(CNN) – In what could be considered a build up towards a bid for the White House in 2012, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is announcing the formation of political action committees in Iowa and New Hampshire - the first two states to vote in the presidential primary calendar.
But a Pawlenty spokesman tells CNN Wednesday that setting up these PACs is all about this year's midterm elections, not the next presidential race.
"These state PACs will allow Tim Pawlenty to better help local candidates in this fall's elections," says Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant. "As for what happens after the midterm elections, the Governor's said he'll decide what to do next in early 2011."
Pawlenty's announcement last summer that he would not run this year for a third term as governor was a tip off that he was considering a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Since then, Pawlenty has been very visible, speaking out against the Obama administration and appearing at a number of major Republican and conservative events. He also became vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association and announced a group of new advisers, several of whom advised Pawlenty's likely 2012 rival - former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney - during his 2008 presidential bid.
Pawlenty also set up Freedom First PAC, a federal political action committee, last October, to help pay for travel across the country. It also allows him to assist and contribute to fellow Republicans on the ballot this year. There's a $5,000 per person donation cap for the federal PAC, but there are no such restrictions on the state political action committees.
The forming of the national PAC last year and the new state political action committees also may help Pawlenty raise his profile. And polls suggest Pawlenty could use some help in that area.
Most national surveys of the 2012 GOP nomination battle place Pawlenty in the single digits. And fifty-three percent of those questioned in an Iowa poll, conducted for the Des Moines Register and released last week, say they don't know enough about him to form a favorable or unfavorable opinion, even though he's governor of neighboring Minnesota. Thirty-two percent in that same poll said they have a favorable view of him.
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
either way doesn't matter, run or don't run, he is a tool and says just some ignorant stuff when he speaks
glad he will waste GOPer money
T-Paw doesn't stand a chance. If you align yourself with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, you're a loser in my book.
Notice: not in his own state! Pawlenty’s leadership has taken the state of Minnesota from having a financial surplus to having a $5 billion dollar deficit.
Helping other candidates? Minority Leader John A. Boehner has collected more than $1.4 million from business interests this election cycle for a committee he says he created to help fellow Republican lawmakers. But Boehner's committee has spent only about a third of its money helping other candidates.
Beware of who you donate to – Rubio (R) in Florida is already under investigation by the IRS!
What does he have to offer this country? Pawlenty of nothing!
he would be worse than McCain!
This country saw enough of Pawlenty when he was trying to steal a legitimate election from Al Franken to keep another GOP thief in office illegally. His frequent idiotic comments around the country and his stance on many questionable subjects will leave Pawlenty and Palin crying in thier beer if they even get a nomination. Do not know where the intelligence of Minnesotans went with the current group of losers.Three pee's in a pod Pawlenty, Palin ,and Paul . Pretty hard to get a group of losers that bad together. Then again the party of NO'S will try anything to get control of the country and start anpother WAR to kill America's youth.
He'll never be elected president, he is too close to the John McCain crowd. Plus, he did quite a number on the Minnesota folks.
Do we really need Interstate Bridges falling all over the country? If so, this will be the man to vote for.
Nice to see some new blood to consider, in a candidate.
Another delusional do-nothing Republican who thinks the American People will not notice they have no leadership qualities, no solutions or logical positions on issues facing working families, and have lied their way through this Congressional year to meet their goal of having America fail.
Minnesota hates Gov Pawlenty and has also realized what a total lunatic Michelle Bachmann is too.
Republicans are bad for America and we need to get all of these crazy whiners and liars out of our government so we can keep moving our nation forward.
Those willing to send money to a Pawlenty PAC should first Google Minnesota Budget 2000-2010.
From what I have read, Pawlenty has done a terrible job as governor of Minnesota, so what nmakes him think he is presidential material?
Guess anyone who walks the irresponsible, hypocritical republican walk, talks the hypocritical republican talk thinks they qualify.
Pawlenty you should hope to keep your day job for you will NOT be President of the USA
Has this numbnut spent even an hour governing MN since he was elected?
Pawlenty can run to Iowa and any place else he wants but there is no where in the world he can go that will hide his dismal record in Minnesota. He RUINED OUR STATE, THE WAY BUSH RUINED THE COUNTRY.
Another Republican moron hopeful who needs to get a life and go away from Iowa because his type of stupidity is NOT what Iowans wiull vote for. All Republicans who have any sort of tea party leaning, Stay Out of Iowa, we have a law against stupid people cluttering up our streets and it means all Tea Partiers, the stupidest people in the wolrd!
Pawlenty should save his money. He only makes independents think that maybe Obama isn't quite as bad as they thought.