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Politics / politics

Pawlenty Reaching Out to Everyone

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

photo of Ben Terris
March 14, 2011

As former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty tries to make a national name for himself in the lead-up to the 2012 elections, he has advertised himself as everything to everyone in the Republican Party. He tries to come across as belonging to whichever group he is speaking to, The New York Times reports.

At a recent Tea Party Patriots rally, he pronounced, “The government’s too damn big!” To an evangelical audience, he declared, “The Constitution was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith.” And to Republicans in New Hampshire, he closed with a gentle plea: “Please leave with hope and optimism.”

Pawlenty says that he wants to be “every person’s candidate,” but there is some worry that he may be sacrificing his own individuality and coming across as pandering. After a recent speech at a faith forum, the Times notes, some Republicans thought Pawlenty had developed a fake Southern accent in trying to connect with voters.

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