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Pawlenty talks electability and experience

CHEROKEE, IOWA -- Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty spent his day here asking GOP voters to consider electability in the run-up to next month's Ames straw poll and next year's Iowa caucuses.

"It's not much of a consolation prize for Iowa to have somebody who's right for that moment, who's exciting for the day but really can't be the nominee of the party, really can't beat Barack Obama," he said in Carroll.

In four campaign stops throughout the state today, the former Minnesota governor split his time between criticizing President Obama and highlighting the inexperience of his competitors in the GOP field.

"Any bobble head can stand up here and say the right words as a Republican candidate... The question is have you done it," he said in Jefferson.

For most of today, Pawlenty shied away from naming names. He mentioned fellow Minnesotan and presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann and just once, saying: "What I've tried to say generically is, whether it's Congresswoman Bachmann or anyone else, and there's been a little back-and-forth with her and me, is that I think it's just basic common sense...to put somebody in the office who's had executive experience."