Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he would have let insurance giant AIG fail in 2008 -- even if it caused further turmoil in the financial markets.
Pawlenty made his comments during a traveling version of NBC's Meet the Press, which was taped at the University of Minnesota on Thursday.
Pawlenty told show host David Gregory that he was disappointed with all the federal bailouts in recent years, and he singled out the bailout of AIG.
"How much worse would you be without AIG? I mean really? I'd make an argument that it might be better," Pawlenty said.
When host David Gregory asked if Pawlenty would have let AIG default, Pawlenty said: "I think so."
Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke said the bailout of AIG, the world's largest insurance company, was necessary because the nation would have gone into a deeper economic slump and "even greater financial chaos" without it.