Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential presidential candidate, is now aggressively promoting his executive order for Minnesota to not apply for any discretionary federal funding from President Obama’s health care bill. What’s more, he’s also fundraising off of it.
As Minnesota Independent reports, Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC sent out a fundraising letter to its supporter list, telling recipients about the order. “Pawlenty told reporters in Minnesota that he would do all in his power to limit the reach or the new health care law during his remaining four months in office,” the letter said, also adding: “P.S. - If you want to help elect candidates in 2010 who will fight Obamacare, please consider donating to Freedom First PAC today.”
In addition, Pawlenty went on Fox News last night to discuss the order with Greta Van Susteren.
“Why, I did it for this reason. I and a lot of other people have had it. Federal government’s acting increasingly like a financial drug dealer, handing out tastes or free samples, trying to get people addicted further addicted. And we’ve just had it, and we’re not taking the bait anymore, we’re not taking the free samples anymore. This is an executive order that says, we’re sending them a strong message. But we’re also going to try to make sure the policies are for Minnesota, not because some big federal bureaucracy tells us what to do.”
Interestingly, Pawlenty also recently signaled that Minnesota would likely take some other federal health care money. “It’s not Obamacare, it is something that we were going to be doing anyhow,” Pawlenty said. This money was not connected to the big health care reform law, but was part of a different package of state aid — a package that Pawlenty also opposed at the time. In this case, he also cited Minnesota’s status as a “donor state” that sends more money to the federal government in taxes than it gets back in spending, as an example of how it could be in the state’s interest to take the money.