The latest saga in Rep. Erik Paulsen’s “Will He or Won’t He?” PR blunder run for U.S. Senate in 2014 continued to play itself out yesterday. One thing has become clear: the Congressman is saying one thing to the national media and the complete opposite to his constituents in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, Paulsen told a group of University of Minnesota political science students that he was not planning to run for U.S. Senate and that “someone else is going to have to run.” Hours later, however, a Paulsen spokesman backtracked (once again) and told the national outlet POLITICO the Congressman “has not ruled anything out related to 2014.”
Surprised? Not really. This is the same Congressman who earlier this month, in the span of just 48 hours, gave so many different answers to a possible U.S. Senate run — “No, that’s ridiculous,” “I haven’t ruled anything out,” “Maybe” and “No” — it made heads spin.
The Congressman’s inconsistency is just strange.
But Paulsen’s contradictory comments this week did shed light on the fact that he has no problem telling Minnesota one thing and the national press the complete opposite.
In fact, he did the exact same thing a few weeks ago. Paulsen first told Minnesota Public Radio “no” he was not planning to run for U.S. Senate only to later tell the national outlet The Hill newspaper “I haven’t ruled anything else” that same week.
As one political commentator put it: “He’s obviously trying to have it both ways.“
The Congressman’s media strategy is quite the opposite to that of the Senator he may (or may not) be hoping to challenge.
So, who is Paulsen lying to: the national media or Minnesota? You decide. Or better yet, maybe Paulsen will.