Today, former governor and current Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said he would sign the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know into law if elected president. In response, Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said:
Just two days after the people of New York’s solidly Republican 26th Congressional District roundly rejected the Republican plan for ending Medicare, Governor Pawlenty said that he would sign such a plan into law – a plan even Newt Gingrich called ‘radical.’
Governor Pawlenty has ducked questions of his support for the Ryan plan since joining the campaign – but now it’s clear that he would ignore the wishes of the American people and the best interests of this nation and its seniors in order to win the approval of the far right. Governor Pawlenty may have passed his party’s primary litmus test by voicing his approval of a plan to end Medicare – but he has failed a critical leadership test.
If he can’t stand up to the far right of his party on issues as central to Americans’ well-being as Medicare, how does he expect us to believe he would exercise independent, reasoned judgment as president? It’s clear that if Governor Pawlenty were elected president he would embrace far-right Republican policies, piling additional burdens on America’s seniors, young people, and working families in order to provide additional benefits to big oil and the wealthiest few.