DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Tim Pawlenty offered a sneak peek Sunday at his presidential kickoff, blasting out an Internet video in which he promises a campaign that “tells the American people the truth” and suggests that President Barack Obama doesn’t.

In the new video, the former Minnesota governor formally declares he’s running for president, something aides said he’d do in person Monday morning during a town hall forum in Iowa. Pawlenty bypassed a launch in his home state to make his inaugural appearance as a candidate in the state that holds the leadoff caucuses, which he acknowledges he must fare well in to preserve his hopes of the GOP nomination.

He says in the video that the country needs a president who will be frank with Americans about the severe challenges facing the country and how America can get back on track. He mentions the climbing federal debt and a slow recovery from the economic recession that’s left millions jobless.

“We’re going to have to do more than just give fancy speeches; we’ve had three years of that and it’s not working,” Pawlenty says. “Join me tomorrow and around the country in the days and weeks ahead. You won’t hear empty promises, you’ll hear solutions.”

The hard swipes at Obama are central to Pawlenty’s effort to prove to GOP primary voters that he’s tough enough to take on the Democrat. He’s combatting an impression that he’s too nice to be an aggressive challenger.

Pawlenty makes no mention of prospective GOP rivals he’ll have to outlast to get his shot at Obama. Among the Republicans who have taken formal steps toward a White House campaign are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

The GOP field saw more signs of settling Sunday when Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels took his name out of consideration.

The video released Sunday by Pawlenty is set to soft music that rises to a crescendo — a contrast from the all-out, pulse-raising videos he released as he introduced himself to GOP voters over the last several months. The former two-term governor brags that he “moved our Democratic state in a conservative direction.”

“We need a president who understands that our problems are deep and who has the courage to face them,” Pawlenty says in the spot. “President Obama doesn’t, and I do.”

Democrats planned to counter Pawlenty’s town hall meeting Monday by bringing in Minnesota officials who say he handed off deep budget problems to his successor.

The Democratic National Committee didn’t let Sunday’s video go unanswered.

“After running for president for over two years, the question isn’t whether Tim Pawlenty is running or not. It’s why — a question he has yet to find an answer to,” said DNC press secretary Hari Sevugan.

He added that Minnesota residents are coping with reduced services and ongoing deficits: “They’re scratching their heads, too.”

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

Comments (52)
  1. Smithers says:

    Such a wimp…

  2. Joe says:

    Please go away, Timmeh…

  3. Swamp Rat says:

    How come T-Paw didn’t face and solve the challenges facing Minnesota? Now he wants to run for President in 2012?

    Mickey Mouse and/or Homer Simpson should run for President at least we know what they stands for!!!

    1. liberals hate says:

      He had a democratic house and senate that wouldn’t let him address the restructuring this state needs.

      1. go away tim says:

        And yet, he somehow managed to do pawlenty of damage.

  4. Murph says:

    Tim the rat vs Obama would be the most lopsided victory in Presidential politics! Unfortunate for the GOP should something as unlikely as that actually happen.So far,the pundits have not unsealed little Tim’s closet! When his anti constitutional comments and crime become public… when the age and physical condition of this predators intended victims become well known ! ? Obama will shine his shoes on Pawlenty’s rump from coast to coast. Take it to the bank,it’s the only thing you’ll have left after the republicans get their give aways to the super rich! But a GOP president would be an absolute disaster!

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      How eloquently stated! Ever think of running for office?

    2. liberals hate says:

      I think it’s past your bedtime. Ask mommy to shut the desktop down and go to bed.

      1. Ben says:

        @liberals hate
        Great argument: nothing to contribute so you resort to the pointless condescension that so many with no argument resort to.

  5. Fun Guy says:

    He should of announced his candidacy from the site of where the 35w bridge collapsed on his watch. He was too busy running around with that kook, John McCain that whole year.

  6. Enough already says:

    I’m normally not taken to profanity but I can only reply. F… Sorry I still can’t go there. But I can say. Tim, you left our state in a horrible situation. Now you want to lead our country. This type of leadership 50 states can’t handle.

  7. Dave Campbell says:

    He even looks like a weasel! I can’t wait to see how badly he gets his butt kicked!

  8. DisgustedwithTim says:

    Minnesota went severeky downhil under his watch, He has no ideas. All he knows how to do is say NO. We cannot afford to have him be president, We don’t need someone who says my way or the highway. We know his way is downhill! Say NO to Tim Pawlenty!

    1. liberalshate says:

      You have got to be kidding! MNdot is the union run division of our state that dropped the ball on this project! You are irrational.

  9. Liberalshate says:

    All the previous comments prove is that liberals hate. Not one idea. Not one rational comment. Pawlenty kept spending in check in a state on the verge of bankruptcy. Obama is bankrupting the nation. Let’s review his progress after 2 1/2 years in office: No energy policy. No education policy. No economic policy. No immigration policy. You must all be so proud of him!

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Sorry chum but you are full of beans! Tim kept everything in check to the point of putting this state in bankruptcy. You can blame whomever you want but T-Paw didn’t have any cogent policy to eliminate the horrendous shortfall mess we are in! The President didn’t have anything to do with Minnesota’s troubles.

      Suggest you look at the facts and evidence to what I have said. Can you do better???

      1. liberals hate says:

        Yes I can. You need to look at the facts. The governor was handcuffed by a liberal house and senate that would not address our financial shortfalls. They felt the way to balance the budget was to increase taxes. The govenor felt the way to balance the budget was to get spending under control. The 2010 vote proves the people of this state felt Pawlenty was right in trying to control spending. Any questions?

