Pawlenty: Obama is "Barney Fife of presidents"
Former presidential candidate and Mitt Romney backer Tim Pawlenty Monday called President Obama "the Barney Fife of presidents."
Barney Fife was a fictional character played by Don Knotts on television's "The Andy Griffith Show" known for his combination of bravado and ineptitude.
The former Minnesota governor, who dropped his bid for the White House in August and endorsed Romney in September, went on to call the president "stumbling, bumbling, [and] ineffective" and compared him to former President Jimmy Carter.
Pawlenty argued that the Obama reelection team has focused on Romney to the exclusion of other candidates because it doesn't want to face the former Massachusetts governor in a general election. He said Democrats have taken aim at Romney because the "don't want to focus on their own failure."
Pawlenty made the remarks in conference call organized by the Romney campaign. The call, one of twelve the campaign scheduled for Monday, follows the Democratic National Committee's release of a scathing attack ad on Romney's record. The 30 second television ad and longer web-only version paints Romney as a flip-flopper, describing him as "two men trapped in one body."
Pawlenty's comments echo Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul's response to the DNC ad, in which she said that "[t]he last thing the White House wants is to have to run against Mitt Romney and be held accountable for the many failures of this administration."
Romney has argued that he is the most electable candidate in the GOP field, arguing in effect that even if Republicans have misgivings about him because of his moderate record as Massachusetts governor, they should pick him as their nominee if they want to defeat Mr. Obama.
That argument got some backing from Democratic Rep. Barney Frank on Monday, when Frank announced he is not seeking reelection. Asked about Romney rival Newt Gingrich as a potential Republican nominee, Frank suggested that Democrats are thrilled at the prospect, quipping that "He would be the best thing that happened to the Democratic Party since Barry Goldwater."
With reporting by Sarah B. Boxer.
Popular in Politics
- Officials on Benghazi: "We made mistakes, but without malice" 274 Comments
- IRS official moved from office that targeted conservatives to Obamacare office
- Ousted IRS chief: "I did not mislead" the American people 252 Comments
- Where is the Benghazi cover-up Republicans promised? 340 Comments
- Why Obama should worry that current scandals might impact 2016 216 Comments
- Immigration deal reached in House
- First lady: "Reject the slander" that educated blacks are "trying to act white"
- FBI seeks anonymous source behind Menendez allegations