universal health plan into law when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Here’s part of Pawlenty’s interview regarding the Massachusetts law:

“The plan is dramatically propped up by federal money,” he said. “Take that away and there would be dire economic consequences.

“Looking at the Massachusetts experience, it would not be one I would want for the country to follow any further.”

Pawlenty has criticized the Massachusetts model before but this is the first time he’s done it since President Obama signed the health care overhaul into law last week. The topic could be a dicey one for Romney since he signed the Massachusetts model into law but is calling for the repeal of a federal law that is similar.

One side note, Pawlenty is critical of the plan being propped up by federal money but fails to mention that he relied heavily on federal stimulus money to balance the current budget. In 2009, he used $2.1 billion to help balance the state’s budget.

He’s also relying on a $408,000,000 extension in stimulus money to erase the current budget deficit. Congress has yet to pass that extension.

Update: Pawlenty will hold a “Facebook Townhall” on Wednesday night.

I’m told Pawlenty will appear via webcam and answer unedited questions from Facebook users via instant messaging technology.