Minnesota Governor and expected 2012 presidential contender Tim Pawlenty (R) held his first D.C. fundraiser for his new PAC last night at a pub downtown. Pawlenty focused the event on young Republicans, and opened his address to the few hundred in the crowd with little taste of that rock-and-roll the kids are all talking about.
“Mick Jagger said in a song once, ‘you can’t always get what what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need,” Pawlenty said. “For those of us who are Republicans and conservatives, we didn’t get what we wanted in the 2008 election for president but we did get something that we needed. And that is a chance to ask ‘what are the lessons from 2008 and 2006?'”
Pawlenty said the lesson he learned was that Republicans need to make new friends — but keep the old ones, too. “I know a little about reaching out to people who are not yet Republicans,” he said. “But I want to make sure as we move forward we don’t get confused about diluting our principles and our values.”“This is not about us trying to behave like something we’re not,” he continued. “It’s about us taking what we believe and stand for and doing a better job of convincing people to join our cause.”
A Pawlenty source tells TPMDC that more than 500 attended the event, which was intended to generate buzz and not raise heaps of cash. The rally was closed to the press, though a few reporters grabbed Pawlenty on his way out the door.
Check out the video of Pawlenty’s comments, posted by an aide after the rally: