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T-Paw Defends Defense

5:26 PM, May 25, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Dave Weigel reports that Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty argued against cutting the military earlier today at a speech and press gathering at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.:

Question one: Why the hell does the United States have more than 170 military bases? 

"I'm not one who's going to stand before you and say we need to cut the defense budget," said Pawlenty, who up to that point had been pounding the table about austerity. Get rid of the bases that sound like wastes of space and you risk American supremacy. "You'd see a massive realignment of the strategic relationship towards China and away from America in Asia," he said. "This is not where we're going to get six months, six years warning about the next conflict. I'm not for shrinking America's presence in the world. I'm for making sure America remains the world leader."

Cato doesn't have a reputation as being home to stalwart proponents of a big and strong American military, so it’s good that Pawlenty didn’t try to deliver a crowd pleasing answer, instead. And, of course, it’s reassuring to see that this Republican candidate doesn't plan to run to the left of President Obama on foreign policy and homeland security.

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