GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Friday that while he would vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan if it came across his desk as president and there were no alternative, he will soon put out his own plan -- one that would tackle Social Security in addition to Medicare and Medicaid.
The health-care prong of his plan, he said during various TV appearances Friday morning, would have “some options, rather than having to be more of a one-size-fits-all system,” like Ryan’s premium support model.
“I’ll have my own plan and that’s going to be announced relatively soon,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “That’s the one I’d like to sign as president.”
But Pawlenty heaped praise on the GOP’s new darling during his appearance on Fox & Friends, calling Ryan “bright,” “smart,” and “courageous.” Asked if he’d consider the Wisconsin congressman who chairs the Budget Committee to be his running mate, Pawlenty responded, “Paul Ryan would be on everybody’s list of leadership for the next generation.”
The presidential hopeful took a few jabs at President Obama during his five-minute appearance on Fox and even repeated a tweet he’d written Thursday night about Obama’s European tour.
"I’m sorry to interrupt your European pub crawl, but where’s President Obama’s Medicare plan? And the answer is, he doesn’t have one," he said, taking a dig at Obama’s Guinness-drinking photo op this week in Ireland.
Pawlenty also endorsed tax reform in the form of getting rid of tax expenditures while appearing on MSNBC, saying he would end ethanol subsidies.
“We can’t have any more sacred cows,” he said.
When asked about his poor standing in the polls, Pawlenty chalked it up to name recognition and said voters would come around once they learned of his record as the governor of Minnesota.
“My goodness, if the early polls were the predictor of who’s going to be the next president, we’d have President Giuliani or President Howard Dean,” he said.
“Whoever’s going to get in, I hope they’ll get in soon,” he told MSNBC’s Willie Geist. “We need to quit worrying about polls and bus tours” -- a reference to the will-she-or-won’t-she flutter over Sarah Palin’s intentions as she mounts a bus tour of the East Coast.
“Let’s get to the issues and let’s fix the darn problems,” Pawlenty added.