Tim Pawlenty is suddenly everywhere today, launching a national book tour as a way to stand out from the crowd of other possible Republican presidential contenders aiming at the White House in 2012.
He may have hit on a formula: Vetoing Sarah Palin's preference for guns and ammo talk when it comes to political opponents.[jump]
In the wake of Jared Loughner's massacre in Tuscon on Saturday, Pawlenty was asked on Good Morning America what he thought about lock-and-reload Palin putting gun sights on a map of politicians who don't pass her muster.
"There is a line there as it relates to basic civility, decency and respect and not trying to invoke violence," he told GMA.
"It wouldn't have been my style to put the cross hairs on there" Pawlenty said. Then he hedged. "But again there is no evidence to suggest that it had anything to do with this mentally unstable person's rage and senseless act in Arizona."
It was the same story with the New York Times:
"There's no indication at present that those cross hairs, Fox News, any particular commentator or show or set of remarks or person was a motivating factor in [Loughner's] thoughts," Pawlenty said. On the other hand: "I wouldn't have done it."
Pawlenty wasn't asked about the often bloody and incendiary language that fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann uses to spice up the red meat in her political speeches. Then again, maybe since she's starting to play coy about her own presidential aspirations, he's worried about being caught in her cross hairs.