Tim Pawlenty Makes It Official With a Video, Speech and Op-Ed

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Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty on Sunday released a video pre-announcing his midday speech in Des Moines Monday, in which he will formally launch his presidential campaign.

Along with an op-ed in USA Today and the speech itself, advance excerpts of which were provided by the campaign, it amounts to perhaps the most thorough and orderly roll-out we've yet seen in the GOP presidential primary field. From the speech:

"I'm Tim Pawlenty, and I'm running for President of the United States. We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won't get fixed if we keep going down the same path. If we want a new and better direction, we need a new and better President."

"President Obama's policies have failed. But more than that, he won't even tell us the truth about what it's really going to take to get out of the mess we're in. ... I'm going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the truth."

"We've tried Barack Obama's way -- and his way has failed. Three years into his term, we're no longer just running out of money. We're running out of time. It's time for new leadership. It's time for a new approach. And, it's time for America's president - and anyone who wants to be president - to look you in the eye and tell you the truth."

"The changes history is calling on America to make today cannot be shouldered only by people richer than us, or poorer than us - but by us, too. Politicians are often afraid that if they're too honest, they might lose an election. I'm afraid that in 2012, if we're not honest enough, we may lose our country. If we want to grow our economy, we need to shrink our government. If we want to create jobs, we need to encourage job creators. If we want our children to be free to pursue their dreams, we can't shackle them with our debts. This is a time for truth."

"No president deserves to win an election by dividing the American people - picking winners and losers, protecting his own party's spending and cutting only the other guys'; pitting classes, and ethnicities, and generations against each other. The truth is, we're all in this together. So we need to work to get out of this mess together. I'll unite our party and unite our nation, because to solve a fourteen-trillion-dollar problem, we're going to need three hundred million people."

"In Minnesota and in Washington, the issues were the same: taxes, spending, health care, unions, and the courts. But in Washington, Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes, more spending, more government, more powerful special interests, and less individual freedom. In Minnesota, I cut taxes, cut spending, instituted health care choice and performance pay for teachers, reformed our union benefits, and appointed constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court. That is how you lead a liberal state in a conservative direction."

Drop-down image credit: Reuters

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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