MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ––  Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty tried to keep fundraising expectations in check Wednesday for his upcoming Republican presidential campaign, saying he simply needs enough money to run a “Buick”-type campaign.

Pawlenty hit up home-state donors in what aides were calling his biggest fundraising event of the financial quarter. It comes in the same week former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hauled in $10 million in a single day.

Pawlenty says he expects Romney to “be the unquestioned money champion” of the Republican field. Pawlenty declined to say if he would bring in $10 million for the first three months of having a White House fundraising account.

“Our goal is not to keep up with Mitt. Our goal is to raise enough money to have at least a Buick, if not a Cadillac-level, campaign,” Pawlenty told reporters before heading into the private dinner.

Pawlenty raised $800,000 last week and Wednesday’s event was on pace to bring in a higher total, advisers said.

About 400 people were expected to attend the event at a Minneapolis warehouse-turned-office-building, giving up to the $2,500 federal maximum and some bringing checks gathered from donors not in attendance.

It was the same venue that hosted now President Barack Obama’s first Minnesota presidential fundraiser, where 3,000 people paid between $15 and $25 to hear the Illinois Democratic senator.

Pawlenty formed his exploratory committee in late March, bringing in $160,000 in the first 10 days. The 2012 campaign’s next reporting deadline arrives in July.

Pawlenty leaves Thursday for a fundraising swing in California. He said he would announce “in the next few weeks or less” if he was a full-blown candidate.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. Murph says:

    I’m sure the full pockets of the 2% of the people he worked for will be overflowing in his direction.But Timmy will lose the State of Mn in a popular vote 98 percent to 2! Sorry Tim.The good news about my telling you now that it’s ok to quit your orgasmic dream quest tho.Is I’m not going to charge you a FEE for this advice!

  2. WHAT????? says:

    He might want a “Buick”-type campaign” but he has a Pinto chance at winning. Just give it up and save a lot of stupid people some money will you please?

  3. Murph says:

    If the 2% of Minnesota residents he worked so hard for all vote for him.He would only lose the popular vote at home by 98%! Wow,what a great statement that would make to the fascists!

  4. Swamp Rat says:

    If T-Paul can raise cash for a Presidential run in 2012, then why couldn’t he raise the greens in keeping the Minnesota budget on track??? He could have had his “Cadillac” campaign if he had done so.

    Can’t wait for California’s Michael Rodent to announce his candidacy against T-Paul; now that would be interesting!!! [Michael Rodent’s public ‘nom de politique’ is “Mickey Mouse”].

  5. jimmy says:

    I think I saw in on the ramp to 35W with a sign that read, will shoot my mouth off for food.

  6. Mike Hawk says:

    I once worked for a friend & supporter of Pawlenty and I can tell you, all those trips he took out of the country wasn’t to bring jobs to our state it was to help his rich fat-cat friends (like my former employer) send our jobs else where at a cheeper labor costs. It will be a pleasure to see this sucubent fail.

  7. legs says:

    Think all the above comments pretty much state how Minnesotans feel about him….like his name says…PLENTY OF CASH for his agenda!!!

  8. Eioljg says:

    I agree with the other who say that TPaw should have “sold” the idea of paying more taxes to keep our state strong rather than now hitting up the same people for donations. If they have enough money to throw at TPaw, then then have enough to pay more in taxes. We would have gladly paid more, but I won’t be throwing my money his way.

  9. Too Face says:

    I wouldn’t give him a dime, for the last year and a half he has spent time away from Minnesota when he was Gov. campaigning for President and letting us drown in debt and now he comes back here asking for money for his campaign, well he should give us money and pay us back for all the trips he took on us.

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