Tim Pawlenty is ready and willing to shake plenty of hands in Iowa.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the former Minnesota governor said he intended to meet with as many individual Republican voters as possible and noted that “if you want to get people’s support, you’ve got to get acquainted with them and them with you.”
“It seems to me that in Iowa, meeting people and retail politics matters,” Pawlenty remarked.
He brushed off claims that he would receive a boost from being a governor of neighboring state, dismissing that as “a red herring” that “the pundits hang their hat on.”
Pawlenty also indicated that he thinks the Iowa caucus could prove critical to winning the nomination.
“You want to get off on the right start, and it will give you a big boost or it will give you a setback, depending on how you finish and we want to finish well,” he said about the caucuses. “It’s the opening salvo on the trail.”