President Barack Obama is having a "corrosive" effect on the pillars of U.S. society, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) asserted Monday.

A top GOP contender to face off against Obama in 2012, Pawlenty accused the president of using "bait-and-switch" tactics in the debate to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.

Pawlenty railed against Obama's policies in an interview with the conservative Newsmax magazine, warning the president would spend the U.S. into bankruptcy.

"And what’s behind it is a philosophy that government knows best, a nanny-state mentality on domestic issues that will ultimately be corrosive to the other pillars of our country — to markets, private enterprise, individual responsibility, freedom and liberty," Pawlenty said in an interview with the magazine posted online Monday.


The Minnesota Republican said that the president had turned out to be "extremely partisan" in his approach since taking office, pointing to Obama's approach to healthcare reform.

"I think it’s going to go down as one of the biggest bait-and-switch acts in history, in the sense that the diagnosis of the problem for the healthcare delivery system in the country was supposed to be cost-containment," Pawlenty said of health reform proposals.

The governor touted his own work toward health reform on the state level as a counterexample.

Behind the scenes, Pawlenty has been ramping up work with his Freedom First PAC and putting the pieces in place for a potential White House race in 2012.