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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