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Pawlenty Reinserting Himself Into Political Debate

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time since he dropped out of the presidential race, Tim Pawlenty is reemerging in the public.

Pawlenty dropped out of the presidential races after finishing a distant third in the Iowa Straw Poll behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. On the Colbert Report, he joked was “enough for any one person to endure.”

The Pawlenty who appeared on the Report was much different from the buttoned-down governor who dropped out of the 2012 race.

On the show, he complained about presidential campaigns, which he said resemble reality TV shows.

“These races, you gotta have not just money, but you gotta have an entertainment component to it,” said Pawlenty.

In a series of national television interviews, Pawlenty reflected on his own failed campaign race and said on MSNBC Mitt Romney is the strongest Republican candidate over Rick Perry.

“You gotta have a candidate who can go get his or her share of the independents and the conservative democrats,” said Pawlenty. “I think Mitt Romney can do that. Can Rick Perry do that? We’ll see.”

With Neil Cavuto on Fox News, Pawlenty defended Romney against attacks from Ron Paul, praised Romney’s economic plan and said Republicans are likely to defeat the president.

“Barack Obama has got his own problems,” said Pawlenty. “I mean, look at his numbers. Lowest in his presidency. Right now, if the election were held today, Neil, Barack Obama would be defeated, and I think he would be defeated handily.”

Pawlenty said a few times Wednesday he’s not interested in running for Vice President. If he was, however, many political analysts say Romney is the best fit.

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