Tim Pawlenty, the generally mild-mannered governor of Minnesota, unloaded on President Obama in an interview with the conservative website Newsmax.com.
Pawlenty called Obama's economic policy "corrosive to ... freedom and liberty" and said the president's foreign policy was "projecting potential weakness."
"His solutions are federalization of policy, spending way beyond anything we've seen in terms of deficit or debt levels, spending the country into bankruptcy," Pawlenty said. "And what's behind it is a philosophy that government knows best, a nanny-state mentality on domestic issues that will ultimately be corrosive to the other pillars of our country -- to markets, private enterprise, individual responsibility, freedom and liberty."
On national security, Pawlenty said, "History proves that it is weakness, not strength, that tempts our enemies. And he is projecting potential weakness, and enemies may see that and their respect may be reduced as a result of that, or worse."
The governor explained his sudden harsh turn against the president by claiming Obama ran as a centrist and then betrayed voters. "President Obama has governed in an extremely liberal way, and he hasn't accomplished many major initiatives, but the few that he has have been almost exclusively partisan. That defies what he said during the campaign and doesn't live up to that promise."