Pawlenty urges Republicans to come home

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued a statement today that took dead aim at the Independence Party’s Tom Horner but it may have more to do with Republican Tom Emmer’s support among the GOP base.

The reasons:

1) Pawlenty has vocally supported Emmer’s candidacy since Emmer received the endorsement in May.

2) Pawlenty has raised money for Emmer’s campaign.

3) Polling has showed that Horner is eating into Emmer’s base.

Why send out a statement like this unless there’s concern that some Republicans are indicating that they won’t back Emmer.

Here’s the statement from Pawlenty (followed by a statement from Horner’s campaign):

“Voters in Minnesota have a choice this fall: Either elect a new governor who will create jobs by rejecting tax hikes and out-of-control spending, or elect someone who will raise taxes and stop job creation.

“Nobody understands the danger of raising taxes better than Republicans, which is why my party is so energized in Minnesota and across the nation. Republicans of all stripes – moderate, conservative, and libertarian – agree with Tom Emmer’s central principles: government must live within its means; we cannot raise taxes if we want to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs; and government must be reformed.

“I’ve known Tom Horner for 30 years, and while he’s a decent man, his proposals to raise billions in new taxes and allow government to grow unsustainably will take Minnesota in the wrong direction. Any Republican who votes for Tom Horner is not only helping Mark Dayton become governor, but casting a vote to undo the tax and spending cuts we’ve fought so hard for over the last 8 years.

“These are challenging times for our country and state. If you are concerned about your future, about creating jobs, and moving our state forward, Tom Horner and Mark Dayton represent the same wrong choice. Tom Emmer is the only candidate for governor who will fight to ensure we create jobs in Minnesota and enjoy a better future.”

Here’s a statement from Horner spokesman Matt Lewis:

Gov. Pawlenty is a decent person, but his policies have left Minnesota with job creation that has lagged the nation during much of the last decade, in good years and bad. That’s not a record Minnesota can afford in the next four years. The most telling part of the endorsement, though, is that the Republican nominee hasn’t been able to secure the endorsement of a Republican governor until little more than three weeks left in the campaign. It speaks volumes about the reluctance of Gov. Pawlenty to jeopardize his national ambitions by tying himself to a gubernatorial candidate who increasingly is the choice only of Palin-Bachmann Republicans. We need to offer a vision that speaks to all Minnesotans to create new jobs in the private sector, to invest in our future, and to truly reform rather than continue to kick the can down the road.

  • pgm

    Great new political dynamic with Emmer and Horner, two Republican candidates vying for governor. The Republican firing squad is being to look like a circle. Go for it guys.

  • Bill Prendergast

    There’s a lot of Republicans who finally got disgusted with the Emmer-Bachmann bid for party leadership. They’re not “quislings” (as the Emmer campaign would have it)–they’re just people who want conservatism *without* a bunch of irresponsible nuts in charge of the GOP and the state.

    So it will be interesting to see who wins control of the GOP after this next election.

    This last year Pawlenty’s been crawling before the Emmer Bachmann wing, trying to get their backing. We’re used to seeing him abandon all articulated principles to catch whatever wave he needs to catch to move up. But maybe for once he’s abandoned all articulated principles to jump the *wrong* way, in terms of careerism.

    Anyway: if the Emmer Bachmann wing of the party really is “the people” (instead of a numerical minority of extremist cranks) why the heck are they having so much trouble building a majority? Not only are they not doing that: they can’t even keep all of the right, on the right.

    And now have taken to calling fellow conservatives “traitors.” That’s the way to charm ’em. The funny thing is that the guys in this Emmer Bachmann wing of the GOP all think they are political geniuses. You go, geniuses.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Pop quiz: which damages Tom Emmer’s campaign for Governor most?

    1. The Emmer campaign management crew of Drunk Drivers and DWIs.

    2. The legal malpractice suit, brought against Emmer by a former political supporter and volunteer, who complains, “I thought he was my friend.”

    3. Endorsement by ex-Governor Absentee Bridge Collapse, firmly tying Emmer to the Pawlenty record of no new jobs and endless deficits.

    Answers will be collected at the end of the hour. Please pay attention to grammar and spelling.