Conservative darling and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told a conservative crowd in Washington Friday that activists should "smash the window" of big government with a golf club, referring in a joke to Elin Woods, the wife of golf megastar Tiger Woods.

"She said, I've had enough," Pawlenty said. "We should take a page out of her playbook and take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government."

Woods' wife reportedly used a nine-iron to take out the window of an SUV Tiger was driving prior to a crash.

Pawlenty also said the US was "on rhetorical bended knee" for China, and that the US should dramatically cut spending to bring its financial house in order.

"The United States of America is not a beggar nation," he said.

Noted CBS News:

Pawlenty told a personal story very similar to President Obama's, about his mother dying of cancer in her 50's and struggling over bills in her final years.

"It was hard, and it was challenging," he said. Yet he said it gave his family perspective about spending.

"That perspective is not reflected in the current administration," he said.

Taking a combative tone against President Obama and Democrats in Congress, Pawlenty nevertheless said, "We love this country [and] we don't wish it ill will." If Republicans are going to return to power in Washington, he said, they need to "walk the walk."

Pawlenty also took a swipe at President Obama directly, saying, ""If government spending were an Olympic sport, [Obama] would be a repeat gold medalist."