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Published March 30, 2011, 09:19 PM

Presidential Hopeful Pawlenty Criticizes Obama

Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty says President Barack Obama is afraid to address the nation's spending problem and that voters need to "kick him out of office."

By: Associated Press,

CLEVELAND (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty says President Barack Obama is afraid to address the nation's spending problem and that voters need to "kick him out of office."

Pawlenty told a group of Republicans on Wednesday at a dinner in northeast Ohio that the country needs to "restore American prosperity" and that the notion of an "all-you-can-eat buffet" in government spending must end.

The conservative former Minnesota governor announced last week that he was forming an exploratory committee for a 2012 White House bid. The announcement almost certainly will lead to a full-blown candidacy for the GOP nomination in a field that has been slow to form.

Pawlenty also criticized Obama's health care overhaul, calling it "one of the worst pieces of legislation in the modern history of America."

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