Washington (CNN) – Potential Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty posted a video Thursday on his website that offers a biographical snapshot and emphasizes his conservative credentials a full year before the first test of the GOP presidential primary.
At no point in the 3 minute and 34 second video does Pawlenty mention his interest in running for the White House, but based upon his political travel and organizing activities the retiring governor is taking the necessary steps to launch a campaign for the GOP nomination.
While Pawlenty is a two-term governor, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and was on the short list to be Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential race, public polling shows he trails other well known Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich in hypothetical 2012 match-ups.
Sitting in a chair, a tieless Pawlenty narrates the short bio video in which he stresses his blue collar roots. As the background music gains momentum into a cinematic crescendo, the Minnesota governor outlines his conservative fiscal philosophy.
"We need strong leaders who are going to stand up, rise up, tell the truth, tell the American people the system is broken, it's headed towards the cliff and we need to stop it before it happens," Pawlenty says in the video that highlights his political action committee. "And the way we do that is to start by getting control on spending, have a budget, live within our means, set priorities and then do those things that we are going to do well. But we have to start reducing and slowing down spending in every other category."
Pawlenty also appears to try and differentiate himself from the other potential GOP candidates, think Romney, as he explains his appeal beyond Republican base voters.
"When people say, 'Oh you Republicans, you know, you don't understand us, you haven't walked in our shoes, you don't know what its like to worry about whether you can afford gas for your car, whether you are going to have health care, whether you can even get to college or pay your tuition for college," Pawlenty says. "I can look them right in the eye and say, 'Yes I have. I've walked exactly in those shoes. I've lived that life and so I can relate to them with some credibility that at least allows me to make the case from a conservative standpoint of why our ideas, our values, our principles are better for their hopes and dreams.'"
Pawlenty heads to Iowa this weekend, home to the first nominating contest in the GOP presidential campaign early in 2012. But in August 2011, a straw poll considered to be a reliable yardstick to measure a candidate's strength in the state, will be held in Ames.
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