Q: I'm wondering what your definition of the separation of church and state is?
PAWLENTY: Well, the protections between the separation of church and state were designed to protect people of faith from government, not government from people of faith.
This is a country that in our founding documents says we're a nation that's founded under God, and the privileges and blessings at that we have are from our creator. They're not from our member of Congress. They're not from our county commissioner.
And 39 of the 50 states have in the very early phrases of their constitutions language like Minnesota has in its preamble. It says this, "We the people of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberties," and so the
Founding Fathers understood that the blessings that we have as a nation come from our creator and we should stop and say thanks and express gratitude for that. I embrace that.
Tea Partiers disliked by Chablis-drinking Brie-eaters
At the Feb. 2010 Conservative Poltical Action Conference, Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacked "the elites" who believe
Tea Partiers are "not as sophisticated because a lot of them didn't go to Ivy League schools" and "don't hang out at Chablis-drinking, Brie-eating parties in San Francisco."
Source: Aftershock, by Robert Reich, p.118
, Apr 5, 2011
Obama might be born in US, but he's from another planet
Now, I'm not one who questions the existence of the President's birth certificate. But when you listen to his policies, don't you at least wonder what planet he's from? On what planet do they create jobs by taxing the daylight out of people trying to
grow jobs? On what planet do they try to reduce the deficit by spending even more? On what planet do they make health care better by putting bureaucrats in charge?
Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference
, Feb 11, 2011
We need politicians with courage to stand up to status quo
The federal government takes in approximately $2.2 trillion per year, from all sources. They--rather we, since it is our money after all--spent $3.7 trillion last year. So we spend more than we make. It doesn't work. Most Americans are increasingly
willing to take difficult but reasonable steps to fix this. The bigger question we all need to ask, is, "Do our politicians have the political will to do it? We have to find the resolve, the political backbone to stand up to the status quo, to say "No.
Enough's enough. We have to do this. Right now." Every one of us has that courage inside us. The courage to do the right thing. The courage to say, "No" when everyone else says "Yes"--because we know it's the right thing to do; and the courage to
say "Yes" to what's right, even in the face of staunch opposition. It comes down to the courage to stand up for what we believe in, as well as the courage to simply stand up-- no matter how many times we're knocked down.
Subscribed to "US News & World Report" as teenager
In high school, I did something I realize now was pretty unusual for a teenager: I subscribed to US News & World Report. At that time, it seemed like a natural addendum to my education. Where else was I supposed to gather information in pre-
Internet 1976? My father couldn't wait to jump into a discussion with me about whatever he had read that week. When I was growing up, my family was largely apolitical. I discovered they were largely what's been called "lunch-bucket Democrats." Why
I became a conservative so early on is anyone's guess, but my steadfast views were on display immediately through the course of kitchen-table debates with my dad or others. Today, The Economist has taken over as my weekly publication of choice.
Still, I have a hard time letting go of the magazine that first brought the world right into my mailbox. Even though I'm disappointed with what's become of US News & World Reportin recent years, I've been a loyal subscriber now for 35 years.
U. Minnesota undergrad & law school, and met wife there
I graduated high school in 1979 and fulfilled my mother's greatest wish: I enrolled at the University of Minnesota that fall, with the full intention of becoming a dentist. By my sophomore year, I started to realize that maybe dentistry wasn't going to b
my thing after all. One of the required pre-dentistry chemistry classes put me over the edge. The career counselor asked "What do you really like?" I told him I liked current events and history. I dropped pre-dentistry and enrolled as a political science
major. As I approached the end of my undergraduate years, it became increasingly clear to me that not many employers would be impressed by a political science major. I didn't have any innate desire to become a lawyer, but I thought the training could
prove valuable, and I figured a law degree could help me land a real job. So began my U. Minnesota Law School education. Better stated, my law school EXPERIENCE. There was one woman. Her name was Mary Anderson. Eventually we began dating.
Catholic in childhood; attends Baptist church after marriage
I never expected or planned to leave the Catholic church. I went through my first Communion, catechism and confirmation. But meeting Mary helped me look at faith in a whole new light. From the outset of our relationship, Mary and I spent time talking
about faith, God, and the church as part of our discussions of life's big questions. Mary was a student of the Bible. And her enthusiasm for it was infectious. Faith was intertwined with our courtship. Mary attended church with me, and I attended church
with her--and as I fell in love with Mary, I also found myself increasingly drawn to her church, Wooddale Baptist Church. My decision to join Wooddale Church was not about rejecting Catholicism. It's an interdenominational church now, and its members,
like me, aren't necessarily Baptist by upbringing.
I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Savior. I also try, however imperfectly, to apply His teachings to my life and, when appropriate, to share them with others.
