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Presidential Hopeful Pawlenty Criticizes Obama

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(credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

(credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is planning to give a keynote address during a visit to northeast Ohio, a highly contested swing state in presidential politics.

Pawlenty is expected to talk about the economy Wednesday at an event hosted by the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County in Cleveland. The former Minnesota governor formally announced last week that he was forming an exploratory committee for a 2012 White House bid.

The announcement almost certainly will lead to a full-blown candidacy for the GOP nomination in a field that has been slow to form. The winner would face the daunting task of trying to unseat an incumbent president.

Pawlenty, a conservative Republican who ran a Democratic-leaning state for two terms, has moved toward a national campaign since announcing in 2009 that he wouldn’t seek a third term.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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