Pawlenty heading back to Iowa

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) will travel to the key presidential nominating state of Iowa for a rally on taxes.

Pawlenty will keynote an event sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief on Saturday, April 17th, the group announced Friday.

The Minnesota governor, considered a top Republican candidate for president in 2012, will be returning to Iowa after a highly-publicized trip in November, in which he took shots at President Barack Obama's record on jobs and the economy.

“We are excited to have Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speak to our members as he has a record of balancing budgets without raising taxes in Minnesota," said Ed Failor, Jr., the president of Iowans for Tax Relief. "The Iowa candidates for Governor will provide their vision for the fiscal future of our great state. Iowa Taxpayers’ Day continues our mission to educate and inform Iowans on tax and spending issues.”

The trip could help bolster Pawlenty's profile ahead of a 2012 GOP primary, especially after a middle of the pack finish in a key straw poll of party activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this month, though Pawlenty's people did little to organize votes the way other competitors had.