Pawlenty a skeptic of the Wall Street reform bill

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) expressed skepticism Tuesday evening that the Wall Street bill in Congress would reform financial regulations to his liking.

Pawlenty, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2012, said that the bill before Congress was unlikely to end bailouts and prevent so-called "too big to fail" companies.

"So we have to have, in my view, the goal of getting rid of the policy of too big to fail; we have to allow for the orderly destruction and wind-down of private entities that are fatally flawed. And the federal government cannot indirectly or directly send the message that we're going to bail you out," Pawlenty said during a panel discussion at the Milken Institute in California.

"We have to have to come to an end to that," the Minnesota governor added. "And I'm not sure this bill is going to meet that standard. It looks like it will not."

That pronouncement marks one of the first by Pawlenty, by some measures a populist Republican, on the financial reform bill, which is poised to begin the process of debate in the Senate.

Other 2012 Republicans have been more explicit in voicing opposition to the bill, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), arguably a top contender alongside Pawlenty for the 2012 GOP nod. Romney's opposition to the bill earned him a jab from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the form of a web video labeling him "Wall Street's best friend" earlier this week.

Pawlenty echoed traditional Republican concerns about the bill on Tuesday evening, though he stopped short of stating how he would vote on the legislation if he were a member of the Senate.

"We can't have 'too big to fail,' and we can't have more bailouts," Pawlenty said. "The notion that we're going to have privately held entities in this country that can't go out of business, to me, is troublesome and philosophically concerning."

"So I would hope that one of the measures that this legislation would be judged against is does it contain provisions that allow for the orderly wind-down of institutions that are fatally troubled," he added.