WASHINGTON - Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said on Tuesday he was entering the race to be the Republican candidate for the White House in 2012 against Democratic President Barack Obama.
"I'm running for President," Pawlenty said in an excerpt of a CNN interview taped for broadcast on Tuesday evening. "I'm not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I'm focused on running for president."
Pawlenty last month became the first high-profile Republican to show serious intent to run, announcing in a video on his Facebook page that he would set up a presidential exploratory committee, a formal step toward seeking his party's nomination.