        1. Josh says:

          @Liberals Hate
          Only a conservative would “hate”, and support a Governor who turned this state into a sinkhole, while proudly proclaiming that they don’t, and that he didn’t.

        2. Paul says:

          Sorry your posts don’t make any sense. I am a conservative independent voter and would never vote for this double talking liar. It he is the best that the Republicans can come up with I will vote for Obama. Not Mr fee’s

  10. Bill says:

    And exactly what is that change, More tax breaks for the elite and gutter jobs and caves for the middle class?

    1. liberalshate says:

      I am willing to bet that you don’t live in a cave, don’t have a job, and don’t pay taxes.

      1. Swamp Rat says:

        It’s the folks like Bill who pay their taxes and work hard for a living that are stating the obvious. Are you some fat cat living on a hilltop counting all you millions?

        Res Ipsa Loquitur! [Latin–“This matter speaks for itself”!]

        1. liberals hate says:

          How do you know Bill works hard and pays taxes? I know he doesn’t live in a cave.

          1. Josh says:

            @Liberals Hate
            Go ahead and continue voting against your best interests. Conservatives can’t wait until the entire middle class is living in a cardboard box, fighting for panhandling space.

  11. marie says:

    ha, ha. ha.ha .ha….. really give us a break. What a joke!!

  12. James says:

    With competition like this, the 2012 Presidential race is Obama’s to lose.

  13. Allison says:

    My God, Minnesota suffered enough…
    Don’t make the rest of America feel our pain…

  14. JH says:

    He left our state in financial shambles…we don’t need another G.W. Bush running our country.

    1. liberals hate says:

      Did you mean to say the democratic house and senate (at the time, since voted out) wouldn’t address our spending issues?

  15. Ankleen says:

    I think he is a joke – just like the rest of the people the Rep. are putting up.
    Can ANY of these people beat Obama – no way!

  16. GOOMBA says:

    Tim needs to learn that tax is not spelled “FEES”.

    1. Randy says:

      You got that right Just another B S politician

  17. Victim Du Jour says:

    Our whole Election Process has been hijacked and rigged by corporate run media.

    1. Me says:

      You mean like Fox and Murdoch?

  18. Macho Man says:

    Just what we need, another woman running for president.

    1. smb says:

      I think I speak for all women when I say you can keep him in your gender.

  19. Steve says:

    From Timmy Boys own mouth .” He says the country needs a president who will tell the American people the truth” Well we do to and your a liar. You said no new taxes and yet you raised fee’s and told us that they weren’t the same. What’s the old says you can fool some of the people some of the time. Well. We know you and you couldn’t run a state much less any national office. This conservative independent will not vote for you and neither will anyone I know. Your a looser. I can’t believe the people of Iowa would give you a second look.

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      Why, why, WHY do people not know the difference between “lose” and “loose??”

      Two different words with two very different meanings. This is not rocket science.

      I agreed with your comment, but dang…

  20. Terry says:

    Hard to find any posts or comments that say anything good about Pawlenty when his mug turns up on WCCO Web site. Could be why he announced it in Iowa. Everyone in Minnesota knows what a liar and looser he is.

  21. James says:

    Run Tim, run away, far, far, away!

  22. Crystal Charley says:

    But WCCO loves Timmy the Twerp. Remember, he had 9 to 10 every Friday for his talk show to promote his cause for the rich white people (very few minorities are rich enough for Timmy). Dayton was offered 7 to 8 on Saturday morning.

    WCCO now gives the ex-governor (although they still call him Governor) more coverage than Dayton. The right wing bias is common on CCO.

  23. Sandbill says:

    You folks forget that it was the GOP that put this nation in the mess it’s in now. TP will only make things that much worse and we really can’t afford his stupidity. I put him right up there with MB, who is just as clueless as TP.

  24. Mrs.JK says:

    You are so correct about WCCO having a rightwing agenda! Especially the broadcasters on WCCO radio! And the Republicans still complain about this station being too liberal! Fortunately, most people in Minnesota are smart and understand and know their political facts verses the Republican way of dummy it down – short term memory – partial truths!
    Knowledge is Power and the right-wingers hate that about moderates and democrats!

  25. He stuck Hennepin county, now it's payback time. says:

    “No New Taxes!” Timmy allowed fees to increase way more than the taxes that would have gone up and he stuck Hennepin county with the bill for the Twins stadium just before he left office.

    Sorry buddy, you’ll not get my vote.

  26. No Pawlenty says:

    Funny how he says that they have to raise the age for social security and they have already been doing it. It’s too bad he doesn’t come up with any new ideas. Asked a question and he talks around it. Not much to look forward for him compaigning. I wonder how long it will take the rest of the states to catch unto what he didn’t do for Minnesota.

    1. No Pawlenty says:

      Also he wants to raise the taxes on the retired rich and not on the other rich people. Then he will hit the middle class. What class is he in??

  27. A Voter says:

    Tightwad Pawlenty’s cuts left us with some of the worst roads in Minnesota history, not to mention a collapsed bridge.

  28. smb says:

    He’s already written off winning MN. He doesn’t even have the guts to start his campaign here because he knows what he did to us and he can’t win.

    The last two years of his term he spent more time in Iowa than here. He should have pulled a Palin and quit early, we would have been better off.

  29. the crux of the biscuit says:

    When asked his IQ he held up a finger and said, ‘One less than this….’

  30. Skip says:

    Tim Pawlenty could not be the best man in an all girl school!! He never solved any problems of consequence here in Minnesota, so now he thinks he can go off to the Presidency and not solve problems there too?
    Give it a rest Tim. You are making yourself look foolish.

  31. pss says:

    GOD HELP US !!!!!!!!

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