GOP presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty may share a love for Minnesota, but their similarities continue to dwindle. Keeping track of the awkward moments unfolding between the two politicians is becoming increasingly difficult, as each continues to make statements that seek to derail the presidential aspirations of the other.
In the latest bout of campaign politics run amok, Bachmann's camp is hitting Pawlenty hard, claiming that his policies have mirrored those of President Barack Obama.
Before delving into the newest development in their dual, though, let's recap the past drama that has unfolded between the two candidates:
First, there was Ron Carey, the former chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party during Tim Pawlenty’s governorship and the former chief of staff to Rep. Michele Bachmann. He came out in support of Pawlenty, claiming that Bachmann is "not seasoned and ready to lead." Then, Pawlenty aide Vin Weber made an interesting and widely publicized comment about Bachmann's sex appeal.
And who can forget Pawlenty's "Meet the Press" appearance earlier this month in which he said "...[Bachmann's] record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent.” Bachmann, of course, responded. Then, she responded once more, saying, “I have fought against irresponsible spending while Governor Pawlenty was leaving a multi-billion-dollar budget mess in Minnesota."
According to The Los Angeles Times, in a recent interview, Pawlenty also said:
"I really doubt … that the nation will or should put somebody into the Oval Office as president of the United States and commander in chief who lacks substantial executive experience running a large enterprise in or out of government. There hasn't been somebody who went from the U.S. House of Representatives to the presidency I think in over 100 years. And there's a reason for that."
Now, this brings us to the present. After Pawlenty "subtly hinted," according to The Atlantic, that Bachmann's migraines render her unfit to serve as president, the rhetoric appears to be heating up once more. Politico reports that Bachmann campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart had this to say in response to Pawlenty's subtleties:
"Governor Pawlenty would have us believe that there is 'very little difference' between his positions and those of Michele Bachmann.
"But in fact, there is very little difference between Governor Pawlenty's past positions and Barack Obama's positions on several critical issues facing Americans. On issues such as unconstitutional healthcare mandates, climate change regulations, and Wall Street bailouts, there's very little daylight, indeed, between Governor Pawlenty's record and the Obama administration's policies.
"And of course, President Obama would surely applaud Governor Pawlenty's 2006 statement that the 'era of small government is over,' and that the government will have to be 'more proactive and more aggressive.'
"Governor Pawlenty has changed his positions in recent years, but he can't run from his big government record as governor of Minnesota that left the state's budget in a multi-billion dollar mess. That's not executive experience we need.
"As Michele Bachmann said earlier today, she 'has a lifetime record of success and action in the real world. Real-world actions speak louder than his words as a career politician.' And so the more Republican voters examine Michele Bachmann's record and Governor Pawlenty's record, the more they will see that there is a world of difference between the two."
Pawlenty's campaign manager, Nick Ayers, responded via Twitter with the following:
Based on what we've seen so far, the upcoming response will likely intensify the debate between the two parties. It's not surprising that the two are arguing back and forth so vehemently. Pawlenty has his eyes set on the nomination and with Bachmann's popularity on the rise -- regardless of her level of executive experience -- she is distinguishing herself as a formidable opponent.