Former GE Chairman Jack Welch on CNN says he likes Pawlenty

Former GE Chairman Jack Welch said nice things about Tim Pawlenty last night on the CNN Piers Morgan show.

The former Minnesota governor’s campaign staff provided this transcript to the Strib’s Kevin Diaz:

Morgan: Do you see anybody emerging on the Republican side who is the kind of leader that you’re looking for?

Welch: You know, Piers, this is a great question. Because if you asked me that a month ago, I would have said, well, Mitt Romney might be best guy, et cetera. The most obvious guy. But everything I see Tim Pawlenty say in the last month appeals to me. He’s not the jazziest guy in town. He’s not the most exciting. But if you look at what he says and his vision for America and that plan he put out in the last 48 hours. Every time I see him on an interview, whether it be your show or somebody else’s, the guy makes sense.

Morgan: He definitely does. My only issue with him is that he — he’s not the most dynamic of characters. Does that matter anymore? Because Obama —

Welch: It makes a lot of difference to get elected. It doesn’t do a hell of a lot for you once you’re in the job.

Morgan: You’re a Republican, right?

Welch: Yes, absolutely.

Morgan: So you want somebody who can beat President Obama. Now, Barack Obama, whether you like him or not, is a very, very dynamic kind of character.

Welch: Terrific.

Morgan: He has the youthful exuberance and zest and all that kind of thing. When you look at somebody like Tim Pawlenty, I think he’s a smart guy. I’ve enjoyed having him on the show. He makes a lot of sense, like you say. I can see the temptation. But in your heart, do you think he can beat someone like Obama?

Welch: I’m going to find out over the next 15 months. Hopefully the next 6 to 9 months because they’re going to pick somebody in the primary. But, I mean, I just have found him — you know, I was at the gym this week talking to some guys who never would have thought this. I said what I just told you. That his guy’s starting to intrigue the hell out of me. And then he came out with this plan. I talked to some guy. He said, I’m going to have to throw a fundraiser for him. I almost dropped dead. This guy would never support Tim Pawlenty in his life. He’s a Democrat. He’s going to have a fundraiser for him.

Morgan: Why do you think he’s doing that?

Welch: He likes what he says. He likes what he says. There’s some buyer’s remorse on the Wall Street crowd over the Obama selection, whether you want to buy that or not. There is some buyer’s remorse.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Lance Groth on 06/09/2011 - 01:56 pm.

    Pawlenty makes sense?

    OK, let’s see, his plan is Reaganomics on steroids, despite that Reaganomics doesn’t work. Well, if it doesn’t work, by all means let’s double down. We slash taxes, which will ultimately somehow magically produce more revenue, and the economy will do something it has never done before – boom at 5+% growth per year for 10 years. We impose cuts in government so draconian that they will “save” government by first destroying it. Oh, and we rely on google searches to decide what kinds of programs government should offer.

    This makes sense to Neutron Jack? I was actually enjoying the interview until his admiration for Pawlenty popped out. Then I gagged and changed the channel.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/09/2011 - 08:53 pm.

    When you consider that the 2012 election will be a referendum on whether Obama gets re-hired for another four years, whoever his opponent will be will be sitting pretty.

    The generic republican candidate already leads Obama in the polls and the economy still has 17 more months to deteriorate further before the election. Pawlenty has a better than even chance of being that person.

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