In July 2005, the Minnesota government shut down after Pawlenty and state legislators couldn't compromise on a budget. Pawlenty explained to Fox News' Neil Cavuto: "In Minnesota, it's a very liberal place. It leans pretty hard the other way. I had to draw lines in the sand and I had to back it up. It wasn't always pretty but -- we had shut downs."
Cavuto asked him if he regretted not compromising more, and asked if "maybe you overdid it?" Pawlenty replied: "One of things I wonder is whether I should have let the shut down run longer to get more of my agenda through."
Cavuto pointed out that at the federal level "they say that is playing with fire." Pawlenty replied: "In Minnesota we survived it OK. You don't want to be reckless or irresponsible about it, but there's going to have to be some lines in the sand."