Pawlenty Plays FOIA Game With DNC

By Jenny Schlesinger

Oct 28, 2010 4:46pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:  A day after ABC News reported that Democratic Party officials asked the Pentagon for records of communication between military agencies and nine Republican presidential contenders, one of those possible candidates is firing back with his own public records request.   Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., is set to announce this afternoon that he’s filing his own Freedom of Information Act request with a range of federal agencies. He’s asking for details of the Democratic National Committee’s role in promoting President Obama’s health care law.  "Next week’s election isn't even here – and it will largely be a referendum on the president’s failure to create jobs, out of control government spending, and an ill-conceived health care bill – but I find it ironic that they have given up the current fight and are instead so focused on the president's own re-election," Pawlenty said in a statement.  "But since they asked, and since they are so worried, I have some questions of my own about President Obama's time in the White House. For example, what was the DNC's role in selling Obamacare? Did the president's political advisers know the true costs of Obamacare?"  The DNC’s request for documents also drew a response from former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., who joked to CNN that it was “flattering” to be on the Democrats’ short list for 2012, after a 2008 candidacy where he struggled to gain traction.   He said the opposition research effort reflects Democrats’ concerns about a "political tsunami" next week.  "They know they are going to get wiped out next Tuesday," he said. "They wouldn't be looking down the road in two years if they thought that they really had any shot at winning these races next week."  Former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, referenced the story with a brief Tweet – and briefer commentary: “The Pentagon? Really?” she wrote. UPDATE: The DNC fired back tonight, hitting Pawlenty for his frequent out-of-state travels as governor:  ”That Tim Pawlenty, who has taken more trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this year than to several counties in Minnesota – the state he’s supposedly governing – would lecture anyone about where their focus is certainly funny.  As a matter of fact, if Pawlenty is so suddenly interested in transparency he should start by releasing his political travel records and meetings with lobbyists that he’s adamantly refusing to allow the people and press of Minnesota to review despite repeated requests,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.    

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