Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pawlenty Is Leaving Romney Campaign for Lobbying Post


Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, is resigning as a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign to take a job in Washington as a top lobbyist for a group representing banks and financial companies.

Mr. Palwenty's new role as President and chief executive of the Financial Services Roundtable was announced by the organization Thursday morning. In a statement, the group said that Mr. Pawlenty would step down from his role at Mr. Romney's campaign because the organization is bipartisan.

“My time in public service was rewarding and focused on achieving results,” Mr. Pawlenty said in the statement. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve, but I am now moving on and committed to focusing fully on this new opportunity.”

In a statement issued by Mr. Romney's campaign, Mr. Pawlenty added: “My work with Mitt has been a privilege. Mitt Romney is a truly good man and great leader. As the campaign moves into the home stretch, he has my full support and continued faith in his vision and his policies.”

Mr. Palwenty was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination last year but dropped out of the race early after a disappointing performance at the Iowa straw poll. He endorsed Mr. Romney early in the fall of 2011 and campaigned for him during the height of the primaries.

He was also on the short list to be Mr. Romney's vice-presidential running mate. But despite an aggressive campaigning effort by Mr. Pawlenty earlier this year, Mr. Romney passed him over in favor of Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

In a brief interview at the Republican National Co nvention in Tampa, Fla., last month, Mr. Pawlenty played down his role on Mr. Romney's behalf.

“I'm just a volunteer,” he told The Caucus, “so I've got other stuff I've got to do. So as my schedule allows, I'll go out and do surrogate speaking.”

That “other stuff” apparently involved seeking the top job at the roundtable, an organization that seeks to shape federal regulations on behalf of about 100 major financial services companies. The group's Web site says that its mission is to “protect and promote the economic vitality and integrity of its members and the United States financial system.” It has spent $4.7 million on lobbying in the first two quarters of this year.

The group says it seeks to achieve those goals through “legislative and regulatory advocacy; strong industry reputation of trust and confidence; and premier executive leadership forums.”

In a statement, Mr. Romney praised Mr. Pawlenty as “a dear friend” who brou ght “energy, intelligence and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he's ever been engaged.”

Mr. Romney said that he regretted Mr. Pawlenty's need to step down from his campaign, but said that “his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country. I congratulate him on his new position and wish him every success in carrying out his new mission.”

Mr. Pawlenty will begin his new role on Nov. 1.