Pawlenty defends blandness with race card joke
Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor running for the Republican nomination to unseat Democrat Barack Obama, the country’s first black president, brought up race on Sunday when asked if he was too boring to win.
“The knock on you is .. that you’re too nice, too bland, and Republicans want somebody who can take the fight to Barack Obama,” “Fox News Sunday” interviewer Chris Wallace said.
Wallace mentioned conservative Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly’s comment last week that “Haagen Dazs could put his picture on vanilla.”
“Did Bill O’Reilly use the word ‘vanilla’?” Pawlenty asked.
“He did,” Wallace replied.
“Is he playing the race card on me?” quipped Pawlenty, who is white.
“I don’t think so sir. I think he’s just talking about the taste, not the color,” responded Wallace, somewhat taken aback.
Pawlenty, realizing the joke fell flat, turned on the rhetoric.
“I’m not running for comedian in chief or entertainer in chief. If people want that they should go to the ball park, or a Broadway play or a Las Vegas show. We’ve got a country that’s in serious trouble. It’s sinking. …”
Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Pawlenty during speech in May)