Tim Pawlenty agrees with man that threatens to shoot immigrants? (Updated)

TIME Magazine profiled the Most Exciting Man from Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, and this particular story of a confrontation with an irate voter particularly stuck out.

The candidate smiled patiently, crinkling the crow’s-feet around his eyes. He’d heard this before. “Don’t confuse being loud with being strong,” Pawlenty told him. The man began to protest — something about threatening to shoot illegal immigrants at the border — but Pawlenty gently interrupted him. Republicans had to pick their fights wisely, he said. “You and I already agree with each other. The question is, The people we need to get — how do they respond? We need to reach out and get new people to join the team.”

Say what?

Did Tim Pawlenty just agree with a man who wants to shoot immigrants?

Or is he so desperate for support that he can’t muster the courage to stand there and denounce vile sentiments like murdering immigrants?

At the very least this warrants some kind of clarification.

Update TIME’s Michael Crowley responds.

@MattOrtega @PoliticalWire No, Pawlenty did *not* agree re: shooting immigrants. Brushed the guy off on that point, did not engage with it.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet ReplyMichael Crowley

Be that as it may, I don’t like violent rhetoric about murder being simply dismissed rather than denounced — especially since violent hate crimes against Latinos continue to mount and, in no small part, a result of the toxic anti-immigrant fervor from the right.

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