Pawlenty Prescribes Economic Rehab for Obama

By Andrew Greiner
|  Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011  |  Updated 3:48 PM CDT
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The former governor of Minnesota says the president needs rehab.

The former governor of Minnesota says the president needs rehab.

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Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty stopped in Chicago, Tuesday, and accused President Barack Obama of ignoring the economy.

"How's your recovery summer?" Pawlenty asked. "If this is what the president considers a recovery, he needs to go to rehab."

Pawlenty delivered what was billed as his most important economic speech to date at the University of Chicago, an institution where Obama taught law, and where Obama's economic adviser Austan Goolsbee plans to return to.

During the speech, Pawlenty said Obama's policies, such as the auto industry bail out and health care reform have left the country in worse shape than when he took over.

Pawlenty announced his candidacy for president last month, and hit a high water mark in polls last week, earning 13 percent in a June Public Policy Polling poll. During the speech he said he would make the difficult choices to rescue the economy, such as cutting costs.

He proposed a strategy he calls "The Google Test." If Americans can find a service on the Internet from a private company, then the government probably shouldn't be providing it, too.

He says Obama has discouraged innovation and that regulations have weighed down an economic recovery.

Meanwhile, accross town, former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, who was speaking at Misericordia, said Pawlenty's comments were misguided.

He said the GOP presidential hopeful would have been "well served" to take care of the finances of his own state, referring to a report critical of Pawlenty's handling of the Minnesota finances.

Axelrod called Pawlenty's visit to Chicago "good stage craft." He says Pawlenty wants to "replay" the same formula that got the country into a financial jam. 

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