News / USA

Former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty Joins US Presidential Race

former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (center) (file photo)
former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (center) (file photo)

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has officially entered the race for the U.S. Republican Party’s presidential nomination, hoping to become a viable alternative to the current frontrunner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.  But another prominent Republican governor has decided against a White House bid next year.

Tim Pawlenty launched his 2012 presidential campaign in the Midwest state of Iowa, which will hold the first nominating contest early next year.

The 50-year-old Pawlenty served two terms as governor of Minnesota and is little known nationally.  But some experts believe Pawlenty could position himself as a strong contender in the Republican field if current frontrunner Mitt Romney stumbles.

Pawlenty talked about his priorities on NBC’s Today program.

“Our country needs new leadership.  We have got to get this economy moving again.  President Obama unfortunately does not have the courage to look the American people in the eye and tell them the tough truth the things that we are going to need to do to get our spending under control.  I will do that,” he said.

Another prominent Republican has bowed out of the race, citing family concerns.  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is a favorite of economic conservatives and had been urged to run by former First Lady Laura Bush.  But Daniels has decided to pass on the 2012 race and joins other well-known Republicans now on the sidelines - including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and New York businessman Donald Trump.

One lesser known candidate who has also joined the race is Georgia businessman Herman Cain, the only African-American in the Republican field.  Cain is a favorite of followers of the Tea Party movement that advocates for a smaller central government.

Cain announced his candidacy in Atlanta. “Just to be clear, let me say it again.  I am running for president of the United States and I am not running for second!,” he said.

Those Republicans in the race at the moment include Pawlenty, Cain, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Romney and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman are also expected to enter the race soon.  Huntsman recently concluded his tenure as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.

Huntsman took issue with U.S. involvement in Libya in a recent interview on ABC’s Good Morning America program. “We probably do not need to be in certain parts of the Middle East where there are domestic revolutions playing out where we probably just ought to let them play out,” he said.

Recent polls suggest a large number of Republicans are not satisfied with the current presidential field and would like to see additional candidates join.  Some Republicans are hoping to draft candidates into running who so far have said "No", including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

Ryan said he was not interested on NBC’s Meet the Press. “My point is I am not running for president.  You never know what opportunities present themselves way down the road.  I am not talking about right now.  And I want to focus on fixing the fiscal problems of this country,” he said.

Republicans are still waiting to hear from two other potential contenders, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.  Palin says she has not decided on the 2012 race, while Bachmann has promised an answer by next month.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs