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Minnesota governor candidates tango over Trump in GOP debate

August 3, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson are arguing about Pawlenty’s two previous terms as Minnesota governor and who insulted President Donald Trump worse as they jockey for GOP support ahead of an Aug. 14 primary.

The two Republican candidates faced off in their first public debate hosted Friday by Minnesota Public Radio news. Pawlenty and Johnson largely agreed on how they’d cut taxes by eliminating Social Security income taxes and in their support of Trump’s moves to reduce illegal immigration.

But they clashed while discussing their prior critiques of Trump. Pawlenty called Trump “unhinged and unfit for the presidency” in 2016 while Johnson once referred to the president as “a jackass.”

Pawlenty says he still voted for Trump. Johnson says Pawlenty’s remarks encouraged voters not to support Trump in 2016.

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