PRESS RELEASE from Pawlenty for President Exploratory Committee

For Immediate Release Press contact: Alex Conant
March 21, 2011
Pawlenty Announces Formation of Presidential Exploratory Committee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Governor Tim Pawlenty announced today he is forming an exploratory committee to run for President of the United States and filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to create the Pawlenty for President Exploratory Committee.

The Governor made his announcement in a video posted on Facebook. He is the first presidential candidate in history to launch his campaign on the social network. Watch the announcement at

"We have a great country, but we're headed in the wrong direction. We need a real debate with President Obama, so the American people can decide how to get this country back on track," Governor Pawlenty said. "I will unite the Republican Party around my optimistic vision. We need to make the tough decisions to reform and renew the American dream. I am looking forward to making my case."

Following the announcement, Governor Pawlenty's exploratory committee launched a new website at The new website features PawlentyAction, which empowers supporters to organize and communicate online.

Earlier this year, Governor Pawlenty completed his second term as governor of Minnesota. During his 8 years in office, he cut taxes and spending and passed market-based health care and education reforms. He was one of only four governors to receive an "A" grade for fiscal responsibility from the Cato Institute.

Governor Pawlenty lives in Eagan, Minnesota, with his wife, Mary, and two teenage daughters, Anna and Mara.

# # #

Build up to Exploratory Announcement



Partial Transcript of Conference Call with Supporters, March 21, 2011

...good morning everybody and thanks for taking the time to be on this call.  And those of us who are on this call are people who are friends and supporters of mine and Mary's over many years, and this is the first group that we're talking to today on an important day, but before I get to that news and announcement, I want to just take a minute and express gratitude to each of you.  Some are family members on this call, others are political supporters, others are just encouragers who have pulled alongside disconnected from politics, but I want to personally and in a heartfelt way thank each and every one of you for all the support, encouragement, friendship and help that you've given to me, to Mary, to our efforts in Minnesota over a long time.  And I think we've made a huge difference in that great state—now it's time to do what we can to get this country moving in a better direction.

That's why I asked people to be on this call today to make this announcement.  We're filing the paperwork today to form an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States.  This exploratory committee will be the next step in the process.  It's not the full announcement, but that will, assuming the exploratory committee goes well, that will come soon enough.  But this exploratory committee will put a formal committee in place, a structure in place, an organization in place to take these initial steps to run for president of the United States.

Now we're doing this not because of a committee or legal steps or compliance—[but] because this is the greatest nation that the world has ever known, and it's in trouble, and it needs a new direction and it needs new leadership.

With all due respect to President Obama, I think he's taken this country in the wrong direction.  We have a country that is great because for a variety of reasons, but mostly because we're the freeest country the world has ever known, and as he continues to push up government spending, continues to have this expansive over-reaching burdensome view of the role of government in people's lives and in markets in the interaction between government and people, it suppresses and discourages that freedom.

For those of us who see that, those of us who know that, it's important that we all do what we can to push back and reclaim a better direction and a brighter future for America, and that's what I intend to do by running for president and winning the presidency of this country if I choose to run.

Of course we've got to be a number of other things, including we've got to be secure.  And we see in the news today and of course in recent times the importance of America's role in the world as it relates to security.  And when we have President Sarkozy dictating the pace and terms and conditions for security initiatives in the world, we know that we've entered into a new era in terms of America's place in leadership and vision for security around the world and that concerns me greatly. 

There's many, many other issues that we're going to have to tackle including we need to be the smartest nation in the world, and that means we're going to have to have government reform in all levels.  In terms of education reform we're going to have to have not a government monopoly; we're going to have to have accountable, high-performing, high-functioning, results-oriented school systems.  That's mostly a state and local issue, but so important to the strategic future of our country.  And then of course we have this whole issue of just government spending and the willingness and ability to take on government entitlement programs and government programs from a spending perspective and a performance perspective.  They're just out of control.  I did this in one of the toughest environments politically in the country, in Minnesota, and I'm confident I can do it for the country as a whole moving forward. 

So those are some of the themes that we're going to be talking about going forward.  Leadership matters, ideas matter; we're in a competition against the other side, against a very different world view or philosophy about the role and scope and size of government in people's lives.  We of course have a very different view.  I think ours is a better view, and I'm going to go out and sell that in a, present that in a optimistic, hopeful, can-do constructive attitude, not based on slogans or anything other than a record and an ability and a confidence that we've demonstrated that we can bring forward for the country as a whole...