Tim Pawlenty: I'd "Support Reinstating" Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 13 2011 12:42 PM

Tim Pawlenty: I'd "Support Reinstating" Don't Ask, Don't Tell

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer exists, it seems, to provide inflammatory content for liberal blogs to report on. But he apparently has a radio talk show , and he got former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on during his book tour, and found very little daylight between Pawlenty and social conservatives. TPM is right -- the headline is Pawlenty's support for reinstating DADT.

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FISCHER: We just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military? Would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?

PAWLENTY: Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

It was a whole month ago, so you may have forgotten, but repeal of DADT was supported by between 78 percent and 81 percent of voters. Kudos to Fischer for asking; Pawlenty becomes, I think, the first 2012er to take this stance on a wedge issue that is probably completely dead politically.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

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