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Tim Pawlenty: 2018’s Ed Gillespie

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Pawlenty Flops When Attempting the Trump Two-Step

A GOP gubernatorial candidate who, after a role in public service, went on to become a high-priced D.C. lobbyist is now trying to convince a changed electorate he’s actually a fervent Trump supporter.
Sound familiar?
In Virginia last year, Ed Gillespie tried, and failed, to embrace Donald Trump’s toxic policies while trying to distance himself from the man himself. He almost lost the primary, and then lost the general election by 9 points.
In Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty is following the same playbook as Republicans criticize him for being out-of-touch, shifty on key issues, and carrying a lot of baggage from his time at Financial Services Roundtable.
One Minnesota political scientist summed up his big problem succinctly, “[Pawlenty] kind of embodies everything they don’t like about the Republican Party. He’s corporate, he governed but didn’t really transform government, and he came out and savaged Trump during the campaign.”
“The similarities between Tim Pawlenty and Ed Gillespie’s failed campaign are striking,” said Deputy Communications Director David Turner. “He’s searching for a way to explain his lobbying record. No one believes him when he talks about supporting Donald Trump. Republicans are questioning his commitment to the President while he clumsily embraces the policies coming from the White House that hurt Minnesotans. We saw how this high wire act ended for Gillespie, and we know it will end the same way for Pawlenty.”