Pawlenty rips Obama health plan and calls education system ‘cash for flunkers’

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty stayed on familiar ground — criticizing President Obama’s health care initiatives and ripping the education system — when he gave the keynote speech Saturday night at the Florida GOP’s Statesman’s dinner at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee, Fla.

The Orlando Sentinel covered the speech and noted that those Florida Republicans have been squabbling over primaries and concerned about a scandal with the House speaker.

The paper quoted Pawlenty:

“We do not have a big enough party to be throwing people overboard,” said Pawlenty, 49, an oft-mentioned name in 2012 presidential politics. “This is not about us becoming like Democrats.”

He criticized Democrats’ plans for health care reform and said, “The solution to rising health care costs needed to be rooting out waste and unnecessary treatments,” the paper said.

And he didn’t have much nice to say about the current education system:

He also said the current education system should be dubbed “cash for flunkers,” and criticized President Obama and Democrats for abolishing a District of Columbia school-voucher program “and sending their own kids to private schools.”

And he called reducing high school drop-out rates a “moral imperative” to address.

“The reason we have this never-ending demand for more government — people say give us more government transportation, give us more government housing, give us more government health care, give us more government everything — is because they can’t afford it themselves,” he said. “The reason they can’t afford it themselves is because they lack in most instances the skill or education to meaningfully access the economy of today and tomorrow.”

“We cannot be a country of just 300 million people and leave a third of them on the bench.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Joe Williams on 08/24/2009 - 11:32 am.

    Unless said bench is in an Emergency waiting room.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/24/2009 - 01:22 pm.

    So the governor recognizes that education is the key to achievement in our society, but NOT that cutting state funding to cities/counties/schools (cuts masquerading as a “delay”)/health care, et cetera year after year directly affects the ability of every family of moderate means to house, feed and clothe their children so they don’t go to school hungry or sick.

    So much for opportunity. So much for rhetoric about morality from a governor who blithely cut off 30,000 extremely poor Minnesotans from access to health care. (He says they can transfer to MinnCare, but not how the additional 30,000 are to be funded there.)

  3. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 08/24/2009 - 01:33 pm.

    “No Cash For Flunkers”…so are the words of our delinquent governor from (oh, lord is it really?)… “Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee Florida”?

    “No Cash For Flunkers”…if this represents Pawlenty’s moral imperative in a democratic society – or whatever government system he is suggesting here – does that same m-imperative also include those who govern and are paid a considerable salary by our state government, one could say, for a part-time governorship?

    Is this present governorship better described as ‘delinquent’ or ‘under-achieving’; and is the question then, as Paw says, “No Cash For Flunkers”; with governors so included?

    Tell us about it, but here, not down in Florida…come on home Gov and tell us again, eh?

  4. Submitted by dan buechler on 08/24/2009 - 03:01 pm.

    How embaressing. Sometimes I’d rather have Sanford as a governor at least he has had to stay quiet. If Pawlenty would shout any louder he’d probably need a noise permit from the PCA.

  5. Submitted by Terry Hayes on 08/24/2009 - 03:05 pm.

    We need to recall this pinhead and get us a real governor.

  6. Submitted by Richard Rowan on 08/24/2009 - 11:05 pm.

    So as Pawlenty gallivants around the country, I doubt he’s bragging about tuition at Minnesota’s two year colleges. Minnesota community colleges now have the 3rd highest tuition in the country. Our four year institutions are no bargain either.

    There’s no need to raise taxes when you can raise tuition.

  7. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 08/24/2009 - 11:45 pm.

    Mr. Pawlenty? What spine, what guts you are showing these days, sir?
    First, you realized that you would be facing an inglorious defeat in 2010 if you ran for a third term as governor. As it is, you squeaked in by a tiny margin the last time around. But, that does not matter because you now have higher goals.
    Second, you start to show a cynical and vacuous side with your inane and trite criticism of the President’s efforts in Health Care Reform, in the Economy, and now in Education. And yet, you have no brilliant ideas of your own on how you would fare in these areas. Leastwise, so far, you have not demonstrated any special talents as Governor except for smarminess.
    Last, but not least, sir, we have not forgotten that you were the second-half of Dick Cheney’s hand-picked puppets in Minnesota. You started out running for the Senate, but you acceded to your bosses and ran for Governorship instead. Some guts, some independence, some brilliance!

  8. Submitted by Pat McGee on 08/25/2009 - 11:01 am.

    “The reason they can’t afford it themselves is because they lack in most instances the skill or education to meaningfully access the economy of today and tomorrow.”

    Dear Mr. Pawlenty,
    What say you to the millions of highly educated and highly skilled people who are unemployed these days?

  9. Submitted by Tamara Uselman on 08/26/2009 - 12:42 pm.

    “Cash for Flunkers”? What cash? The vast majority of schools in Governor Pawlenty’s state have in place or must seek local operating levies due to lack of investment at the state level in public education.

Leave a Reply