Pawlenty: Forces 'very obviously' favor Republicans in 2012

Forces favor the GOP in the 2012 presidential race, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Sunday, who said he'd make up his mind about running in 2011.

Pawlenty, fresh off a highly-anticipated speech before party activists at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), said that no one can predict what 2012 holds, but asserted that Republicans have a good chance of beating President Barack Obama.

"I think the forces that are at work now favor the Republicans and conservatives very obviously," Pawlenty said of the GOP's presidential prospects.

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The Minnesota governor, who's one of the few Republican contenders for the White House to have put together an initial campaign infrastructure, cautioned that there's no certainty for Republicans, either in 2012, or in this fall's midterm elections.

"I think the Republicans are going to do well in 2010, but anyone who tells you they can tell you with certainty what's going to happen in 2012 -- people really don't know that far ahead," he said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

As for whether or not he would run, Pawlenty said he's made no decisions but would begin considering a presidential bid in early 2011, after he's left office as governor of Minnesota.

"I don't know what I'm going to do after I'm done being governor," he said. "As to my future, I'll probably sketch that out and decide that in early 2011."


Pawlenty emphasized that he would be focused on helping Republican candidates this year, though.

"I haven't decided to or not. What I'm going to do is use 2010 to help the cause," Pawlenty said. "But as to the future, I don't know. We'll see what that holds."