As Pawlenty hits up Minn. donors, 2012 GOP hopeful says he needs money for ‘Buick’ campaign

Associated Press Contributor
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MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is keeping fundraising expectations for his presidential campaign in check, saying he simply needs enough to run a “Buick”-type campaign.

Pawlenty hit up home-state donors Wednesday in what aides were calling his biggest fundraising event of the financial quarter. It comes in the same week former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hauled in $10 million in a single day.

Pawlenty says he expects Romney to “be the unquestioned money champion” of the Republican field. Pawlenty declined to say if he would bring in $10 million for the first three months of his not-yet-official campaign.

But he described his goal as to finance “a Buick if not Cadillac-level campaign.”

Several hundred people gave up to $2,500 per person to attend. Pawlenty’s first reporting deadline arrives in July.