Pawlenty ribs Obama's reelection announcement

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) on Monday shot back at President Obama's announcement that he will seek reelection in 2012.

The likely presidential candidate's exploratory committee released a Web video highlighting the economic downturn and claimed that Obama lacks the right policies to right the ship.

"I got a question of you: How can America win the future when we're losing the present?" Pawlenty said, in a jab at one of Obama's main talking points. "In order for America to take a new direction, it's going to take a new president."

The president officially kicked off his reelection bid Monday morning in a Web video sent to supporters, titled "It begins with us."

"[E]ven though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today," Obama wrote in an accompanying email.

The former governor, who is looking to boost his name recognition, delivered his message in a 35-second spot produced in the same style of his previous high-production-value Web videos that have earned him attention.

Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Norm Sterzenbach panned the video as pessimistic.        

"'Nighttime in America' is a lousy idea for a bumper sticker and an even worse idea of leadership," he said in a statement. "Given his record of debt and failure in Minnesota it's not surprising that Tim Pawlenty has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook for our country and doesn't think we can win the future."

Pawlenty is one of the only candidates in the GOP field to have taken a formal step toward launching a presidential campaign against the president — he formed an exploratory committee last month, allowing him to raise money and set up a campaign apparatus.

Two dark-horse GOP candidates, Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, have also launched exploratory committees.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), a top potential candidate, responded to Obama's announcement on Twitter.

-- This post was updated at 12:27 p.m.