Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Tuesday that if he were president, he would not nominate Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a third term.

The GOP presidential candidate has been critical of the Fed's efforts to pump money into the economy and said that Bernanke has not been a good steward of the country's monetary policy.


"I opposed his appointment last time, so it wouldn't be hard for me to oppose his reappointment next time, and I don't think he should continue in that position," he told CNBC's Larry Kudlow.

Pawlenty is looking to get a head start on defining the debate over the economy among the field of GOP candidates for president.

During a major speech on the economy in Chicago on Tuesday, he laid out an aggressive economic growth plan that calls for steep tax cuts and hard spending caps. He also called for an end to the Fed's dual mandate on inflation and unemployment.

"We need to make sure that we stop the practice of devaluing the dollar," he said on CNBC. "Americans get paid in dollars, they buy groceries in dollars, their 401(k)s are in dollars and when you devalue the dollar, you are devaluing the net value of this country."

Despite being a Republican, Bernanke has become a whipping boy for the some in the GOP for his role in the financial bailouts of 2008 and for presiding over rounds of quantitative easing to help stimulate economic growth. Republicans argue the spending risks inflation and lowers the value of the dollar.

He was originally appointed Fed chairman by President Bush in 2006 and was reappointed by President Obama in 2010. He is up for another four-year term in 2014.

Pawlenty's stance puts him in line with libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has built his presidential platform around opposition to Fed policy.