Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Pawlenty, also known as "T-Paw," tried his luck at the presidential nomination but dropped out after a disappointing finish in Iowa's straw poll in August. He served as governor of Minnesota for eight years until 2011 and was considered a top choice to be John McCain's running mate in 2008 before he chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. During his 2002 campaign for governor, Pawlenty coined the phrase, "We need to be the party of Sam's Club," not the country club.
Pawlenty, an evangelical Christian, signed a bill that requires women to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. Early in his governorship, he cut $2 billion worth of spending and accepted a tax increase on cigarettes. He was a vocal critic of Mr. Obama's stimulus package but used the money provided to his state.
Prior to his terms as governor, Pawlenty served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, which included two terms as majority leader. He was an early supporter of Mitt Romney following the end of his own campaign, coming out with an endorsement in September.