Former Governor Tim Pawlenty today (Thu) defended potential rival Sarah Palin against criticism she’s received since the Arizona shootings. Palin, who had ‘targeted’ the congressional seat of Gabrielle Giffords before the last election, has been blamed by some for using inflammatory rhetoric. Pawlenty told the National Press Club the Tucson shooting had nothing to do with Palin:
“Those early hours and early days she was falsely accused,” Pawlenty said. “I mean there were people who just came flat out…blamed her for her part in that incident. And the facts, as we know them today, didn’t bear that out.”
Pawlenty also said Palin has the leadership qualities needed to be a president. He said she has more “executive experience” than President Obama had prior to his election. Pawlenty and Palin are potential GOP presidential candidates in 2012.
Pawlenty also warned that the U.S. needs to reexamined its budget priorities and warned that Greece’s economic crisis should be a warning to the U.S.
Midday aired the entire speech. You can listen to it here: