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Candidates Hit Hard in Testy GOP Debate

Pawlenty slams Bachmann’s ‘record of misstating and making false statements’

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate on August 11, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo credit: Charlie Neibergall / Getty Images)

The Associated Press and NBC News via
Aug. 11, 2011

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney shared the stage Thursday night with seven other presidential candidates in a contentious Iowa debate — which found the underdogs snipping at each other, vying for the number two spot.

Their efforts were newly complicated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who stole some of the spotlight from afar by making it known hours before the debate that he was running for the GOP nomination. That was the latest twist in the most consequential week yet in the 2012 Republican presidential nomination fight.

Pawlenty v. Bachmann battle royale

Though everyone on the stage assailed President Barack Obama, it was clear from constant quarreling between Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty who had the most on the line ahead of Saturday’s straw poll.

On stage just a few minutes, Pawlenty, who is struggling to gain traction, went after Bachmann, accusing her of achieving nothing significant in Congress, lacking executive experience and having a history of fabrications [link added].

“She’s got a record of misstating and making false statements,” Pawlenty said [link added].

Bachmann, who has risen in polls [link added] since entering the race this summer [link added] and has eclipsed Pawlenty, quickly responded with a list of what she called Pawlenty’s liberal policies when he was Minnesota’s governor, including his support for legislation to curb industrial emissions.

“You said the era of small government is over,” she told Pawlenty. “That sounds a lot like Barack Obama if you ask me.” …

Seven candidates — Pawlenty, Bachmann, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain — sought to separate themselves from the packed field and emerge as the chief alternative to Romney. …

Asked to respond to earlier statements about the need for wives to be submissive to their spouses [link added], Bachmann said, “What submissive means to us is respect.” She called her husband, Marcus, “a wonderful, godly man and father.” …

Full story

 Related video

GOP candidates trade shots at Iowa debate (NBC “Today,” Aug. 12, 2011) — The gloves came off at Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Iowa. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports. (04:31)


GOP Race Crowded, Uncertain Following Debate

Republican presidential candidates pose for a photo before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa. (Photo credit: Charlie Neibergall / AP)

By Tom Curry
National affairs writer
Aug. 11, 2011


In the aftermath of Thursday night’s debate, the state of the race remains crowded and uncertain, with the fresh threat of new players stepping on stage to rewrite the script and bump already declared candidates off their marks. …

But the Fox News debate featured much personal and ideological warfare, especially between Rep. Michelle Bachmann and fellow Minnesotan, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as well as between Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. All this left relatively little time for attacks on ostensible front runner Mitt Romney.

Bachmann-Pawlenty slugfest

For four minutes — an eternity in TV time — Bachmann and Pawlenty fought a rhetorical slugging match, with Bachmann likening Pawlenty to President Barack Obama and accusing him of advocating bigger government.

Pawlenty charged that Bachmann’s record of accomplishment in Congress “is nonexistent” and said “she has a record of misstating and making false statements.”

And he sourly mocked Bachmann for what he called her inability to stop Obama’s legislative agenda. “She led the effort against Obamacare [link added], we got Obamacare … If that’s your view of effective leadership with results, please stop because you’re killing us,” he cracked. …

Full story

 Related video

Bachmann: We need a president who’s a fighter (NBC “Today,” Aug. 12, 2011) — U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., talks to TODAY’s Lester Holt about her presidential run, Thursday’s Republican debate in Iowa and the controversial photo of her on the latest Newsweek cover. (07:35)


Related reports on this site

Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty are both sizing up a 2012 presidential bid. | AP Photos
Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty (Photo composite: AP via Politico)

Predicting the Winner of the 2012 Presidential Election (Aug. 2, 2011)

Bachmann, Pawlenty Pour It On in War of Words (July 28, 2011)

Tim Pawlenty’s Personality Profile: Respectful, Submissive (June 16, 2011)

Michele Bachmann’s Personality Profile: Dominant, Outgoing, Ambitious (June 13, 2011)

Bachmann-Pawlenty ‘Minnesota Twins’ Grudge Match (June 7, 2011)

Mitt Romney’s Personality Profile: Conscientious, Dominant, Ambitious (June 2, 2011)

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Win (May 12, 2011)

Related video

Recapping the GOP debate in Iowa (MSNBC “Hardball,” Aug. 12, 2011) — NBC’s Chuck Todd and the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny share their thoughts on the winners and losers of the debate. (13:22)



One Year Ago — August 11, 2010

MN-06 Primary Election Results

One year ago today, I reported and analyzed the primary election results in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District (MN-06).


Two Years Ago — August 11, 2009

Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties

Two years ago today, on August 11, 2009, I provided my weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


Three Years Ago — August 11, 2008

Campaign Against Michele Bachmann: Day 28

Three years ago today, on August 11, 2008 — the 28th day of my 2008 campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District — I continued my 100-mile Sixth District Walking Tour, setting out on foot from Sauk Rapids and proceeding south along Highway 10 to Clear Lake, Becker, and Salida.

4 Responses to “Bachmann, Pawlenty ‘Slugfest’ At Iowa GOP / Fox News Debate”
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