Pawlenty doles out PAC money for South Carolina Republicans

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) PAC doled out thousands in donations to South Carolina Republicans while the governor was visiting the state this week.

Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC lent a hand to GOP candidates running for the House in the Palmetto State, and gave to the campaigns of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (R).

Haley's campaign got $3,500 and DeMint's received $3,000, while the candidates in the first through fourth congressional districts each got $2,000.

The Minnesota governor is a potential candidate for president in 2012 and was in South Carolina on Tuesday. He is meeting Wednesday with Republican candidates and helping with fundraisers. The trip could help build political support for Pawlenty in the state, which plays host to the third presidential nominating contest in the primary calendar.

Perhaps most notably, Pawlenty met Tuesday night with Haley, a rising star in the GOP who'd been dogged in a bruising Republican primary with allegations of marital infidelity.