T-Paw on NY 23 race

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty spoke with Iowa reporters late this morning (in advance of his appearance at a Republican Party of Iowa gala on Saturday night) and he answered a couple of questions (from me) about the outcome in New York’s 23rd congressional district.  As you may know, Pawlenty endorsed Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman.  Here’s a story about the results of the race, which saw Democrat Bill Owens win. 

Here’s a transcript of the Q&A from this morning with Pawlenty:

Henderson: “You endorsed a candidate in the 23rd congressional district of New York who did not win.  What is your analysis of that race?”

Pawlenty:  “Well, I think the situation in the 23rd district in New York is that you had an unusual selection process for the Republican candidate.  It was done by a very small group of people. It wasn’t open. It wasn’t transparent to a broad group of the party or the public and it produced a disappointing result and then she took the step, of course, of endorsing the Democratic candidate and while it was close between the Democrat and Doug Hoffman, obviously the Democrat ended up winning.

“That’s unfortunate, but I think we had a candidate in the Republican candidate who, you know, embraced the stimulus bill, embraced the bank bailout, embraced card check which is to say that they wanted to take away the right to vote in workplace elections. She was endorsed by an ACORN-related party or organization.  She voted numerous times to raise income taxes or taxes in New York.  She was described by the New York Post as a profligate spender and taxer.

“And so that was a troubling set of positions, I think, for many Republicans and it was a close race.  I wish it would have come out differently.”  

Henderson:  “Do you intend to endorse other conservative candidates who do not run under the Republican banner in the 2010 election?”

Pawlenty:  “No.  You know, the difference in that race in upstate New York is there was just a lot of concern in the selection process not being open or transparent or reflective of, you know, a good judgment and screening of a broad base of people in that state or in that area.  That is not the case across the country.

“In almost every case, we have systems that are open, either caucuses or primaries. They allow…large volumes of people to participate in a democratic and open way and we need to look to and trust the Republicans and the people of those respective states to pick their candidates and that process will yield the proper result.

“But that’s very different than in upstate New York where I think nine or 10 or 11 people basically just cut the deal and selected this candidate.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.