Looks like someone's trying to out teabag "going rogue" Sarah. Tim Pawlenty's obviously planning on running in 2012 and has decided his best course of action is to throw in with the conservative wing of the party. From The Hill--Pawlenty takes on Snowe:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) warned Olympia Snowe today that she's risking her position in the GOP by considering a vote for healthcare reform.
"She's somebody who has gotten into the middle of the healthcare debate in a way that makes Republicans mad," Pawlenty said on Morning Joe. "They make accept that, but they're not going to accept her deviating on many other things."
Asked whether he was glad Snowe was a Republican, Pawlenty hedged.
"There is a process in her state that is broad based that endorses her, and the Republicans in that state say 'we want her to be our candidate,'" Pawlenty said.
Pressed on the issue, Pawlenty made clear he wouldn't offer a definitive answer.
PAWLENTY: "I think Olympia Snowe is somebody who is more liberal than most Republicans would like but she is better than having a Democrat represent me."
SCARBOROUGH: "Is that a yes? I think that's a yes."
PAWLENTY: Well look, the people of Maine have an open process, they selected her. It's different [than Scozzafava]."
Olympia Snowe responded to Pawlenty's criticism...via The Politico:
"I've been a lifelong Republican -- I haven't changed, I don't know what the problem is -- I really don't," said Snowe, speaking to POLITICO at the Capitol. "I know Gov. Pawlenty to be a thoughtful person and i know if he could have rephrased it or re characterized it he would."
But Snowe, who is pro-abortion rights, took serious issue with Pawlenty's underlying argument that some members of the GOP's fast shrinking left flank, including one-time NY-23 candidate Dede Scozzafava, are so far out of the party's anti-abortion, anti-gay rights mainstream they are a "joke."
"All I know is that I've been a life-long Republican, I [spent] 16 years toiling in the minority in the House of Representatives and [was part of] the effort to get us the majority in 1994 -- now were in the minority and I'm still here," she added, with a laugh.
"So, i don't know -- I think they could probably borrow more from me in that sense, in terms of being in touch with your constituents..."