Dodge City, Iowa (CNN) – On Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty put a fresh twist on his recent tactic of calling out his GOP opponents - in this case lumping Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann together in a single slam.
The former Minnesota governor also talked about the political perils of chronically ranking "sixth or seventh place" in recent polls.
Pawlenty spoke to a small crowd assembled in a public library's conference room in Dodge City, Iowa. He reiterated his stance against President Obama's handling of the economy, "Obamacare," and government spending - and played up his conservative bona fides.
But the candidate also let loose harsh-but-veiled swipes against his fellow Republican presidential contenders.
"We got one leading candidate in this race who's running away from his record. We got another leading candidate in this race who has no record. I'm running on my record. That's a big difference," Pawlenty said.
He continued: "Well I think when you want to think about making somebody president you want to know some things. You want to know what have they done, not just by flapping their jaw or giving speeches or offering failed amendments in Congress. What have they really done? What results have they achieved?"
Rep. Michele Bachmann is in her third term in Congress and currently tops Pawlenty in some Iowa polls.
After the speech, CNN asked Pawlenty if, indeed, his slams were aimed at Bachmann and Romney – two people he's previously criticized, separately.
"My record in Minnesota of cutting taxes, reducing spending, and doing health care reform the right way... stands in contrast to Congresswoman Bachmann – in terms of the sense I actually have results. And in contrast to Gov. Romney in terms of, we took a different direction, I think a better and more conservative direction in my policies," Pawlenty said.
Meanwhile, the candidate also talked about August 13's critical Ames Straw Poll, which will test his popularity in Iowa as well as the other GOP contenders. Iowa's caucuses early next year are the nation's first major presidential contest.
"Our goal for the Ames Straw Poll is to move from back of the pack towards the front of the pack. And I'm confident we will," Pawlenty said, adding, "We definitely gotta show some progress."
He mentioned television and radio ads, direct mailings and his frequent campaigning in Iowa.
"I think you're going to see us move up nicely from sixth or seventh place to a better position in the Ames Straw Poll," Pawlenty said.
Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN
well at least T-Paw has decided to finally attack the ones that are going after the same job that he wants.....and of course it has to be the ones ahead of him in the polls. The rest have been doing nothing but slamming Obama all the time, yet before they even get to run against him they need to decide wish one of these so-called 2012ers should get them nod.
Folks, Romney supports OBamacare. Don't vote for him. And he's a Mormon, which is fine for him, but if you're a Christian, you shouldn't vote for him.
Timmy [Mr. Courage to Stand] will be walking this back in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Oh, and one other thing, Mr. Pawlenty. Can we expect you to play the same shell game with America's finances as you played with Minnesotas? You sure left that place in a mess facing a $6B deficit.
He'll apologize to both tomorrow. T-Paw is spinless.
One GOP candidate (Romney) is, as Pawlenty says, running from his record. Contrary to what Pawlenty says, the record being run from is actually one of positive accomplishments. According to Pawlenty, another GOP candidate (Bachmann) has no record of real accomplishments on which to run. Pawlenty is right about that. But if Pawenty thinks he has a positive record of accomplishments on which to run, he needs to rethink that position. Almost everyone from Minnesota that I have seen comment on his record as Governor has nothing but bad things to say. I think we should listen to Minnesotans about this man. It is not clear that he could even carry his own home state as a favorite son.
Still the critic with no message. Karl Rove is gone- Pawlenty- style politics should follow suit.
I don't see Romney running from any record. He is accounting for everything he's done. His record is his record and that is exactly why I'm voting for him.
One second, two, and 3, I didn't say that! I was wrongly misquoted brah brah.....
Dear Reporter: Where in the heck is Dodge City, Iowa? I've lived in Iowa all of my life, and I don't believe such a place exists. Could you have meant Fort Dodge, Iowa? That's kind of a basic fact. Please do better in the future.
Earth to Shannon Travis: Bachmann leads Pawlenty in all Iowa polls by at least 10 percentage points.
"Rep. Michele Bachmann is in her third term in Congress and currently tops Pawlenty in some Iowa polls."
Did Timmy mention how he left MN in deep debt? Hmmmmm? That's the kind of information voters want to know ...
Timmy, what part of the polls saying the people don't want you do you not understand?
Pawlenty needs to do more to challenge Bachmann more. Where has leadership been? Why hasn't she done more in the House? He needs to challenge her on speeches and the votes she has taken. That needs to be an issue.
I lived in Minnesota while Mr. Pawlenty was Governor. What he doesn't mention about his experience is that he left the state facing a budget gap which resulted in a state government shutdown. Mr. Pawlenty was too busy beginning his campaign for president and making decisions that would appeal to his base nationally to make the decisions that were right for the state.
paw man, we will always remember you for giving us "romneycare". That is about it! Give it up.
Don't worry, he'll appologze for it by the end of the day.
Tim Pawlenty is as boring as they come.. You are a weak person you ran from Mitt Romney at the last republican debate, now you are attacking Michelle Bachman? NEWSFLASH! you will not be getting the nomination along with these 2.. You bring nothing to the table and you are not a leader. Even though I will be voting for OBAMA/BIDEN 2012. It is a shame none of these republicans have nothing to offer.