Separation of church doesn't mean strike God from America
Our founding fathers relied as much on God as on their own intellect and strength of character. Removing God from our conversations, our plans and our actions is not in the best interest of our country.
The separation of church and state means the government may not impose any religion on the people or prohibit the free exercise of religion; it most definitely does not mean that the best path forward for America is to strike God from the equation.
People often ask how I reconcile my faith life and my public life and to what extent my Christian faith influences my decision making. Faith is part of my experience, and it is the cornerstone of my value system. It is part of who I am and how I think.
But there is a difference between believing in God and presuming God is on my side in matters of public policy.
47% pay no income tax? We're addicted to government
We've reached a troubling point in America. The AP recently reported that 47% of Americans didn't pay any federal income tax in 2009. 47%! Now, consider also all those whose jobs are not generated by the private sector but by government. I'm talking abou
all employees who work directly for the government or whose jobs are funded at government expense. That includes the state governments, cities, school districts, as well as intermediate levels of government like the mosquito-control district. That sure
looks and feels to me like a country that has become addicted to government. How can that NOT be dispiriting? That kind of collective lethargy we see now is reminiscent of what we've seen in Greece and other places where large numbers of citizens think o
the government as their primary caretaker. We've been drifting in that direction for quite some time, and the Obama administration has fully and enthusiastically embraced that vision for America.
Not change we can believe in; but change we can't believe
Contrary to what the President and his advisers promised, investment, innovation, and growth have stalled, even as taxpayers subsidized bailouts, carve-outs, and handouts for the big corporations and unions with power in Washington.
Every child born today inherits a $30,000 share in a national debt that now stands at more than $13 trillion. It's bankrupting our government and killing our economy.
President Obama broke his promise to pay for "every dime" of new government spending. He promised to not raise taxes on the middle class, but he broke that pledge.
This is not change we can believe in. This is change we still can't believe. The candidate who promised to change the way Washington worked has only made things worse as President.
My faith is part of how I think, including in public life
People often ask how I reconcile my faith life and my public life and to what extent my Christian faith influences my decision making. For any public leader--or a leader in any arena, for that matter--our upbringing, life experiences, values, and beliefs
inevitably influence who we are and how we approach the decisions before us. Faith is part of my experience, and it is the cornerstone of my value system. It is part of who I am and how I think.
Source: Courage to Stand, by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, A.P. excerpts
, Jan 6, 2011
We are the party of Sam's Club, not just the country club
"We are the party of Sam's Club, not just the country club." These words define Tim Pawlenty as a politician. By the time he spoke them at the 2001 Minnesota Republican Convention, he was already well on his way to transforming the state's political
landscape. The goal was to re-brand the Republican Party with a type of "contemporary conservatism," broadening the party's base without compromising its conservative values.
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 1-2
, May 10, 2010
1999: Supported denomination-specific prayers in MN House
In 1999, the Minnesota House changed its daily prayers from denomination-specific to "nondenominational." They switched back to denomination-specific prayers the following year. The text of the new rule stated prayers no longer had to "respect the
religious diversity of the House." Pawlenty agreed with the decision, saying: "Our goal is not to have prayer that is so watered down and generic. A generic prayer by definition in many faiths can't be a prayer."
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 67
, May 10, 2010
Politics major then Law School at U. Minn.
Tim's mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She succumbed to the illness when he was 16 years old. Before her death, Ginnie made her first four children promise they would send Tim to college. His sister Rosie still remembers her mother telling them:
"If you goofballs don't do anything else in life, make sure Tim goes to college." Tim attended a University of Minnesota pre-dentistry program, but realized it wasn't a good fit after scoring a B-minus in organic chemistry. He visited a college career
counselor, who asked him, "What do you love to do? What's your passion?" He listed things like history, current events, and public policy.
Tim volunteered with the College Republicans and excelled in his new political science major. He interned with
Rep. Arlen Erdahl (R, MN-1), and with Sen. David Durenberger. Keenly aware that his degree didn't offer a clear career path, he immediately enrolled at the University of Minnesota Law School after completing his Bachelor's in 1983.
Pawlenty maintains a broad appeal with Democrats and Independents. He is at home among political opponents. He can talk politics with working class Democrats without a hint of hostility or discomfort. Of course, he isn't the most rousing public speaker.
In 2008 the McCain team could pass on Pawlenty as a vice presidential candidate because he was too ordinary: "this is not a fellow who is going to come across as strikingly charismatic.
People see that he's smart and competent, but there's not much sizzle." If Pawlenty's lack of charisma counted against him in 2008, it might not be such a liability in 2012. The aftermath of the '08 election left many
Americans wondering if both tickets were too much "sizzle" and not enough smart or competent. By 2012, a regular guy like Tim Pawlenty might be precisely what the electorate wants.