Dems go after Pawlenty on announcement day

On Monday, the day he's making his bid for the White House official, Democrats skewered former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), questioning why he is running for president.

The Democratic National Committee released a Web video hitting Pawlenty that impugns his record as governor of Minnesota and casts doubt on his conservative credentials. 

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The video, titled "Why?" keys in on Pawlenty's comment to Time magazine, which asked him when he first decided he was up for the challenge of running for president. "I wish I had a good answer for you on that," Pawlenty replied. Democrats used the comment to accuse the 50-year-old ex-governor of not having a good reason to enter the race.

Democrats went after Pawlenty since he is expected to contend for the nomination, even though he enters the campaign with low name recognition and sagging poll numbers.

Their video indicates that Democrats will continue to hammer away at Pawlenty for his record as governor and his appeals to the conservative base as he starts campaigning officially.

In the video, Democrats go after Pawlenty for cutting healthcare programs while governor and leaving office with a slipping approval rating. They also say he can't claim the Tea Party mantle because of his past support for capping greenhouse gases, which Pawlenty recently admitted is a "clunker" in his record.

"Hmm. You tell us, Tim … why are you running? 'I don't know … I wish I had a better answer for you.' So do we!" the video's script says.

Iowa and Minnesota Democrats are scheduled to hold a press conference Monday in Des Moines, Iowa's state capital, to respond to Pawlenty's announcement, which he will make at a town-hall meeting in town.

Pawlenty released a Web video of his own on Sunday night previewing his announcement Monday. In it, the former governor hints at his reason for running.

"The truth is, our country is in big trouble. We have far too much debt, too much government spending and too few jobs," he says. "We need a president who understands that our problems are deep and has the courage to face them. President Obama doesn't. I do."