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Pawlenty Brings Campaign To Coral Gables

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Tim Pawlenty Announces His Bid For The Republican Presidential Nomination
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is set to bring his campaign to the Sunshine State for the first time as an official candidate for president.

Florida will once again be the grand prize for any candidate hoping to secure the Presidency in 2012. With 29 electoral votes, the perennial swing state will be attracting top candidates of both parties for the next 18 months.

Pawlenty is seeking the Republican nomination to go up against President Barack Obama in 2012. The newly-minted GOP candidate planned a Facebook town hall meeting Tuesday and then a session in front of reporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Pawlenty has drawn praise from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for giving a speech in Iowa saying corn subsidies for ethanol should be ended.

Pawlenty has also put his firm support behind the GOP idea of block granting Medicaid and has thrown his support behind the GOP-lead House of Representatives plan to phase out Medicare over the coming years.

The former Minnesota governor also proposes raising the Social Security retirement age for young workers and cut cost of living increases for Social Security recipients who are wealthy.

He’s also drawn scrutiny for saying he established one of the country’s first statewide performance pay systems in the country. While the system is statewide, it’s entirely voluntary and most school districts in the state never joined.

Pawlenty also made claims in his campaign announcement that “Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes.” But, an analysis from the Associated Press found this to be not true.

The AP found Obama has only secured tax increases from Congress on tobacco and tanning salons since taking office.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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