Guy Benson
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty strongly condemned the Left's collective, and nearly universal, rush to judgment following Saturday's gruesome shooting that left six dead and 13 others injured.  Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt radio show -- which I'm guest-hosting this week in Hugh's absence -- Pawlenty reflected on the carnage and admonished against playing nakedly partisan games in the immediate aftermath of an unfolding tragedy:

GB: 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.

 

TP: And secondly, based on what we know, it appears like this incident in Arizona was caused by an individual who is mentally unstable. And sadly, mentally unstable people from time to time do very irrational and senseless things. And unless the facts are different or new developments occurred, for people to make broad-sweeping statements or judgments or condemnations when not all the facts are on the table about either parts of the media, or individuals, or leaders, you know, it’s at best premature, and at worst, you know, it’s speculative and quite unfair. And in the bridge collapse, we had the same problem. Within minutes, really, just the first few hours of that crisis unfolding, Guy, when we still had bodies in the water, people in the water, the rescue was still active and underway, we had a Democrat call a staff member in my office and say I’m going to use this incident to carve the governor up politically. And of course, we had all sorts of false accusations and statements about why the bridge may have collapsed. They all turned out to be wrong. A year later, the National Transportation Safety Board determined the bridge fell because of an original design flaw dating back to the 1960s. In the meantime, we had just very reckless, hurtful comments being made by lots of people.


The transcript of my full interview with the former governor will be posted on our front page later today.  Among other things, I asked Pawlenty if he's still seriously mulling a 2012 presidential run, and when he might make a final decision, one way or the other.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography