That is what somebody who observed him closely said to me a while ago. And they were right:
Tim Pawlenty : I don't think we should raise the debt ceiling. And if the Congress moves in that direction, the president, they better get something really good for it. It better be permanent, and it better be structural, like a balanced budget amendment and like permanent caps and limits on spending that are specific, not just aspirational.... My position many, many months ago when I wrote an op-ed for one of the major national newspapers was this. President Obama was setting up this false choice between default and raising the debt ceiling. And at least for a while, you can take away that false choice by ordering the Treasury to pay the obligations to outside creditors first...
Failing to pay people inside the United States to whom the U.S. government owes money has a name, Tim. It's name is "default." It's not an alternative to default, it's a type of default.
And this is supposed to be one of the grownups of the Republican Party.
We really, really, really would be better off without it.