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T-Paw urges his supporters to vote at straw poll

AMES, IA -- Tim Pawlenty just spoke to the supporters at his tent, reminding them -- amid his sponsored concert and free Dairy Queen -- that they are here to vote.

"We gotta remember why we're here. I hope you enjoy the sunshine, the wonderful weather, and the breeze. But we're here today because, like you, I love this country."

The campaign reports more than 100 volunteers are here today, all wearing green shirts with Pawlenty's name on the back and the number "12."

The former Minnesota governor said today's crowd shows the level of momentum his campaign has.

In his brief remarks, he continued his assault on President Obama's record, but did not mention of his Republican rivals.

"Unfortunantly, we have a president who wasn't ready for the job, and he's kicking it in the dugout," he said.

"I hope that you all have voted, and if you haven't, I'm going to come out there and give you the what for," he joked. 

But while Pawlenty was speaking with his supporters, he missed an opportunity to appear on the stage inside the official straw-poll arena with his competitors: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum.