- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2009

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Monday that Republicans should give Barack Obama space to carry out his agenda once he becomes president because Republican and Democrats should come together.

Mr. Pawlenty, who reportedly was under consideration to be Arizona Sen. John McCain’s running mate during the presidential campaign, told MSNBC that “a lot” of Republican governors will be going to Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

“It’s important for all of us to come together, whether Republican or Democrat,” he said. By other Republican governors coming to the inauguration, he said, “it sends a message: Hey, look, we’re in this together.”

The GOP governor urged his fellow Republicans to give Mr. Obama the space he needs after he becomes president to carry out his programs, particularly in trying to fix the economy.

“We need to give him a lot of latitude,” Mr. Pawlenty said. “He wants to be forward-looking, forward-leaning, and we should give him some space in that regard.”

He said Mr. Obama has appeared to be not as left-leaning and more moderate “than he came across in the campaign.”

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