By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV and By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

DES MOINES, Iowa (WCCO) — Tim Pawlenty spent nearly two years testing the waters when it came to vying to be the nation’s next president.

The former Minnesota governor made his plans official Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, saying he will be the candidate that tells the truth to the American people about the hard decisions that will need to be made to eliminate the budget deficit.

Pawlenty made his first public appearance Monday since announcing his candidacy late Sunday. He told supporters and GOP activists in the leadoff caucus state the nation can no longer afford to support the corn-based fuel additive.

Pawlenty stressed accountability when it comes to public employee unions.

“It means paying public employees for results, not just seniority and it means from the capitol to the classroom and everywhere in between we are going to make public employees more accountable and their pay and benefits more in line with the rest of the taxpayers in the country,” Pawlenty said.

“I have participated in these issues with deed, not words, and we have made progression in Minnesota and helped the national effort as well,” Pawlenty said.

Iowa is considered a must-win state for Pawlenty, and that’s why he decided to go to Iowa to announce his decision instead of staying in his home state. Ken Martin, the chair of the Minnesota DFL party, blasted the move.

“I think it’s a real slap in the face to Minnesotans that Tim Pawlenty would come down to Iowa and make the announcement,” Martin said.

But people in Iowa who attended the announcement said they were impressed.

“I think he is very presidential,” said George Hasan. Hasan said he is also drawn to another Minnesota Republican, Michele Bachmann.

“I think Michele is a very intelligent articulate lady who is very up on the issues,” he said.

Many people who attended said they liked what Pawlenty had to say, but that it’s too early to choose a candidate.

“I haven’t entirely decided yet,” said Mary Whisenand.

Pawlenty didn’t choose Monday to attack the other GOP candidates in the running, but he did criticize current President Barack Obama.

“I have noticed in all of their speeches they’re not taking apart other candidates,” said Iowan Alice Cronan. “They’re going after Obama. I hope they continue to do so because that, to me, is going to help build the unity of the party.”

Pawlenty will now fly to Florida and New Hampshire in the coming days, two very key states in the presidential race. Experts said he still needs to do very, very well in Iowa to sustain the fundraising he needs for a presidential campaign.

Comments (30)
  1. Joe says:

    *eyeroll* Stay in Iowa, Timmeh. they clearly like you better there, and have no clue how you really roll.

  2. Burf the Smurf says:

    “I think Michele is a very intelligent articulate lady who is very up on the issues,”

    Must not have access to any sort of mass communication in Iowa.

  3. Glen says:

    How embarassing for Minnesota.

    1. Glenda says:

      How so Glen? Are you new to politics and Iowa’s influence?

  4. Michael Emerson says:

    The first candidate who says that we have to raise taxes on the wealthy, cut defense (by 100’s of millions) and put a break on entitlement growth is the only candidate telling the truth. Omit one of those things, and you are glossing over reality. The chance of Tim doing that? 0.000000%

    1. Ron says:

  5. Johnson says:

    He’s LAME!

    His ‘Budget Fixes’ caused our property taxes to increase 7x during his years in office.

    WIMPY TIMMY It’ll be good to see you gone once and for all!

  6. Sam says:

    It’s not embarrassing to Minnesota; it is a relief he is gone.
    Here’s the T-Paw plan:
    1. Take money from the Feds to help balance your budget, then criticize federal borrowing.
    2. “Borrow” money from your state’s school districts to fill the remaining hole.
    3. Go cheap on infrastructure. If a bridge or two collapses, that only matters to the people on the bridge.
    4. Reduce every state’s economy to that of South Carolina, since Republicans are popular there.

    1. Josh says:

      Don’t forget: they’re not taxes…..they’re FEES.

  7. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:


    Are you openly saying you are anti-military, a Marxist and a Socialist all at the same time? If you talk like that in public, you are one courageous comrade!

    1. Patrick says:

      You didn’t read what he said very carefully did you? Nice job throwing buzz words at him though. Are you looking for work at FOX news?

      1. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:

        Socialism? Marxism? Buzz words? We are still waiting for for a closet MInnesota Socialist and or Marxist to have the courage to come right out and say what they seem to believe judging their writings.

  8. Hunter1 says:

    Makes perfect sense for him to announce it in a big battleground state. I would love to see a Pawlenty/Bachmann ticket.

