Pawlenty flunks "tell the truth" presidential speech

If you're going to announce your presidential campaign based on a speech that declares, "I'm going to tell you the truth," then the least you can do is -- well -- actually tell the truth.

Tim Pawlenty didn't.

Maybe the PiPress was onto something when it filed the T-Paw presidential announcement on its obit page today.

Here are some of the whoppers:

T-Paw: "The truth is, people getting paid by the taxpayers shouldn't get a better deal than the taxpayers themselves. That means freezing federal salaries, transitioning federal employee benefits, and downsizing the federal work force as it retires."
Reality: The federal pay freeze is already in effect. Read the full fact here.
T-Paw: "ObamaCare is unconstitutional."

Reality: The Supreme Court gets to decide what's unconstitutional in the United States, and it hasn't ruled on health care reform.

T-Paw: "Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes."

Reality: More bosh. Unless you're talking about tobacco and tanning salons. But who knows, maybe smokers and Jersey Shore douchebags are the new winning coalition.

T-Paw's Pinocchio day then got some added length on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, when the host confronted his guest with some pretty damning (if you're a Republican these days) quotes about "the era of small government is over" and that "government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."

Trust him.

Trust him.

T-Paw: "I didn't say those words myself."

Reality (with a hat tip to Dana Milbank): "The era of small government is over," Pawlenty told the Star Tribune. "I'm a market person, but there are certain circumstances where you've got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful.... Government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."

T-Paw: "If if we could move Minnesota in a common-sense, conservative direction, we can do it anywhere--even in Washington, D.C."

Reality: Sure "we" can, with smoke and mirrors. Pawlenty balanced the budget here his last year in office by using $2.3 billion in federal stimulus money, shifting $1.4 billion in school aid payments,  delaying $152 million in sales and corporate income-tax refunds and taking $124 million from state funds meant for other purposes.

"President Obama's policies have failed. But more than that, he won't even tell us the truth about what it's really going to take to get out of the mess we're in," T-Paw told fans in Iowa today. "I'm going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the truth."

We're off to a good start!

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