Tim Pawlenty Filing Papers to Start 2012 Presidential Bid

Mar 21, 2011, 11:11 by David Hope

Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota Governor, could be the second Republican inching a step closer to announcing a bid to become the party's 2012 presidential nominee. Pawlenty said he would be filing paperwork today to organize an exploratory committee to test the presidential candidacy waters, Politico reported.

The announcement will be made officially on Pawlenty's Facebook page, which said: "Special message available exclusively on Facebook � today. 'Like' this page for access."

The exploratory effort will be based in Minneapolis.

"With all due respect for President Obama, I think he's taken this country in the wrong direction," Pawlenty said in a conference call with supporters. "This is the greatest nation this world has ever known and it's in trouble and it needs a new direction and it needs new leadership."

An aide, Phil Musser, asked donors to wait until April 1 to contribute to Pawlenty's campaign to avoid the impression that he tried but failed to raise money in the first quarter, Politico said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced recently he had launched a Web site to gauge support for his possible bid to be the Republican presidential nominee.

Source: UPI