The United States is "in trouble", and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty says he can fix it. That's why the Republican says he's running for president.
Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "It starts with having leaders that are willing to tell the truth." The truth about a country facing, what he calls, "crushing levels of unemployment, a federal government that's out of control", and $4 per gallon gas.
Pawlenty says he'll start at the pump. Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "I've been a big supporter of renewable fuels, but given our budget crisis, we have to gradually phase those out overtime." Phasing out subsidies for ethanol. A politically-risky promise he made in Iowa, last week. Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "This is a great industry, and they've made great investments, so we don't want to pull the rug out from underneath them, overnight. But, I think you give them notice now that gradually, over time, we're gonna phase it out, and that gives them fair notice."
A new prescription for Medicare, and changes to Social Security are also planned in a Pawlenty administration. Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "They're really important, and we want to save them. We want to protect them, but they're on a pathway to insolvency."
For Medicare, specifically, Pawlenty's change would come with providers, and the way they're paid. Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "So we're not just paying the providers, hospitals, doctors and clinics not just for the volume of procedures they perform, but I also want to give them performance pay, so they get paid better if they have better results, and are making people healthier, and better."
But, none of that happens if Pawlenty doesn't get the party's nomination... something he says he's uniquely-qualified for. Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "I have experience in a Democratic state doing conservative things... move the needle on cutting spending, cutting taxes, performance pay for teachers, public employee pension reform."
When asked about the impact of fellow Minnesotan, Michele Bachmann, getting into the race, Pawlenty admitted that every candidate has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.
Tim Pawlenty, (R) Presidential Candidate says, "If she gets in the race, she'll be a formidable candidate, particularly in Iowa. But, in order to be successful in the race, and in the party more broadly, you gotta appeal to the whole party."