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Pawlenty Slams Obama, Calls for Common Sense

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Tim Pawlenty poses for photos with attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) got a polite welcome Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he made an appeal for “common sense.”

“Washington has proven time and time again, not everyone is born or elected with common sense,” said Pawlenty, among the likely contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Pawlenty also took obligatory shots at President Barack Obama. For instance, he quipped at one point that “we need more common sense and less Obama nonsense,” while joking that “President Obama has succeeded in doing the impossible. He proved that someone can deserve less to get the Nobel Prize than Al Gore.”

Pawlenty even made an awkward attempt at a birther joke, saying that while he doesn’t want to see Obama’s birth certificate, “when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least wonder on what planet he’s from?”

Unlike former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), Pawlenty offered up a handful of policy proposals, arguing that “just because we followed Greece into democracy doesn’t mean we need to follow Greece in bankruptcy.”

He said he opposes increasing the debt limit — although he gave no alternative for addressing the looming crisis — and argued for a balanced budget amendment. Pawlenty also said he supports repeal of Obama’s health care law “and while they’re at it, let’s do one more thing. Let’s throw the tax code overboard.”

Pawlenty also proposed requiring Members of Congress to complete their own tax returns.

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