(CNSNews.com) – The battle of Minnesotans was one of the key highlights of the Iowa GOP presidential debate Thursday night, as former Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Rep. Michele Bachmann has a failed record of results, while Bachmann compared Pawlenty to President Barack Obama.
Bachmann, a three term House member, is leading most polls in Iowa going into the Saturday Iowa Straw Poll in Ames. Pawlenty, a two-term governor of Minnesota, has been lagging behind since entering the race and many pundits have said he must do well in Iowa to remain viable. Both have been political allies in the past and campaigned together in their home state. But things have gotten heated on the campaign trail.
“Governor, when you were governor in Minnesota, you implemented cap and trade in our state,” Bachmann said during the debate. “You praised the unconstitutional individual mandate and you called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance that government would mandate. Third, you said the era of small government was over. That sounds a lot more like Barack Obama if you ask me.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, right, speaks as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. listens during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. (Credit: Pool,AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Pawlenty fired back that Bachmann has no record of accomplishment in Congress.
“That’s not the kind of things she said when I was governor of the state of Minnesota, and moreover she’s got a record of misstating and making false statements and that’s another example of that list. She says that she’s fighting for these things,” Pawlenty said. “She fought for less government spending, we got a lot more. She led the effort against Obamacare, we got Obamacare. She led the effort against TARP, we got TARP. She said she’s got a titanium spine. It’s not her spine we’re worried about. It’s her record of results. If that’s your view of effective leadership with results, please stop because you’re killing us."