Republican Pawlenty Running As Fiscal Fix-It Man

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Tim Pawlenty says he's getting into the 2012 presidential race because "America is in big trouble" and he believes he has the managerial skills necessary to get the country on steadier financial footing.

The former Minnesota governor tells NBC's "Today" show "our finances are out of control." He says he balanced the budget regularly as Minnesota's chief executive.

Pawlenty also charges that President Barack Obama "doesn't have the courage to look people in the eye and tell them what we have to do" to control government spending.

Asked if he is capable of exciting voters as he competes for the GOP nomination, Pawlenty replies, "I'm not running for entertainer in chief."

He will launch his campaign officially Monday with appearances in Iowa. As for his approach to fiscal policy, Pawlenty told CBS's "The Early Show" he wouldn't raise taxes.