    1. Dumb and Dumber! says:

      We just did! That’s why Minnesota is $6B in the hole.

  9. Wawawa says:

    So he left Minnesota in a mess and now he’s going to create a bigger mess with the United States? Tim, do us all a favor and stay out of politics!

  10. curly says:

    Nice fake southern twangy accent Tea Paw! I guess you got this truthfulness thing down!

  11. Murph says:

    Hey,IOWA ask him to tell the TRUTH ! about his 12/30/2009 district court conviction FIRST!!! Tim is desperate for a job,any job! He’s just working his way DOWNHILL is all! If you love ALL kinds of corn,he spews a lot of it!!! He’s a ghoul! Like all the rest! Just a little sneakier is all,plus he was convicted of it! SHHHH,don’t tell the rest of the country,that would be to much honesty for the GOP to bear!

  12. HERB says:

    More of the same lies! Tim is too much of a coward to face reality. ALL of his fixes benefit the wealthy at the cost of the middle class and the poor. I personally do not want another “bait and switch” President like Bush. TP has demonstrated total disrespect of the law of the land with his cigarette “FEE”. A clear end run around terms of a federal court settlement, signed by TP, stating that no new tax will be imposed on cigarettes to offset health care of those with smoking related diseases.

    It is clear that Tim caters to wealth and will work hard to see that the rest of us get short changed. I am however all for a Pawlenty/Bachmann ticked in 2012. It is an absolute guarantee that Obama will be re-elected in a landslide. Republicans will never regain the White House by being elected by the voters. As a matter of fact, the last two terms (prior to Obama) were not decided by the voters, they were decided by a fixed Supreme Court. Yell all you want, the facts are as I have stated and available for anyone to discover with a little research. Most who really want to know the truth already know this, those who do not probably prefer the “FOX FIX” so they may continue their blind support of the “societally irresponsible” greed worshipers that we all know as the Republican Party.

  13. Betty says:

    I don’t know why anyone would vote for a Republican again after the games Walker has pulled in Wisconsin! Are the Koch brothers paying for his election too? Be careful people! They are out to balance the budget by taking away social security, medicare, medicade, bust the unions, cut minimum wage, get rid of pensions so the jobs can come back for 5 bucks an hour. This is their main agenda. Give it all to the rich and keep invading countries. Reminds me of Russia in its glory days. Mayday parade, anyone? They have threatened everybodys security and if they get in, believe me, we are a suburb of Mexico.

    1. Barry says:

      Maybe you are Berry

    2. Alton Lee says:

      I think you are accurate on that, Two former Republicans in Mn would not even endorse him. He only worked for a few in Mn, The tax payers league. Heaven help us if he becomes president!

  14. Paul says:

    GOD HELP US !!!

  15. Dot says:

    I saw a guy in a coffee shop after the announcement and he said that former Gov. Pawlenty knew better than to announce in MN because we know him here.

    1. M B says:

      That was also my thought on the matter when I saw that. Here we know he messed things up. We can hope the world sees that when a state that elected a Pro Wrestler thinks this guy is not president material, that maybe, just maybe they should pay attention.,.

  16. Sick of sick of says:

    I asked this question a couple of days ago and no GOP hating genius has taken the time to educate me so I ask again:

    Why would the Democrats do any better if the election were held next week than they did 7 months ago when they were massacred all over America?

    Could an unknown candidate with little or no experience emerge to become our President? How about an unknown WITH experience? Go Tim!

    1. quiet on the TeaPotty Chair says:

      nope and no and nope

      not a snots drip off Bachmanns chin’s worth of bs could make it happen. 😉

  17. marie says:

    Funny, it’s like a late April fools joke. T Paw … blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

  18. JT says:

    Just LET him become pres…I will pack my family and move to the UK. The land is similar to MN in the north country, they have fresh markets year round for food, and NO PAWLENTY!

  19. Tell the Truth, Tim says:

    ……are you really sure? Because I wasn’t sure today if you were telling us, asking us for permission or apologizing for running for President.

  20. mike says:

    Go move out of this great country and try to find one as good as here. You are going to have a hard time finding one and come on people the dems came in and said they were going to save this country but all they have done is spend money like its nothing. Does not matter who is voted in they need to cut spending and Obama has shown he does not know how to stop.

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