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Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sat down with Greta Van Susteren last night to discuss his 2012 prospects and the state of the race. Several Republican hopefuls were in Iowa attending a Candidate Forum hosted by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition.

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Report on Pawlenty’s visit Minnesota Public Radio:

St. Paul, Minn. — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made an appearance last night at an evangelical church near Des Moines.

He and four other possible Republican presidential candidates were there to speak to the Iowa Faith and Freedom coalition.

Pawlenty cited his record as Minnesota governor in touting his conservative credentials.

“We had the first and only government shutdown in the 150 year history of my state on my watch,” Pawlenty said. “I unalloted nearly $3 billion out of the budget by myself, which I think is more unallotments than all of the other governors in the history of the state combined, previous to my time as governor.”

Pawlenty told the group that the nation’s enormous debt is immoral, and religious faith needs to be a central part of American life.

“We need to remember this and always remember this. The Constitution was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith,” he said.

He also spoke out against same-sex marriage.

Pawlenty is a well-spoken guy who could pose a dark horse threat to the major candidates like Gingrich and Romney. Of course, that isn’t to say Pawlenty isn’t a major candidate, he just doesn’t have the same national name recognition as the two mentioned.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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