Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee Monday in a video posted to his Facebook page.
With shots of the Twin Cities throughout the two-minute video, the Republican touted his hometown and eight years serving as governor.
“We proved we can restore limited government in America,” Pawlenty said of his two terms leading the state. “This country was founded on freedom. We the people of the United States will take back our government. This is our country.”
“There is a brighter future for America,” Pawlenty said, citing the unemployment problems he witnessed while touring the country in the past year. “We know what we need to do: grow jobs, limit government spending and tackle entitlements.”
The exploratory committee will allow Pawlenty to begin raising and spending money ahead of formally launching a 2012 bid, which he is expected to do later this year. He is the first of the top-tier 2012 contenders to make the exploratory move.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.