Former Minnesota governor Pawlenty enters U.S. presidential race

08:32, May 24, 2011      

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Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty Monday officially announced his candidacy for U.S. president in crucial caucus state Iowa, kicking off the campaign to unseat President Barack Obama.

"In my campaign, I'm going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the truth. The truth is Washington D.C.'s broken, " Pawlenty said in Des Moines. "It's time for new leadership. It's time for a new approach."

Criticizing Obama's handling of the economy and health care, Pawlenty promised to unite the Republican Party and the country.

Pawlenty's announcement kicked off a multi-state campaign that includes Florida, New Hampshire, New York and Washington D.C..

Before the announcement, Pawlenty had already formed a presidential exploratory committee, and filed with the Federal Election Commission on March 21.

Pawlenty's views cater to many social conservatives, but he's relatively unknown outside his home state. Pawlenty also touts himself as a fiscal conservative.

Except for Pawlenty, other serious Republican contenders for the presidential race include Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, according to media reports.

Source: Xinhua
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