A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Pawlenty Not ‘Ashamed’ Now

Tim Pawlenty's repeated claim that he "won" Minnesota's 2005 government shutdown is inconsistent with his view at the time. Shortly after the state budget crisis had been resolved, Pawlenty — then governor of Minnesota — said that "anybody who tries to spin this as a partisan victory should be ashamed of himself."
Pawlenty, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, has boasted he "won" the 2005 shutdown in two TV ads — most recently in "The American Comeback,"

Pawlenty, Taxes and Budget Crises

Tim Pawlenty misled readers in an op-ed by saying he solved Minnesota's budget crisis in 2005 without raising taxes. Pawlenty's 75-cents-per-pack cigarette tax — which he called a "health impact fee" — helped forge a budget deal and end a nine-day partial government shutdown. 
In a July 12 op-ed piece for the Des Moines Register, the former Minnesota governor and current Republican candidate for president criticized Democrats for proposing to raise taxes to solve budget problems in Minnesota and Washington,

GOP New Hampshire Debate

In the first New Hampshire debate among 2012 presidential hopefuls, we found a number of incorrect, misleading or shaky factual claims. Pawlenty was wrong when he boasted that he was …

DNC Misquotes Pawlenty

The Democratic National Committee takes Tim Pawlenty's comments on his presidential campaign out of context. In a web video posted May 22, the DNC claimed that Pawlenty said, "I don't know," in response to a question about why he was running. But the reporter had asked when the former Minnesota governor knew that he wanted to be president — not why.

The DNC was quick to criticize Pawlenty, posting the video the same day he announced that he would run in another web video.

FactChecking Pawlenty

We are periodically taking a look at past claims from the 2012 presidential candidates. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty released a web video, announcing that he was running for president, and he'll kick off his campaign in Iowa. In recent months, we have found him straying from the facts.

In a January interview on "Fox News Sunday," Pawlenty said that he "never did sign a bill relating to cap and trade" while governor of Minnesota. But that's false.

Pawlenty’s Bailout Blarney

Once again we find that Tim Pawlenty has changed course on an issue that is something of a litmus test for Republican candidates. In this case, it’s government bailouts.
On Jan. 16, he condemned all such bailouts, saying: "I don’t think the government should bail out Wall Street or the mortgage industry or for that matter any other industry." But back in 2008, when the sub-prime lending crisis was gathering force, Pawlenty said that some entities were "too big,

Pawlenty’s Political Climate Change

Likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty's views on cap and trade aren't what they used to be.
Pawlenty told "Fox News Sunday" on Jan. 16 that he "never did sign a bill relating to cap and trade" when he was governor of Minnesota, but that's not true. He also said: "I've opposed cap and trade." However, that's been the case only since 2009.
In fact, the bill he signed in 2007 specifically required a task force to "recommend how the state could adopt"

The 2012 GOP Field

In episode 43 of our podcast, we take a look at what some of the potential Republican presidential candidates have been saying.

For more on the claims discussed in this podcast, see:
Let the Distortions Begin  Dec. 23

Let the Distortions Begin

It has been seven whole weeks now since the midterms, and – like you, perhaps – we’ve enjoyed watching football and “Glee” uninterrupted by campaign ads. But that doesn’t mean there’s no campaigning going on. Potential Republican presidential aspirants …