Pawlenty with vander plaats in iowa.jpg

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) has been hitting the pavement hard in Iowa, looking for a solid finish in this Saturday's straw poll in Ames. As part of his late push, Pawlenty is showcasing his pro-life credentials.

Today in Des Moines, Pawlenty met up with a pro-life bus tour put on by the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Susan B. Anthony list. Speaking outside the state capitol, Pawlenty reminded everyone that he coathored Minnesota's gay marriage ban, Dave Weigel reports.

Standing behind Pawlenty was Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowa-based socially conservative group The FAMiLY Leader, seen above fourth from the left. Vander Plaats has positioned himself as a potential GOP kingmaker in Iowa, where social conservatives enjoy significant sway in the Republican presidential caucuses.

Image credit: Dave Weigel