I came across the phrase, ‘stay true to type in a spat’ in the following sentence of the Washington Post’s article (July 27) titled, “Tim Pawlenty struggles to step out of Michele Bachmann’s shadow”.
Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann are staying true to type in a spat between their presidential campaigns: He offers a cautious slap over her lack of executive experience, and she smacks back with dramatic comparisons between him and President Obama. This is more or less how it has always been for the two Republican lawmakers from Minnesota, where Bachmann’s passion and conviction outshone Pawlenty’s more cautious, methodical ways from the moment she stormed the state legislature nearly a decade ago.
I know the meaning of ‘stay true to,’ but I’m at a loss to judge whether ‘type’ here is a noun meaning ‘stay true to their own types (or styles)’ or used as a verb as ‘type in.’
Although I’m inclined to interpret ‘stay true to type in a spat ‘means tenaciously adhere to their own styles (in the spat between them), I’m not sure. Is it ‘stay true to type (in a spat)’ or ‘stay true to type in (a spat)? In net, What is the exact meaning of the line,“Pawlenty and Bachmann are staying true to type in a spat between their presidential campaigns?