Pawlenty says Quran burning “not wise”

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he doesn’t think burning the Quran is a good idea, but he’s not specifically calling on a Florida pastor to cancel a planned weekend protest.

The Republican governor, who is viewed as a likely presidential candidate in 2012, commented on the Quran controversy today at an airport news conference before leaving on an Asian trade mission. Pawlenty said that people have a legal right to burn books, but that doesn’t mean it’s wise. He stopped short of saying the burning shouldn’t go forward.

“You know, I think everybody has to make their own judgements,”Pawlenty said. “But in my view, I don’t think it’s a helpful or needed thing. It’s not something that’s a wise act on his part.”

Asked if he shared Gen. David Petraeus’ concern about the Quran burning putting American troops at risk, Pawlenty said he would defer to the general.

“He is the expert on the situation in Afghanistan relative to American troops,” Pawlenty said. “I would certainly give anything he said great deference and respect.”

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