Tim Pawlenty says Bachmann lied, used false quote to disparage him

Pawlenty says he never said the quote Bachmann is using against him.

Pawlenty says he never said the quote Bachmann is using against him.

Tim Pawlenty says Michele Bachmann quoted a line he never actually said to attack him, and he's tweeting like a maniac to set the record straight.

In an interview with well-respected radio journalist Rush Limbaugh in May, Pawlenty was forced to answer for a line that he supposedly used in 2006, stating that "the era of small government is over."

Last week, after Pawlenty went after Bachmann for having no actual record of success, Bachmann put out a statement that the "small government" line was "the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health care plan."

Pawlenty's campaign is now sending out links to an interview where T-Paw told Rush Limbaugh he was happy to be on his "great show," where he could finally clarify that the words weren't his.
According to Pawlenty, he's guilty of nothing worse than slogging through a boring piece by New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks.

Limbaugh backed into the question a bit, saying he didn't want to "stir anything up," but did want to ask why Pawlenty thought that people want a "more proactive, more aggressive" government. Pawlenty's response -- in which he apparently misidentified the largest newspaper in the state -- didn't specifically mention Bachmann, but included further jabbing at her do-nothing record in Congress.

PAWLENTY: Well, actually I'm glad you brought that up, Rush, because it gives me a chance to clarify. The other side has pushed that falsely for a number of years. What happened is in the Minnesota Star Tribune -- not exactly a conservative publication -- I made reference to an article that David Brooks wrote which was entitled, "The Era of Small Government is Over." I didn't say those words myself; I was referencing his article.

RUSH: He is one of the guys I was talking about. You're right.

PAWLENTY: Yeah, and so the next day -- the very next day -- the Star Tribune, after a big battle, printed a clarification or a correction in their correction page. Of course, the main article was on page one and the correction was buried in some footnote in page three, but that incorrect quote has haunted me -- and I'm glad I had a chance in this big national forum on your great show to clarify, because if you go to the next day's newspaper you'll see the clarification in the Star Tribune. But beyond that, look, I governed for eight years and people don't care about words or failed amendments in Congress; they care about what you got done.
That last line, "people don't care about words or failed amendments in Congress," further solidifies Pawlenty's plan of attack against Bachmann.

In this corner, a two-term governor who claims to stand up to liberals, even while he occasionally makes deals with them to keep the state running. In this corner, a third-term congresswoman who says wild things about gays and government, whose main legislative achievement was a symbolic bill to recognize Minnesota's 150th anniversary.

The two are now circling each other, though Bachmann has a metric ton more voter support in Iowa.

But that won't stop Pawlenty from obsessively tweeting responses aimed at the Bachmann campaign.

Hey @TeamBachmann: Pawlenty is a fiscal conservative who is pro-life - nothing like Obama!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

You hear that, @TeamBachmann? So far Bachmann has no response, though responding after she's been corrected on facts has never been her strong point in the past. Maybe Pawlenty's Twitter rage has frozen her thumbs in terror.

Even if he can't get into the White House, Tim Pawlenty is running for president of Twitter.