Taking time from his Iowa marathon, and hoping to reinforce his efforts in Florida, Tim Pawlenty sat down with the Miami Herald Wednesday.
Some of the discussion was about Florida:
Q: You’re racking up endorsements from top Florida legislators, but stuck at the bottom of the polls. Why?
Pawlenty: “The early days of campaigning in a state like Florida are retail…..Early polls don’t predict anything, ultimately. If they did, Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani would be president today. National polls basically always misinterpret the final outcome or mis-predict the final outcome.”
Q: Explain Florida’s role in your campaign and the election?
Pawlenty: “Florida plays a pivotal role not just in the general election, but more often than not in the primary. This can be kind of the state where the putative nominee is selected. So we take that very seriously.”
But he also touched on the Minnesota years:
Q: Name a regret as governor?
Pawlenty: “I took on the teacher unions hard. We made some big changes. But the future of my state and the future of our country in significant measure depends on getting as many of our children educated and skilled. And the teacher union stands in the way of that. I took them on hard. But as I look back on that, I should have taken it even further.”
And he explained why he believes the early polls, where he lags, won’t matter in the end:
Q: Why is Rick Perry such a topic right now and, before him, Michele Bachmann?
Pawlenty: “The early polls aren’t good predictors of how it ends. If they were, Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani would be president today There’s always these ups and downs. Donald Trump was going to be the next big thing… This is a long road.
“The race is unsettled. It’s getting more and more settled. I think Rick Perry will run. He’s a friend of mine. I know him well. He’ll bring a lot to the debate. But we all have different strengths and weaknesses. After the initial buzz….You’ve gotta go answer the questions. You’ve gotta go talk to the press. You gotta have all your record reviewed and explored.
“What looks like a certainty in the summer before the summer before the election is almost never certainly when the election comes.”