(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made his first visit to the early primary state of South Carolina on Tuesday and became the latest potential presidential candidate to donate to Republican Nikki Haley's gubernatorial campaign.
Pawlenty spoke to about sixty activists and business leaders at the Spartanburg home of South Carolina GOP chairwoman Karen Floyd about the threat of government spending and the need to elect Republicans in November, according to people present at the fundraiser, which benefited the state party.
Though he was accompanied on the trip by Terry Nelson, a senior adviser to his political operation, Pawlenty did not mention any potential White House ambitions.
He also chatted privately with Haley, an up-and-coming GOP star who is certain to be a key player in presidential politics as the 2012 primary season approaches.
Potential White House candidates Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney each endorsed and contributed to Haley before her primary and runoff victories earlier this month, with Romney managing to donate an eye-popping $42,000 through various chapters of his Free and Strong America political action committee.
Pawlenty donated $3,500 to Haley this week through his Freedom First PAC, according to his spokesman Alex Conant, and $3,000 to Sen. Jim DeMint. Both Haley and DeMint backed Romney during the last presidential cycle.
The Minnesota governor has more political activity scheduled for Wednesday, when he travels to Rock Hill to help raise money for House candidate Mick Mulvaney. Along with donations to Haley and DeMint, Pawlenty has contributed $2,000 to Mulvaney and the rest of state's Republican congressional candidates: Tim Scott, Jeff Duncan and Rep. Joe Wilson.
He's also slated to attend a luncheon in Columbia with several of the state's business leaders and top GOP donors who are looking for a candidate to back in 2012. According to former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who was invited to the sit-down, the lunch meeting will include "a group of very influential Republicans."
After the lunch, Pawlenty and Nelson will meet with Republican strategists Richard Quinn and Trey Walker - the team that managed John McCain's two presidential campaigns in the state - along with several GOP statewide candidates, including lieutenant governor candidate Ken Ard and Attorney General candidate Alan Wilson.
As a born and raised Minnesotan and a Minnesotan resident for the vast majority of my life, I would consider it an honor and a priviledge to vote against Tim Pawlenty in the 2012 Presidential election.
I hope they used small words when talking with Pawlenty. He's done a terrible job as our governor and is well known for not being able to acknowledge any ideas but his own. Why he's trying to push his pencil neck into national politics is a mystery to all Minnesotans, considering his dismal record and innumerable failures.
Keep marching in lockstep wingnuts, the cliff is near.
Hey folks – This is the guy who doesn't pay his bills to keep a "balanced" budget. Don't you wish we could all do that? He keeps postponing payments to local municipalities and school districts that was promised to them but he has kept his promise not to raise taxes. Of course we are all paying alot more "fees" for services that used to be covered under our taxes. Because of his taxation philosophy my real estate taxes (city, county & school district) have gone up 100% since he took office. The man has no heart for the disadvantaged (wanted to cut General Assistance payments-called his veto in from some Tea Party rah rah meeting) but loves big business and the advantaged (tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.) And then there is the middle class – we are just suppose to support everything – that's if we still have a job. He is dragging us done the tubes for his personal philosophies,
A bunch of racist red necks...why on earth would any person who is not interested in going back to jim crow days in SC welcome this immoral group of hipocrits.
Governor Pawlenty, it's easy for you to be a Sam's Club Republican when you've got a Nordstrom's income. You've financially ruined one of the best states in the Union.