May 23, 2011–Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced today that he is running for President of the United States, telling voters at a town hall event in Des Moines, Iowa that “it’s time for new leadership, with a new approach.”
“The time has come for America’s president – and anyone who wants to be president – to look you in the eye and tell you the truth,” said the former two-term governor of Minnesota, noting that our entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path and that inaction is no longer an option. ”If we don’t change directions in 2012, if we do not move quickly and decisively, if we are not willing to chip in to sacrifice some of our own comfort and convenience for the lives and liberties of our children, it may be too late.”
The long-awaited announcement drew cheers at Alive’s Colorado Springs office where a critical step on the Pawlenty Express was made.
“I approached the Governor two years ago to write the book of his life,” said Alive’s President Rick Christian, who ultimately negotiated the deal for his best-selling memoir, Courage to Stand (Tyndale), published in January. “The momentum is certainly his, and he’s got the record, story, and heart to make it to the finish line. He’s definitely in it to win it!” said Christian, who with his wife Debbie co-hosted the Governor at a pre-announcement luncheon May 9th at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
Columnist George Will said earlier this month, “This is the most open scramble on the Republican side since 1940 when Wendell Willkie came out of the woodwork and swept the field. I think people are complaining this is not off to a brisk start. I think that’s wrong. I think we know with reasonable certainty that standing up there on the West front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2013 will be one of three people: Obama, Pawlenty and [Indiana Gov. Mitch] Daniels. I think that’s it.”
With Daniels now out of contention, a recent op-ed piece in the Washington Post appears prescient in declaring that Pawlenty may likely be the “last one standing” in the 2012 GOP contest.–RC
Excerpts of Pawlenty’s Announcement Address
“I’m Tim Pawlenty, and I’m running for President of the United States. We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won’t get fixed if we keep going down the same path. If we want a new and better direction, we need a new and better President.”
“President Obama’s policies have failed. But more than that, he won’t even tell us the truth about what it’s really going to take to get out of the mess we’re in. … I’m going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the truth.”
“We’ve tried Barack Obama’s way — and his way has failed. Three years into his term, we’re no longer just running out of money. We’re running out of time. It’s time for new leadership. It’s time for a new approach. And, it’s time for America’s president – and anyone who wants to be president – to look you in the eye and tell you the truth.”
“The changes history is calling on America to make today cannot be shouldered only by people richer than us, or poorer than us – but by us, too. Politicians are often afraid that if they’re too honest, they might lose an election. I’m afraid that in 2012, if we’re not honest enough, we may lose our country. If we want to grow our economy, we need to shrink our government. If we want to create jobs, we need to encourage job creators. If we want our children to be free to pursue their dreams, we can’t shackle them with our debts. This is a time for truth.”
“No president deserves to win an election by dividing the American people – picking winners and losers, protecting his own party’s spending and cutting only the other guys’; pitting classes, and ethnicities, and generations against each other. The truth is, we’re all in this together. So we need to work to get out of this mess together. I’ll unite our party and unite our nation, because to solve a fourteen-trillion-dollar problem, we’re going to need three hundred million people.”
“In Minnesota and in Washington, the issues were the same: taxes, spending, health care, unions, and the courts. But in Washington, Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes, more spending, more government, more powerful special interests, and less individual freedom. In Minnesota, I cut taxes, cut spending, instituted health care choice and performance pay for teachers, reformed our union benefits, and appointed constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court. That is how you lead a liberal state in a conservative direction.”