Guy Benson

As I fill-in for radio host Hugh Hewitt on his nationally syndicated program this week, I had the opportunity to interview former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty about his just-released autobiography, Courage to Stand. Our discussion touched on a number of topics – from last weekend’s Tucson atrocity, to his faith, to his passion for hockey, to the big question: Is he running for president?

Begin Transcript.

GB: I am delighted to be joined now by the former governor of the great state of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, who has a new book that is out today. It is called The Courage To Stand. Governor, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt show.

TP: Guy, it’s great to be with you, and I feel like I’ve got an upgrade on this flight with you hosting and Hugh being gone.

GB: I won’t tell him you said that, Governor. You’ve got this book out. I read it on my way out to California from D.C. I really enjoyed it, and we’ll get to it in due course. But I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you and get your reaction about the horrible events that unfolded this past weekend in Arizona. And in some ways, it actually does tie into your book, because you talked about a moment during your governorship, and we all remember 2007, very dark days for Minnesota when that bridge collapsed in Minneapolis. You were really the face of the state level response to that. It was, it involved the loss of life. It also involved, I thought, an egregious and immediate political calculation by certain people. And there are, I think, some parallels, perhaps, between what we’re seeing today and what you went through as governor. Do you think that’s fair to say?

TP: Yeah, well thank you, Guy, and first, I think all of us should just stop and pause and reflect. We’ve got fellow citizens who lost their lives, and they all have loved ones. And of course, our hearts and prayers go out to them. So we need to first just focus on that.

GB: Of course.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography