June 16th, 2011

Pawlenty Is The Wrong Candidate To Challenge Romney on Heathcare

Depending on how you want to call it, most of the Republican candidates came out of Monday night’s debate in New Hampshire happy.  The only exception is former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is being ridiculed over his decision not to confront Mitt Romney on his Massachusetts healthcare program.

If the media’s reaction wasn’t bad enough, Mike Huckabee has now added his two-cents.  Huckabee told Laura Ingraham that Pawlenty is, “over-coached” and “over-consulted.”  Huckabee called Pawlenty, “a good friend and a great candidate,” but believes he should fire his team of consultants.

Huckabee’s willingness to weigh in on a candidate’s performance in a debate is fascinating on many levels. I think Huckabee has a lot of knowledge that he can impart to a candidate like Pawlenty, but I think his advice misses the mark.

It’s not the advice that Pawlenty’s consultants gave him before the debate that should be questioned.  It’s his instincts.  Pawlenty basically begged CNN to ask him the question when the day before the event he coined the new phrase, Obamneycare.  When CNN’s John King tossed Pawlenty the Obamneycare softball, he should have crushed it out of the park.  Pawlenty’s instincts should have told him to swing for the fences.  This is a fundamental flaw with the candidate, not a consultant.

I also think those who think Pawlenty is a wimp for not taking on Romney are also wrong.  Maybe Pawlenty knew that attacking Romney on healthcare was the wrong move for him because he publically supported the idea when he was governor.

It’s kind of hard to attack Romney for something that you agreed with.  Maybe instead of asking Pawlenty about Obamneycare, CNN should have asked Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum instead.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country.

Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.

A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states.

Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site,

Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing.

Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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