Tim Pawlenty puzzled pundits when he failed to confront rival Mitt Romney this week about Romney’s support of an “Obamneycare” health insurance mandate. Was Tim timid because he knew Romney possessed this tape and was about to use it to portray Pawlenty as a flip-flopping hypocrite?

Again, the damning Pawlenty quote from November 14, 2006:

“I’m grateful for our friend from Massachusetts here. Governor Romney is an outstanding Governor. He is a unbelieveably bright and nimble and gifted public policy leader and Massachusetts and America have been well served by his leadership as well.

And so the question then becomes, if you’re going to require insurance, and I think that is a worthy goal and one that we are intrigued by and at least open to, how then do you enable people to access the insurance?

In Minnesota, as to the access issue, I believe we should move toward universal coverage. Everybody should be in a health plan of some sort. How we get there becomes important. I think a mandate by itself is potentially helpful, but it’s not an answer by itself.”

No one can know for sure, but this tape could explain the Timidity.

– Loveland