WASHINGTON — In perhaps his strongest remarks opposing President Obama’s agenda to date, Gov. Tim Pawlenty charged Monday evening that President Obama had “played” the American people “for suckers” by pledging to govern as a moderate, then actually governing as a “misguided liberal.” The remarks came during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s evening Fox News television show.
“The American people don’t like to be played for suckers, they don’t like to be sold one thing and have something else delivered,” Pawlenty told Sean Hannity Monday night. “That’s what happened with the election of President Obama, he ran as somebody who was going to be reasonable, perhaps even pragmatic, and now his true liberal ideology is coming out as he’s governing as a misguided liberal.”
Hannity followed by suggesting Obama wasn’t just a liberal, but a radical. Pawlenty didn’t voice disagreement.
Pawlenty was also asked about the controversy du jour, that of plans to build an Islamic center roughly two blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood in New York City. Pawlenty lashed out at Obama’s comments, where the president said (without specifically endorsing this project) that proponents have a general right to build places of worship of any faith in any place, subject to local guidelines.
“I think it’s another example of him playing the role of law professor,” Pawlenty said. The question, he added, was not about the legal arguments, it’s “about being sensitive, being respectful, and having good judgment about not putting a mosque within two blocks of Ground Zero — anyone with common sense can see that.”
His comments on the issue stand in stark contrast to the other Minnesota lawmaker commenting on it, Rep. Keith Ellison.
“Every school kid knows that the pilgrims came to America for religious liberty, they came here to worship as they see fit,” Ellison said in an appearance on “Good Morning America” Monday. “So if a group of religious adherents can be stopped from building a house of worship then that will be a suffering blow for religious liberty in our country. It’ll be a setback for the idea that you can worship as you see fit in America.
“Now, that is a deeply rooted and important value and I don’t think we should compromise on it.”
Video of the full exchange between Pawlenty and Hannity is below.