"We have the best candidate. This isn't his first job, or the first time he's been a leader who has produced results," Pawlenty said of his one-time rival to be the Republican presidential nominee Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. "He made a success of failing companies. He made a success of the Olympics. He even made government in Massachusetts more effective and efficient."
And he'll bring all that experience to the White House, Pawlenty said.
"He has a plan to strengthen and grow America's middle class with lower taxes; a government that works for the American people instead of dashing their hopes and dreams; lower energy prices; and greater access to a quality education for all," the former governor said.
Pawlenty said small-business owners have told him they want to grow their businesses, but want government off their backs.
"America's entrepreneurs know taxes are too high, and regulations are too costly and complex," he said. "Obamacare [the Affordable Care Act] frightens them. And they want more American energy."
Middle-class Americans tell him they're concerned about paying their mortgages, sending their children to college and or having a job to make ends meet, Pawlenty said.
"But jobs don't come from politicians," he said. "They come from entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and risk-takers."
Pawlenty, who reportedly was on the short list for vice president in 2008 and 2012, was vicious in his attacks on Obama and his administration during the first part of his address.
"Welcome to Barack Obama's retirement party," Pawlenty opened.
"But you know, President Obama isn't as bad as people say," Pawlenty said, "he's actually worse."
He said the president "takes more vacations than that guy on the 'Bizarre Foods' show," Andrew Zimmern, who once was a chef in Minneapolis and still lives in a Twin Cities suburb.
In closing, Pawlenty said, "And with any luck, in a few months, Barack Obama will at last get some experience in the private sector."