On Thursday night, eight candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 2012 Presidential election faced off in a fiery Iowa primary debate. Tensions that had previously simmered between the GOP race’s two Minnesotans, Representative Michele Bachman and former Governor Tim Pawlenty, erupted in a clash over Bachmann’s record of accomplishments.
“She speaks of leading these [conservative] efforts in Washington and Minnesota,” Pawlenty said, according to a POLITICO article. “Leading and failing is not the objective.”
The argument is a familiar one to those who have been following Pawlenty’s talking points in recent weeks, but fans of the former Governor were surely glad see him ready to stand by his criticism of other candidates when standing beside them — as opposed to the serious gaffe he made at the New Hampshire debate, where he refused to defend his characterization of “Obamneycare.”
For her part, Bachmann portrayed herself and her track record as that of a “fighter,” unwavering in her convictions — even in defeat. She also went on the counterattack, using Pawlenty’s own words against him: “Governor, when you were governor in Minnesota, you implemented cap and trade in our state, and you praised the unconstitutional individual mandate, and you called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance that government would mandate. Third, you said the era of small government was over. That sounds a lot more like Barack Obama if you ask me.”