Pawlenty campaigns for N.H. candidates

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September 30, 2010, 6:13 pm
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(NECN: Lauren Collins) - Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the latest big name in GOP circles to come to New Hampshire in support of republican candidates.
  Pawlenty is donating to mid-term campaigns across the country from his Freedom First PAC.  He's mulling over a 2012 White House run and sounding a lot like a candidate.

  "The best thing that we can do as public servants is to do those things that are going to increase, not decrease the likelihood that jobs are gonna grow," he told a crowd at a luncheon for Frank Guinta Thursday.

  Yet Pawlenty has an upbeat interpretation of the anger and frustration that's prompted so many - like first district congressional hopeful Guinta - to run this year.

  The American people, while they are concerned and even frustrated at the current administration and the current congress, in our hearts and in our guts, Americans are a hopeful people, an optimistic people. "

  He believes the controversial Tea Party - which has drummed up a nation-wide excitement for conservative candidates - is a positive movement.

  "The tea party organization has been, I think, very effective about articulating a message, holding people to account in terms of being fiscally conservative."  

  Though a recent Associated Press poll finds Americans equally dissatisfied with both parties.  In fact while only 38 percent of the public approves of the job democrats are doing, just 31 percent believe republicans are getting it done.

  "The republicans really aren't any more popular than the democrats," says political analyst Dean Spiliotes.  "But clearly there is a feeling out there in the country that voters are unhappy with incumbents.  A lot of those incumbents tend to be democrats."

  And while the populist frustration behind the tea party may swing the November pendulum the republicans' way, "we don't really have clear idea yet of what they want to do in terms of policy," says Spiliotes.

  The response from Carol Shea-Porter's campaign to Pawlenty's visit?  It's "just one more sign that Frank Guinta is in lock step with Washington republicans, and their agenda to move our country backwards."

Tags: new hampshire, Lauren Collins, Tim Pawlenty
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