Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty launched his campaign for president today in a video posted on the internet.
He’ll be in Des Moines Monday to deliver a campaign kick-off speech. During an interview with Radio Iowa earlier this month, Pawlenty suggested the nation’s problems require a new approach — from a new president.
“We have a country that’s facing unbearable levels of unemployment. We have $4 a gallon gas,” Pawlenty said. “We have a federal government that in terms of its spending and in many other respects is utterly out of coontrol and the country needs a change in course.”
Pawlenty has hired a team of consultants with experience in past Iowa campaigns, including the manager of Mike Huckabee’s successful 2008 Iowa Caucus effort as well as a former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. Doug Gross, a Des Moines lawyer who supported Mitt Romney in 2008, says Pawlenty could finish “surprisingly well” in the 2012 Iowa Caucuses because of the way he’s making his case to voters.
“Pawlenty, I think, is playing this right right now,” Gross says.
Pawlenty has made a number of trips to Iowa to lay the groundwork for a presidential bid. Last year, Pawlenty helped Iowa Republicans raise money for their 2010 campaigns. He’s been consistently stressing an economic message in his public appearances. During a speech in Dubuque last summer Pawlenty touted the tax cuts signed into law by both President Reagan and President Kennedy.
“You can make a very good case based not on political rhetoric, not on right-versus-left or on people shouting at each other,” Pawlenty said, “just go back and look at those actions and the results. And they’re very positive.”
Pawlenty, though, has not yet unveiled his specific ideas for federal tax cuts.
The Republican presidential field shifted a bit this weekend. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels had been considering a bid for the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination but announced early Sunday morning that he would not run. On Saturday, former Godfather’s Pizza C.E.O. Herman Cain announced he is running.
By week’s end, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will make his first campaign-style appearance in Iowa this year. Three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul will be in Iowa Monday and Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann will be in Iowa later this week. Bachmann has indicated she is nearly ready to jump in the race.