SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will sharply criticize President Obama in a speech to national Republicans Thursday in what is being viewed as a step towards a potential presidential run in 2012.
Pawlenty will take Obama to task for his approach to reforming the nation's health care system as well as the president's efforts to revive the ailing economy, a source close to the governor told CNN.
The source added that Pawlenty's address to the Republican National Committee Summer Meeting will give him an opportunity to "introduce himself" to these GOP leaders.
Pawlenty was said to be on the short list in 2008 to be Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate, and he was recently named to a leadership position in the Republican Governors Association.