back to top

Tim Pawlenty Refused To Say If Obamacare Was Unconstitutional

During an appearance on This Week in 2009, the former Minnesota said the law wasn't a "legal issue.

Posted on

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality on ObamaCare Thursday, and possible running mate for Mitt Romney Tim Pawlenty is sure to weigh in on the ruling. While a vocal critic of the law since the beginning, Pawlenty refused to say whether the law was unconstitutional during an appearance on This Week in 2009.

Pawlenty's comments came days after saying as Governor of Minnesota he might have the right to invoke the 10th Amendement in reponse to the federal government passing health care reform.

PAWLENTY: Well, George, in the legal sense, I think the courts have addressed these Tenth Amendment issues, but more in the political sense, in the common sense arena, we need to have a clear understanding of what the federal government does well and what should be reserved to the states.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So just to be clear, are you suggesting that any parts of the plan as the president has laid it out are unconstitutional?

PAWLENTY: Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a legal issue. I was raising it as much as a practical matter, that there are some things that the federal government shouldn’t do, doesn’t do well, and should leave to the states.

Update Pawlenty later filed an amicus brief arguing that ObamaCare was unconstitutional.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.