Club For Growth: ‘We struggle to identify the real Tim Pawlenty’

The Club for Growth, a group that lobbies for lower taxes and limited government spending, released a white paper on Tim Pawlenty’s record. It offers a mixed assessment of Pawlenty because he vetoed tax hikes during his time as governor but also passed other tax hikes, campaigned for cap and trade and ethanol and signed a statewide smoking ban into law.

“We struggle to identify the real Tim Pawlenty,” the White Paper said.

The group said Pawlenty would be a “pro-growth president” because he vetoed tax hikes as governor and worked on school choice initiatives during his time as governor.

Pawlenty deserves tremendous praise for keeping Minnesota’s spending growth remarkably low. For this, and for his consistent stances on school choice, tort reform, and political free speech, he deserves credit – while his record on health care and entitlement spending is mixed.

While the Club for Growth praised Pawlenty for accomplishing his goal of keeping spending in check during his time as governor, the group worries that a “President Pawlenty” would be “susceptible to adopting “pragmatic” policies that grow government.”

However, Pawlenty has some simply inexcusable tax hikes in his record, and he made a mistake by taking no clear position on the 2008 Legacy Amendment. His tacit support for bailouts, more job-choking regulations, and various tariffs make it difficult for us to identify his core ideological identity. His support of things like mandatory vegetable oil in gasoline, cap and trade, and a statewide smoking ban make him sound overly eager to support big government proposals to address policy fads of the day.

The Club for Growth has been writing up white papers on all of the GOP candidates for president.

You can read the full white paper on Pawlenty here.

You can find the group’s other white papers here.

The Club for Growth raised and spent $22 million in the 2010 campaign to lobby on behalf of like minded candidates.

  • Bob Moffitt

    “…mandatory vegetable oil in gasoline?”

    Huh? I think they mean our biodiesel mandate, which Pawlenty did support.