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.”