Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty took the stage at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night for a speech that got mixed reviews and was part comedy routine and part partisan attack. Here are some of the shots he fired at the Obama administration.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty played the role of attack dog in his speech at the Republican National Convention. Pawlenty focused mostly on President Obama rather than Republican candidate Mitt Romney or vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. He sprinkled biting or sarcastic humor through the speech, although pundits thought his jokes mostly fell flat.
Many of Minnesota's delegates to the Republican National Convention relished their chance to support the libertarian campaign of Texas Congressman Ron Paul. But in many cases that satisfaction was tempered by frustration with the Mitt Romney supporters who organized the convention. From rule changes that went against them to a ban on Ron Paul signs, some of the delegates considered the event an Infomercial that stepped on the grass roots.
While attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber described a state party suffering from a split between Ron Paul supporters and the GOP mainstream. Weber says the divide leaves Minnesota's GOP ineffective and "screwed up." Also, Minnesotans are fighting a proposed change in the delegate selection process that would have delegates chosen by the presidential candidates rather than elected at state conventions. One calls the proposal a "power grab by Washington insiders."
When Minnesota delegates arrived in Tampa they quickly headed for a Ron Paul rally. Paul, meanwhile, refused an offer to speak at the Republican National Convention because he would have had to clear his speech with presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. And an uninvited guest named Isaac is wreaking havoc with the convention's schedule.
Although its a forgone conclusion that Mitt Romney will win the GOP nomination at the Republican National Convention this coming week, several of Minnesota's delegates are still planning on voting for Texas Congresssman Ron Paul. Of the of the 40 delegates headed to the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., 32 are Paul supporters.
32 of Minnesota's 40 delegates to next week's Republican National Convention plan to vote for Ron Paul to be the party's presidential candidate. Marianne Stebbins, who chairs the delegation, says Mitt Romney represents old ideas and is not a strong candidate. Stebbins says Paul supporters are helping the GOP grow and, while there are some growing pains, the party is gradually accommodating them.
Work on the Republican platform begins Monday in advance of next week's party convention. Ron Paul delegates will push for changes including more civil liberties. But, as a leader of the Minnesota delegation put it, "you can't turn the barge around in a day."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will get a high-profile speaking spot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., later this month, putting a spotlight on one of the party's rising stars.
Tampa's city attorney says officials are studying the 2008 Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities to learn what worked and didn't work. Hundreds of protesters and dozens of journalists were arrested four years ago.
Minnesota's delegation to the Republican National Convention may not hear from its preferred candidate on the floor in Tampa. If Ron Paul had carried five states, he would have been guaranteed a chance to be nominated and address the convention. But Paul came up one state short, carrying Minnesota, Iowa, Maine, and Louisiana.