“Where is Barack Obama on these issues? You can’t find his plans on some of the most pressing financial issues of our country,” he said. “I’ll offer a prize tonight to anybody in this auditorium or anyone watching on television, if you can find Barack Obama’s specific plan on any of those items, I will come to your house and cook you dinner. Or if you prefer I’ll come to your house and mow your lawn. But in case Mitt wins, I’m limiting it to one acre. One acre.”
But for every new line, there were old stump staples.
Pawlenty, for weeks, has been trying to position himself as an experienced candidate with a record of results. On talk shows, before crowds of voters and (twice) in Thursday’s debate, he’s outlined his accomplishments as Minnesota governor thusly: “You will see government spending went from historic highs to historic lows. We appointed conservative justices, transformed the court in a conservative direction. We did health care reform the right way — no individual mandates, no government takeovers and more, and that is the record we will need to beat Barack Obama.”
Bachmann did the same thing, hitting Congress for raising the debt ceiling over her objections and pledging to the audience, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare.”
They were campaign-tested lines, and they were ready to go at a moment’s notice.