Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said on Sunday he was confident he would improve his ratings in the upcoming Ames straw poll.
The former Minnesota governor has been trailing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in recent polls in Iowa, the first caucus state, but said he will move from “the back of the pack” in next weekend’s poll.
“At the Ames straw poll next week the proof will be in the pudding,” he said in an interview on Fox News. “I’m unique in this race because I can unite the entire conservative movement. ... Many of the other candidates can appeal to one chunk of that, but I can appeal to all of them.”
Pawlenty said he does not think he needs to beat Bachmann but added that she lacks a record of political accomplishments and executive experience. “That’s one of the qualities I bring to the race,” he said.
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.