One of the Republican presidential candidates in 2012 is going to be running against bailouts and Goldman Sachs, to judge by the comments of the governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, in an interview with Esquire magazine. Mr. Pawlenty: "I did not support the car-company bailout, either. They should have been allowed to go bankrupt — in fact, they [entered] bankruptcy, most of 'em. That's the way that they're going to get most effectively restructured. And I think the same could be said for many of the financial institutions. The idea that we're gonna bail out every major bank in the country with the exception of Lehman Brothers is ridiculous. Why let Lehman fail and not all the others? These markets have to correct. And the answer can't be for every problem that emerges as a result of reckless behavior, the government's gonna come in and bail everybody out. I was talkin' to people this morning who run small businesses. Where's their bailout?"
On Goldman Sachs: "I read an account recently of the Sunday night before one version or another of Hank Paulson's TARP bill passed. In this story, Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, was meeting with other Goldman Sachs executives, trying to figure out what to do, and surprise, surprise, they came up with the conclusion that the federal government should bail out Goldman Sachs. So I don't take as an article of faith that the financial world would have come to an end if we had let more of these institutions fail."
On whether President Obama is a socialist: "I think President Obama is governing as a movement liberal. I don't think that rises to the level of being a socialist."
It's worth clicking through and reading the whole interview, particularly Mr. Pawlenty's description of his political discussions with his union-member siblings.