Tim Pawlenty suggests Latina CNN anchor can't understand English, quickly backtracks [VIDEO]

Categories: T-Paw
o brien pawlenty.jpg
Smiling on the outside, thinking on the inside: "Shit! That was a stupid thing to say."
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Tim Pawlenty's recent appearance on Soledad O'Brien's CNN show provides a fascinating case study of a gaffe-conscious politician saying something dumb, then going into damage-control mode as quickly as possible.

T-Paw was verbally jousting with O'Brien about a new Mitt Romney that dishonestly alleges President Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare. As O'Brien points out, the Congressional Budget Office doesn't take the same view of the spending cut, characterizing it as a reduction in spending that doesn't affect benefits.
 
But nonetheless, the Romney campaign is standing behind the ad, prompting the following exchange between O'Brien and T-Paw (transcript via The Raw Story -- emphasis mine).
"But, sir, it's not a cut in Medicare, right?" O'Brien observed. "Let me just read from the CBO. It's a 'permanent reduction in the annual updates to Medicaid's payment rates.' It's a cut in the spending -- future spending. And it's cut that actually goes to insurers, right? I mean, it's not cuts to individuals."

"No matter how you say this, it's a cut to Medicare," Pawlenty insisted. "You can't even with a straight face, look your viewers in the eye and tell [them] that it's not a cut to Medicare."

"Well, I can't look viewers in the eye from where I am," O'Brien pointed out. "I'm saying the way the CBO puts it. ... That is a savings."

"Do you know what that is in English?" Pawlenty quipped.

"I speak English incredibly well, sir, as you know," O'Brien shot back. "So, tell me what it is in English."

"In plain speaking is this -- and I just mean in compared to the mumbo jumbo in the bureaucracy in the CBO -- what they're saying is that Medicare was going to go up by X and now it's going to go up by X minus $716 billion. There is no question that is a cut in where current law was before Obamacare was passed. There is no way you can present that in any other way."

"Of you can call it a savings is actually the other way to present that," O'Brien explained.
Here's the footage:



Ill-advised "plain English" remark aside, it's absurd to see a budget-balancing Republican take umbrage over spending cuts, isn't it?



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17 comments
cags777
cags777

Looks like Tim Pawlenty needs to do some research of his own. Had he bothered to look at the vote for Obamacare in the U.S. House, he would have noted that Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao voted in favor of it in 2010 when the final bill was presented in the U.S. House. Sure, it's one person. But you can't go on national television and make a claim that "no Republican has voted for Obamacare" without checking your facts. As for the English comment, I thought it was a bit snide of him to say that. But I liked her response.

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

And people wonder why the GOP can't attract more Latino voters...

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

And meanwhile people argue about the insult instead of focusing on the lie. Obama's not cutting Medicare, and every Republican proposal on Medicare demands cuts. Thank god most media are the GOP's bitches, or this would play out quite differently.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

What a lying douchebag.   I can't believe people vote for Republican assclowns like this.  You stupid Republicans do realize they are trying to take away your Medicare right to give money to rich people right?    Medicare is one of the greatest things the government does and it will keep you alive longer to have Medicare strong and well funded.   I don't want to worry about healthcare when I'm older.  You people are fools to let them mess around with it.  You don't switch to vouchers to make it better, you switch to vouchers to make it worse.  Raising the age and slashing benefits to pay for rich people tax cuts will lower the quality of life of everyone in the middle class and lower.  

Chris Gliedman
Chris Gliedman

How contrived. Pawlenty was talking about the jargon, not her ethnic background. Anyone who sees it otherwise isn't being honest.

MinneapolisMang
MinneapolisMang

As much as he sucks, I don't think that's what he was saying. It's common to refer to hearing something "in plain English". I think that's all that he was doing.Even his supposed gaffes are boring. 

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

I am actually going to, as much as it pains me to do so, give Pawlenty a pass here. He was obviously saying, "in English" as if to say, "in layman's terms". The anchor was trying to bate him.

Jon Marchand
Jon Marchand

Gaffes are gaffes. Biden gets the chains comment, T-Paw gets the you-speaka-English? comment, the list goes on. Ideologies aside, politicians are (mostly) human. And humans screw up. It's demonstrably important for discourse to be steered away from hyperbole and sarcasm, and equally important for politicians and other such public figures to be able to articulate their points succinctly.

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

There is nothing wrong with what he said! I've heard that phrase before a million times before, but again, because i white guy says it to a Latino, it's bad! I enjoy listening to City Pages and other news outlets try so hard to get a story that isn't there...

Kevin Lane
Kevin Lane

I have no love for Tim Pawlenty, but my God City Pages, you're trying hard. It was clear what he was intimating (even if his underlying argument is garbage.) He may have been questioning her intelligence (which is still silly), but he wasn't in any way alleging that she couldn't understand English because she's Latina.

Matt Moberg
Matt Moberg

Not crazy about Pawlenty in any sort of way, but his comments seem innocent. You're trying to sell something that just isn't there.

Jim Creston Poet
Jim Creston Poet

I'm not a Pawlenty fan by any means, but I don't think he was suggesting Soledad could not speak English. I've heard that saying between many whites in conversation.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

Has he ever taken it out of his mouth? One thing you have to give him credit for is that is extremely difficult to have your foot in your mouth when your head is up your ass.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

Has he ever taken it out of his mouth? One thing you have to give him credit for is that is extremely difficult to have your foot in your mouth when your head is up your ass.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

Pawlenty is a terrible person.

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