Republican Tim Pawlenty said his presidential campaign will tell the American people the truth and suggests that President Barack Obama doesn't.
The former Minnesota governor released an Internet video Sunday ahead of a public appearance today in Iowa, where he planned to formally enter the race for the 2012 GOP nomination.
His video came after Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined the march of would-be GOP presidential hopefuls offstage Sunday in a dead-of-night decision that put his supporters in play and muddled the fight for front-runner status against President Barack Obama.
Daniels' exit, which he said he made at his family's behest, cleared the upcoming news cycle to absorb Pawlenty's entry into the race.
Pawlenty says in the video what aides already had disclosed, saying, "I'm running for president of the United States." He says the country needs a president who will tell the American people the truth about the severe challenges facing the country and how America can get back on track.
Pawlenty says, "President Obama won't do that. I will."
He adds, "Together, we will change this country, and this time it'll be for the better."
John Hammond, one of Daniels' top fundraisers, said a core group of supporters will await Daniels' advice before getting on board with any campaign. This group plans to meet in the coming days to vet the remaining candidates, said Bob Grand, who ran ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's Indiana fundraising efforts in 2008.
Daniels' departure may make room for other contenders as establishment Republicans, including some in the Bush family circle, search for a fiscal conservative with the stature to challenge Obama.
Influential GOP donors who courted Daniels have tried to entice former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, son and brother of former presidents, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie into the contest.