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No More Mr. Nice Former Governor?

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Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty addresses the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner while touring to promote his new book, "Courage to Stand," at the Marriott Hotel January 30, 2011 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Pawlenty is eyeing a run for the GOP presidential nomination and has made several trips to Iowa, which will be holding its famous "first in the nation" caucus in about a year. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty addresses the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner while touring to promote his new book, “Courage to Stand,” at the Marriott Hotel January 30, 2011 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Pawlenty is eyeing a run for the GOP presidential nomination and has made several trips to Iowa, which will be holding its famous “first in the nation” caucus in about a year. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’ve all heard of Minnesota Nice — but it seems former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is trying to shake that image.

He had some strong words for President Obama while making an appearance on Fox News Monday morning, which isn’t really like him.

The last time politicos were talking about a Minnesotan in Iowa testing the presidential waters, it was Michele Bachmann. But Pawlenty is also in Iowa this week on a book tour.

On “Fox and Friends” Monday morning, Pawlenty seemed to be ramping up his tough guy talk about Obama, calling him “chicken.”

“He’s got all this soaring rhetoric, but the fact of the matter is he’s too chicken to address the real issues,” said Pawlenty.

Pawlenty also said the American voters aren’t ninnies and called the president “chicken” a second time today on Fox News.

Pawlenty is not known for this kind of trash talk and that’s one big criticism this potential presidential candidate has heard — that he’s “too nice.”

Click here to check out the entire interview from “Fox and Friends.”

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