Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will take to his Facebook page today at 3PM ET to announce an exploratory committee to seek the Republican nomination for president. You have to “like” Pawlenty in Facebook to receive the message.
Pawlenty confirmed his plans on a conference call with supporters Monday morning. He said he will file the paperwork for the exploratory committee today, adding that he expects a full announcement of a presidential run will “come soon enough.”
Pawlenty will be the third candidate – and the first seen as a legitimate contender for the nomination – to announce an exploratory committee, following talk show host and businessman Herman Cain and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer.
Pawlenty, like other Republicans, will base his argument for elective office on criticizing President Obama.
“With all due respect for President Obama, I think he’s taken this country in the wrong direction,” he said, criticizing the president for an “expansive, overreaching, burdensome view of the role of government in people’s lives.”
He also expressed concerns over America playing a secondary role in world affairs, pointing to the military action in Libya.
“When we have [French] President [Nicolas] Sarkozy dictating the pace and terms and conditions for security initiatives in the world, we know that we’ve entered a new era in terms of America’s place and leadership and vision for security around the world, and that concerns me greatly,” Pawlenty said.