Former Bachmann chief of staff backs Pawlenty

A former top aide for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is endorsing the other GOP presidential candidate from Minnesota: Tim Pawlenty.

Ron Carey, formerly Bachmann's chief of staff, pennen an op-ed in the Des Moines Register praising the former governor and calling his ex-boss unprepared for the job.

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"Having seen the two of them, up close and over a long period of time, it is clear to me that while Tim Pawlenty possesses the judgment, the demeanor, and the readiness to serve as president, Michele Bachmann decidedly does not," he wrote.

Carey -- who also served as Minnesota GOP chairman -- has become a critic of Bachmann since leaving her office, but his flip is a significant marker in the GOP primary race. 

Pawlenty and Bachmann, who possess very different political styles, are expected to compete for votes in the key Iowa caucuses next year.

Carey described Bachmann's office as "wildly out of control," a sign that she's not ready for the responsibilities of commander-in-chief.

"If she is unable, or unwilling, to handle the basic duties of a campaign or congressional office, how could she possibly manage the magnitude of the presidency?" he wrote.

Carey praised Pawlenty as "a family man filled with faith and conservative convictions proven in action."