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Pawlenty pledges to play Minnesota nice on the campaign trail

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, due to speak to a group of conservative activists here later today, says if he runs for president he’ll avoid the sort of “whaling on each other” that often goes along with presidential primary campaigns.

“I’m going to be mixing it up with President Obama,” Pawlenty told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. “The folks who are running, or may run, if I run, are going to be my friends.  We’re all going to have to be a team in the end.”

“So, I think it’s important to, as best as possible, observe Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment, which is don’t speak ill of another Republican.  There’s going to be some differences between us, but the people and the press can sort that out.  There’s no need to be whaling on each other.”

Pawlenty passed on a chance to blast Mitt Romney over his Massachusetts health care reform law, which was in part a model for the national health reform law, on Fox News earlier this week. He told Greta Van Susteren, “Rather than criticizing somebody else’s approach, I’ll tell you my approach,” and then launched into a broad statement backing health care vouchers or credits.

Pawlenty is due to speak at 4:30 p.m. Central at the home of Ovide Lamontagne, a Tea Party-affiliated attorney who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2010. MinnPost will have coverage of that speech, as well as the rest of Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann’s visits to New Hampshire this weekend.

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