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Tim Pawlenty looked to turn the page on his summer slump Tuesday morning with a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations bashing Barack Obama — and elements of his own party — over the course of U.S. foreign policy.
Titled “No Retreat From Freedom’s Rise,” Pawlenty’s speech aspired to be a Reaganesque declaration of American strength and leadership, perhaps most notably criticizing the growing conservative sentiment against expansionist U.S. foreign policy. “[P]arts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments,” Pawlenty said. “This is no time for uncertain leadership in either party. The stakes are simply too high, and the opportunity is simply too great.”
Whereas plenty of Congressional Republicans want to end U.S. operations in Libya, Pawlenty urged Obama to “stop leading from behind,” and “commit America’s strength to removing Ghadafi.” To Republicans who say it’s time to wind down the war in Afghanistan, Pawlenty said David Petraeus’ voice “ought to carry the most weight on that question.”