Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
says he chose Facebook to make Monday’s announcement he was forming a presidential exploratory committee, because it gives him the opportunity to reach out to new voters and “grow the conservative movement.”
“Well, of course, there’s a lot of momentum and opportunity in Facebook. And as you try to grow the conservative movement and reach out to new voters – people who are not yet on our team – that’s a great way to do it,” Pawlenty told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “And I think it’s the wave of the future – so we wanted to be on the cutting edge.”
Van Susteren asked whether Pawlenty’s exploratory committee signifies he will soon make a formal announcement to seek the GOP nomination for 2012.
“Well, it means in order to spend much money or do much, you got to have at least a legal structure in place. So we took the first step,” Pawlenty said. “Obviously, there’ll be bigger steps down the road. But it was basically just making sure we’re legal and formal and can now build the foundation we need to do to have a full-fledged campaign.
“We’re not going to draw this out for a long period of time. That formal announcement or fuller announcement will come relatively soon,” he continued. “We haven’t put a deadline on it, but it’s not going to be, you know, six months from now, it'll be sooner than that.”
Van Susteren wondered whether Pawlenty would chart a different course in Libya if he was president.
“Well, let me say first, of course, we have one president and one commander-in-chief at a time, and in these early hours – and these early days – when we have the lives of men and women in our armed forces at risk, we want to make sure that we’re as supportive as we can be,” Pawlenty said.
“We have a situation where I called for a no-fly zone – I think one of the earliest, maybe the earliest person to do it – some weeks ago,” he said. “The rebels at that time were on the verge of overthrowing [Moammar] Gadhafi. They had the momentum. They were in position to do it. Had the no-fly zone been established … I think that not only would have been successful, but it would have given the rebels the window of opportunity to overthrow him – and ridding him of his leadership in Libya would have been good for region and a good thing for the world.
“We have in the leadership of that country a confirmed terrorist who has the blood of our fellow citizens from America on his hands,” Pawlenty continued. “In my view, he’s a psychopath. He’s somebody who had designs on nuclear capabilities – currently has weapons of mass destruction capabilities in the form of chemical weapons. And he’s an individual that has been a very significant menace to the region and really to the United States.”
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