Flashback Fail: Tim Pawlenty is the “Arnold Schwarzenegger of the Midwest”

One of the high profile appearances by former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty during his national breakthrough at the 2004 Republican National Convention was a speech he delivered before the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.

That week, Club for Growth founder and then President Stephen Moore was impressed with Pawlenty and said, “If Tim Pawlenty stays on the course he is on right now, this guy is going to be on the national ticket for Republicans in 2008 or 2012.”

Moore went on to pay what he intended to be a compliment, calling Governor Pawlenty the “Arnold Schwarzenegger of the Midwest.”

The Schwarzenegger reference, quoted in the Star Tribune on the convention’s last day, September 2nd, was given to Pawlenty purportedly for his “star power” and “charm” as well as perhaps as a nod to the fact that both men were Republicans elected in blue states.

Nearly seven years later, in light of not only what turned out to be Schwarzenegger’s dubious gubernatorial tenure but also the last few toxic weeks surrounding his personal life, the tag is something the Pawlenty campaign probably hopes does not resurface with any legs.

Meanwhile, the Mitt Romney camp has its fingers crossed that an audio or video clip of this quote exists.

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