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In Woodbury, Pawlenty admits rhetoric not always toned down

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty talks with a supporter while signing copies of his book at the LifeWay Christian bookstore in Woodbury. Bulletin photo by Jon Avise

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is touted as a person who offers toned-down rhetoric, while still having differences with others, in a time when political rhetoric is very much in the news.

In a Tuesday Woodbury visit, however, the likely presidential candidate admitted: "But I haven't always done that either."

Pawlenty's comments to reporters came before a book signing Tuesday at a Christian bookstore in Woodbury, where he was making his first Minnesota stop on a nationwide tour to promote his new autobiography, "Courage to Stand."

The former governor was referring to the national discussion about heated political rhetoric following the shootings earlier this month of a congresswoman and others in Tuscon, Ariz. National political observers in recent days have noted Pawlenty's seemingly calm demeanor.

At Pawlenty's Tuesday book signing, a line of more than 100 people snaked through the LifeWay Christian Store at Woodbury's Valley Creek Mall, with some waiting for more than an hour to be first in line to have a book signed by the former governor-turned-prospective presidential candidate.

Mark Krom, of Woodbury, waited in a line that started forming shortly before 10 a.m. for the 11:30 a.m. event.

"I'm hoping he'll run for president," said Krom, a landscaper who used his day off to meet Pawlenty. Krom said he supports the former governor because "he's very open about his faith. When he says he's going to do something, he does it."

Woodbury resident Kelly Lavers waited in line to have Pawlenty sign six books that she purchased for family and friends who live outside Minnesota.

"We really like him," she said. "We like his fiscal and social stances."

Pawlenty reiterated Tuesday he is "seriously considering" a run for the Republican nomination in 2012. He said he had not changed his March or April timeline for making a decision on whether to make a presidential run.

Republican Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has also said she is considering a presidential run. Woodbury is in Bachmann's 6th District.