U.S. Republican Pawlenty takes election step

(Reuters) – Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday became the first high-profile Republican to show serious intent to enter the U.S. presidential election race against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Pawlenty, 50, announced in a video on his Facebook page that he will set up an exploratory committee, a formal step toward running for the Republican nomination.

“We, the people of the United States, will take back our government,” he said.