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Pawlenty: 'Object isn't to stir some internal rift'

On the day of Republican presidential debate in Manchester, N.H., former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) gave reporters a preview of what to expect.

"The object isn't to stir some internal rift in the Republican Party. The focus here is to get Barack Obama out of the White House," Pawlenty said. "He broke just about every major promise he made when he was running for president of the United States.  And he needs to leave."

On how this debate will be different than the last debate in South Carolina when Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich did not participate, Pawlenty said, "Well, there'll be more people."

"So everybody brings a little something different to the race and to the debates," he added. "And so we'll have a robust and good debate about the future of the country."

Pawlenty added that his recent talk about the similarities of the federal health care law and the program Romney started in Massachusetts "wasn't to take a swipe at Mitt Romney."  He said that pointing out policy differences during a debate is "fair game."

"I don't think contrasting policy difference between candidates during a debate is out of bounds in a debate," Pawlenty said. "The American people want to know what do you stand for, what do you believe.  And if you get asked a question about how that differs from other proposals, I think that's fair game."