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Tim Pawlenty tries Twitter to tweak Romney and talk about jobs

July 16, 2011 |  1:27 pm


Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty took to his @TimPawlenty Twitter account Friday to issue a challenge to fellow Republican contender Mitt Romney.

He inserted a linkfrom his recent conversation about the debt ceiling vote with CNBC's Larry Kudlow and tweeted around it, "My thoughts on the debt ceiling. What say you @MittRomney? Help us fight back."

The former Minnesota governor is lagging in the polls and fundraising, but he's a big believer in the political power of social media.

In an interview with, Pawlenty said, "The old way was the semi-monopolistic providers of content would pipe the news into you and and cover the angle or spin that they thought was appropriate."

But now, Pawlenty said, "the consumer's more in charge."

Pawlenty has more than 44,000 Twitter followers, more than 1 million views on his YouTube channel (and 895 subscribers) and more than 103,000 fans on his Facebook page (with another 1,500 or so thrown in from a page for Tim Pawlenty 2012).

Of course, the man Pawlenty called out on Twitter, presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney, has more than a million fans on his Facebook page, which is more than twice as many as Ron Paul, who's supposedly a darling of the college crowd (maybe they've all gone to Google +).

Nevertheless, Pawlenty is continuing his devotion to social media by participating in "American Jobs Conference on Twitter" (hashtag #jobs4US), taking place on Tuesday, July 19, starting at 9 a.m. Pacific (that's noon on the East Coast).

Users have to register to ask questions and tweet comments (and they also get a "virtual tweet badge"), and that includes quizzing Pawlenty, who is giving the "tweetnote" address, called "Getting Americans Back to Work." Miami-Mayor-Manny-Diaz-Joe-Biden

After Pawlenty is a tweet panel on "Technology and Job Searching," with Mark Suster of GRP Partners, and Lou Kerner, the managing director of Wedbush Securities; and then there's a tweet session on "Business and Jobs" with former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

There's also a link to, which unites job seekers and employers on Twitter.

Incidentally, the day after Pawlenty's Twitter jobs event, on Wednesday,  others seeking the GOP nomination are participating in a full-fledged Twitter debate.

Sponsored by, it's hosted on , and the Twitter address is @140townhall.

The debate is being held in Concord. N.H., with moderator S.E. Cupp, a conservative commentator who also works for Glenn Beck''s

Among the candidates confirmed so far are Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Gov. Gary Johnson, newly announced Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

More candidates are expected to sign up, but right now, we're lacking Pawlenty, Romney, Paul and former Utah Gov. John Huntsman.

Of course, the GOP's top social-media diva, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- aka @SarahPalinUSA -- is still stuck in her home state on call for jury duty and has yet to announce whether or not she will run.


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-- Kate O'Hare

Media critic Kate O’Hare is a regular Ticket contributor. She also blogs about TV at Hot Cuppa TV and is a frequent contributor at entertainment-news site Zap2it. Also follow O'Hare on Twitter @KateOH

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Photos, from top: Tim Pawlenty (Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images); Joe Biden and Manny Diaz (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)