News & Election Videos

September 01, 2008

Paulsen in St. Paul

Just caught up with Erik Paulsen, the former Minnesota House Majority Leader who is seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) for the suburban Twin Cities seat.

Paulsen said he is not going to be spending much time here at the convention, instead hitting the campaign trail for the week. He was originally slated to speak tonight along with other GOP House candidates before today’s session was postponed. Paulsen said he is unsure whether his speaking role will be rescheduled.

“For myself the convention for me is no more than 20 minutes away from where I would have gone in my district to campaign,” said Paulsen. “For me, the speech being canceled isn’t a big deal because we’re just returning to campaign.”

Paulsen’s Democratic opponent, Ashwin Madia, spent last week at the Democratic National Convention to raise his profile and meet national donors. He was spotlighted in Denver as one of the party’s leading House candidates in attendance.

Paulsen also expressed some disappointment that John McCain didn’t select home-state governor Tim Pawlenty as his running mate, but said that Palin can help win over independent women voters in his district.

“I was initially pulling for Tim Pawlenty because he’s the hometown guy and I’m very good friends with Tim, and worked with him as governor,” said Paulsen. “But I have to tell you that when I was door knocking, a lot of women, especially the ones tuned in, were really excited about the pick.”