Pawlenty on Blagojevich, Franken stealing Senate seat

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty made yet another appearance on Fox News show Hannity & Colmes to talk about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the Minnesota Senate recount. 

Pawlenty jokes about Blagojevich only stopping short of putting President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat on eBay (T.Paw has such hip funnies) and once again makes mention of Franken trying to steal the election. Check out the video and transcript below.

 

Transcript (emphasis ours): 

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: As we have been reporting throughout the evening, the Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, was arrested earlier today after he was caught trying to sell President-elect Obama's Senate seat, among other allegations. Joining us now with reaction, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. It's almost impossible to wrap your arms around this, isn't it, Governor? What do you think? 

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: Well, Sean, I think the only thing he seems to have stopped -- stopped short of is putting it on eBay. So -- if these allegations are true, obviously, it is brazen; it is sad. And at a time when we need public confidence and trust and a time to rally around the challenges of today, we just hope this isn't true. It would be a terrible effect on public confidence. 

HANNITY: These conversations were taped. We have the quotes. I mean, the evidence seems rather incontrovertible and fairly overwhelming. I don't -- I don't think it's... 

PAWLENTY: I agree. I agree. It looks like he's got his hands in the cookie jar, no question. 

HANNITY: All right. Now bring our audience -- you know how I feel about Al Franken. I think he's dishonest. I think he would be a bad senator. He's failed at everything he's done. At no point has he overtaken Norm Coleman in the lead. Tell us the status in terms of the final point in the recount, because I think Al Franken is going to try and drive this race into the United States Senate so his buddies, Chuck Schumer, Durbin and Prince Harry Reid can help him steal the election. That's my take. 

PAWLENTY: Yes. 

HANNITY: What is happening on the ground and what do you see happening in the future? 

PAWLENTY: Well, in short, Sean, Norm Coleman maintains his lead of approximately 192 votes. The canvassing board reconvenes later this week. They're going to go through the recount, certify a result, including dealing with the challenged ballots. Most of the nonpartisan experts on the ground believe that Norm Coleman has an overwhelming advantage because of the way that this will work. After that's done, the canvassing board will strive to try to certify the election, and the lawsuit will begin. Norm Coleman, I believe, will win this race and deserves to win this race. But if they try to put this into the United States Senate, there are only two United States senators who have a right to vote in Minnesota, and their names aren't Schumer and Reid. And so they should butt out. 

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Hey, Governor, it's Alan Colmes. Welcome back to our show. Why do you think Norm Coleman is having such a hard time winning this race? 

HANNITY: He won it. 

COLMES: Before the recount. Why -- why has been it so close? 

PAWLENTY: Well, keep in mind that, Alan -- and by the way, I'm saddened to see that you're going to be leaving the show. I know all the guests appreciate you. You're a good sport, and thank you for what you've done. By the way, Sean... 

(CROSSTALK) 

HANNITY: Not all the guests. 

COLMES: Maybe not even all the hosts. 

PAWLENTY: Yes, well, putting up with Sean, that's a heavy lift. But in terms of the race, remember, there was a third-party candidate in the race, Alan, that got 15 percent of the vote. So that kind of diluted the spread of the vote. And plus, it's a tough state in a tough year for a Republican, and that adds up to a close race. 

COLMES: Let me ask you about Governor Blagojevich. Do you know him at all? 

PAWLENTY: Very little. I got to know him early on when we first became governors in 2003. I did a few things to him, but then he more or less stopped coming to governors' meetings, and I lost contact with him over the years. 

COLMES: What's his reputation among other governors? 

PAWLENTY: Well, there's been a lot of rumors in and around Illinois around some of his previous activities and investigations, so that, I think, tainted at least the reputation. And obviously, these allegations now are extremely serious, and if they're true, like I said, they're very sad and deeply troubling. 

COLMES: But you're not shocked by this, based on what you've heard up until now? 

PAWLENTY: Well, I did some campaigning in Illinois, so I had a chance to visit with some local legislators in some other things last fall. And they were explaining to me some of the previous allegations and rumors and investigations. And so, while none of those had resulted yet in an indictment or a conclusion, it at least created the impression or the concern that perhaps not all was well in Illinois. 

COLMES: Should he resign? 

HANNITY: Yes. 

PAWLENTY: If these allegations are true -- appear to be true, and it's -- I can't imagine he could stay in office under that. 

COLMES: What happens to the Senate race, and how does that work? Who gets to appoint? Or should there be a special election, you think? 

PAWLENTY: Well, I think a fair thing to do would be to allow a special election under these circumstances. I mean, how could you have an appointment process that wouldn't appear tainted or be a cloud of suspicion or concern? And so I think a fair thing to do would be to open up to a special election. 

COLMES: Governor, thank you very much for coming on. Appreciate it very much. 

PAWLENTY: You're welcome, Alan. Thank you. 


COLMES: Thank you for your kind words.


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