Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Tuesday he wouldn't have used crosshair images to refer to candidates for Congress, as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) PAC had done.

Pawlenty, a likely Republican candidate for president in 2012, took a shot at Palin over the map her campaign arm released during the 2010 campaign, which depicted crosshairs over 20 lawmakers' districts targeted in the election.


"It wouldn't have been my style to put the crosshairs on there, but there's no reason to believe it had anything to do with this mentally unstable person's rage," Pawlenty said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The Minnesotan's remarks are a subtle jab at Palin, who's faced scrutiny for some of the language and imagery she used during the campaign following Saturday's assassination attempt against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). One of the crosshairs targeted Giffords's district.

Many political observers on both sides say the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, was clearly unstable, but have called nonetheless for a toning-down of rhetoric in the wake of the tragedy.

"There's a line there as it relates to basic civility, decency and respect," Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty's doing the rounds in the media on Tuesday to promote the release of his new book, Courage to Stand, which is seen as a precursor to a run for president. Pawlenty admitted in his interview he's "seriously considering" a bid, but would wait to formally announce a candidacy.