GOP White House hopeful Tim Pawlenty defended his economic plan Sunday, acknowledging his growth projection is an "aspiration" but casting it as evidence of his optimistic view of the country’s potential.

Pawlenty last week laid out an economic platform that includes a projected five percent annual economic growth rate over a decade, a projection that has been questioned as highly implausible.

“This is an aspiration, it is a big goal, it is a stretch goal,” Pawlenty said on Fox News Sunday, calling his plan “aggressive” and “bold.”

Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, sought to contrast his plan to what he alleges is a “declinist” view of America under President Obama.

“He has run out of ideas, and the ideas he does have for growing the economy are bad,” Pawlenty said. “America should not accept its place as an anemic laggard.”