Gov. Tim Pawlenty was unable to attend the general session this morning, so he was scheduled for a special session in the afternoon. Herman Cain, also a presidential candidate, is scheduled to speak at the closing session.
rough notes - apologies for typos
Tim Pawlenty - former governor of Minnesota, and candidate for President:
* glad to welcome us to Minnesota - he loves his state, but it's the land of 'lefty' representatives...
* took kids on vacation to Wisconsin Dells and they were driving back home ... stopped to get gas and he was mumbling about the kids and the tempers and the ride and the guy next to him says 'I wish I had two kids'... and I thought what a jerk I was being. "Don't you have kids?" 'No,' the man answered, "I've got 5 kids." Perspective!
* live in the freest and most prosperous nation in the world. important to reflect on the things that made us great.
* not the greatest because we're the largest or the cheapest, but because we are the freest... With freedom they have the ability to dream the American dream, to worship as they want, to innovate and create.
* when government comes into play, those freedoms are at risk.
* government crowds into our lives and takes over one more increment of space that was previously reserved for business, or family or philanthropy... It happens so incrementally that we often don't notice.
* this weighs down and discourages our American spirit. We have within us the greatness of America. Our greatness doesn't come from government - it comes from people.
* I can...is what people say - that American spirit is unique and cannot be taken for granted. separates us from most other nations throughout most of time.
* it's past the hour to stand up and fight back about this government intrusion.
* getting financial house in order/restoring prosperity to our nation
* Govt. spends $44,000 per second...$144 million per hour that they don't have. Take in $2.2 trillion in revenue and spend $3.7 trillion. out of control. what's coming: biggest slow-motion crash in history.
* we have to elect people who have the strength and fortitude and conviction to draw lines in the sand and say no more.
* Have to tell Iowa we're going to phase out the ethanol subsidies
* have to go to Florida and tell seniors what it's going to take to fix medicare
* have to go to Wall street and tell them to get their snout out of the trough
* have to go to public unions and tell them they can't have better benefits than the people paying the bill - the taxpayers.
* as governor, I tackled all these things: set a record for vetoes; shut down the government over spending; took more out the budget in 8 years than all prior governors combined; addressed the largest transit strike in the nation; tackled public benefits long before it became 'popular.'
* had signs "Pawlenty is a weapon of mass transit destruction" ...
* accountability, choice, market-based health care reform - these were the issues of my time as governor.
* If we're going to tackle Obamacare, we need to have a leader who wasn't a co-conspirator in implementing it.
* we need someone who has a record of doing the things a president does. CATO gave me and only 3 others, good rankings (missed part of this comment)
* wants a constitutional amendment to balance the budget - spending must be brought under control.
* need to get the economy growing - but let's not set the growth target at 2 or 3%, let's set it at 5%...if China and Brazil can have 5% growth, why can't we? Others say it's too high. I say it's achievable.
* need to cut corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Let's tell the triangle of crony capitalism (unions, big government, bailouts) all their special niches and giveaways are all gone.
* businesses need to have their success built upon being connected to consumers, not to members of Congress.
* cut individual tax rate for people and small business owners.
* energy policy: more energy! simple - drill in ANWR, drill everywhere; advance nuclear; take advantage of massive amounts of natural gas and bring it to market.
* message I hear from everyone is: get the government off my back.
* some talk about regulation, taxes, permitting, EPA, cap and trade, etc... basic message from businessmen is get out of my way. You can't be pro-jobs and anti-business - that's like being pro-chicken but anti-egg.
* close with story about Michael Jackson - scored 56 points by himself in one game...coach wanted to pull him off so he could get a well-deserved ovation. Rookie goes in - gets fouled and makes 1 point in the penalty. After the game, one reporter talks to the rookie and asks what should be remembered. Rookie says tonight's game should be remembered as the night Michael Jackson and I scored 57 points together.
* we have to be a team - the role you play is critical in putting the country back and track.
* if we're going to have a restored America, we need a new President. Obama said he'd cut the deficit in half in his first term; that raising the debt limit is a sign of failed leadership.
* If you've had enough, let's get to work and take back this country.