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Pawlenty calls for GOP change

Tim Pawlenty talks to about 75 Republicans during a July 24, 2011, Ottumwa, Iowa, campaign stop. (FORUM NEWS SERVICE FILE PHOTO)

ST. PAUL — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is a regular on a variety of cable television channels, and his quotes show up in print and online media that may not have often covered his failed presidential campaign.

What he is saying these days may not have helped his campaign as he wooed Republican activists.

A recent USA Today story began with: “Former GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty has a message for the Republican Party, and it’s not Minnesota-nice.’

Pawlenty, who leads the banking industry’s Financial Services Roundtable, said the GOP needs to change.

“The Republican Party, I think, is going to need newer leadership, more dynamic leadership and leadership that’s genuinely interested in earning the support of those groups (it now does not serve) and has policies and the ability to go out and market and earn the support of those groups,” he told USA Today.

Pawlenty said he thinks the party will turn around, but could not predict if it will come in time for this year’s election, or even the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Elections are marketplaces, and markets adjust over time, and there’s no better incentive for market adjustments than repeatedly getting your butt kicked,” he said. “It’ll adjust. It always does. It’s just a question of is it going to adjust over 12 months or 12 years.”