Pawlenty comes out for defunding military to stop repeal of DADT

It’s that time of a Presidential election cycle when Republicans make a giant lurch to the fever swamps of the far right in the hopes that they can get elected. It’ll also be a key question for all the other Republicans who are running, how far are they willing to go to appear to be the most anti-gay candidate running for President. The Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky is in Iowa following Tim Pawlenty and got to ask the Republican presidential nominee how far he’s willing to go in repealing DADT.

PAWLENTY: We have to pay great deference, I think to those combat units, their sentiments and their leaders. That’s one of the reasons why I said we shouldn’t have repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and I would support reinstatement.

TP: And rescinding the funds for implementation, implementation of repeal?

PAWLENTY: That would be a reasonable step as well.

As Joe Sudbay notes at Americablog Gay, Pawlenty’s position on DADT puts him on the wrong side of 80% of the electorate for a few voters in Iowa.

The video of Tim Pawlenty stating that he not only wants to repeal DADT but defund the military to stop repeal will be a key part of the argument for his extremism if he manages to make it out of the Republican primary.

[Update 7:10 PM] Tim Pawlenty has said at least twice that he would repeal DADT in front of very right-wing audiences. In response to questions from Ben Smith he refuses to man up and own his own extreme views, no mention of the Pentagon survey that found a majority of service members supports a repeal of DADT.

Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant emails that Pawlenty is deferring to opposition to repeal among some military leaders:

The Governor respects the opinions of the commanding generals and is committed to giving them the resources needed to accomplish their military mission.

In this case, both generals and combat troops have voiced opposition to repealing DADT, and the governor values their perspective. He does not support using resources to implement a policy they oppose.

Tim Pawlenty can’t man up and defend his own views.

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