Pawlenty Blasts Bachmann; Wonders Whether She Meets ‘Minimum Requirement’

by Robert Costa

Ames, Iowa — Earlier tonight, on the eve of the Ames straw poll, Tim Pawlenty hosted a pizza party for college students at Iowa State University. In a small chat with reporters following the event, he took on Michele Bachmann, wondering whether she meets the “minimum requirement” for the GOP nomination and the presidency. “For the person who is going to be the standard bearer for our party, who is going to defeat Barack Obama, who is going to be president of the United States, a minimum requirement for that is that you have been a leader, had executive experience and produced results,” he said. “Congresswoman Bachmann has done some wonderful things in her life, but when you look at her record in Congress, it’s really nonexistent.”

“The country is in such trouble,” Pawlenty said. “We are going to have to look to people who have been able to produce results, not just give speeches.”

When asked whether he went after Bachmann too hard in Thursday’s debate, Pawlenty defended his approach. “The bottom line is, if you’re going to be president of the United States, I think that you have got to have produced some results previously,” he said. “What we had with Barack Obama was a lot of speeches and no results and I think people are tired of that and it’s time to move forward with results.”