Bach­mann not ready, says GOP vet­eran Ridge

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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

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