Bachmann not ready, says GOP veteran Ridge
Tim Pawlenty, the state’s former two-term governor.
Mr. Pawlenty, who has been struggling to gain traction in the race, called Mrs. Bachmann’s congressional record “nonexistent” in a July 10 appearance on “Meet the Press,” prompting her to respond the next day with an attempt to reframe the debate about her experience.
“Executive experience in gov- ernment is one thing, but not when it comes to a promise of more of the same big government as usual,” Mrs. Bachmann said during an Iowa campaign appearance.
Mr. Ridge, though, said that if the GOP nominated Mrs. Bachmann, the party risked sacrificing a White House victory on the altar of ideological purity.
“We have to say to ourselves as a party: Consistent with principles that we have, do we want to win or are we into Pyrrhic victories?” he said. “Do we want to appoint Supreme Court justices? Do we want to appoint a Cabinet? Do we want to set a domestic and foreign policy agenda? If the answer is yes, then I think we’re going to have to be a little more tolerant of differences in the party.”
“Now, of course,” he added, “if we’re into Pyrrhic victories if we like to win battles and lose wars who knows who we’ll nominate?”
Asked whether he thought Mrs. Bachmann had been unfairly compared to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, also thought to be considering the 2012 race, Mr. Ridge chuckled. “I think she compares quite well,” he said.
How he sees it: Tom Ridge