Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said his two biggest obstacles, if he decides to run for president, will be name recognition and raising money.

"I'm not well known outside Minnesota," Pawlenty said in a wide-ranging Q&A with Christianity Today on Thursday. "A year ago I polled Republicans nationwide and only 15 percent of them even knew my name. Iowa and other places have a tradition of liking underdogs, so that's another thing to think about. You have to raise the right amount of money to be competitive. So far so good on that front."

In response to a question about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Pawlenty said it was a compliment to be compared with Palin.

"[A comparison to] Sarah Palin, of course, is a compliment," Pawlenty said. "She's a force of nature, she's kind of in a league of her own when it comes to attention and the media's focus on her so far. I don't know if she's going to run or not, but I think she's a remarkable leader. I know Congresswoman Bachmann, I campaigned for her, I consider her a friend and I have a positive and good relationship with her as well. Voters will have to choose the style of who they want representing the party as a nominee."

Pawlenty claimed 8 percent of the vote in a recent New Hampshire Republican presidential straw poll, putting him in third place behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas).