Tim Pawlenty made his 2012 Republican presidential campaign official with a two-minute video that promised he has the courage to tell the truth to the American people.

The truth is, our country's in big trouble, the former Minnesota governor said one day before his first official campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa. We have far too much debt. Too much government spending and too few jobs.

We need a president who understands that our problems are deep, and who has the courage to face them. President Obama doesn't. I do, he said. Tomorrow, my first campaign stop will be in Iowa and that's where I'm going to begin a campaign that tells the American people the truth. I'm Tim Pawlenty and I'm running for president of the United States.

Pawlenty's wife, Mary, a former judge, is supposed to introduce him at his formal campaign kickoff at the State of Iowa Historical Building.

In March, Pawlenty became the first major GOP candidate to launch a presidential exploratory committee, which allowed him to raise money for his bid. He was elected governor in 2002. After serving two terms - he had spent a decade in Minnesota's legislature - he chose not to seek re-election, instead opting to form an exploratory committee, which would allow him to begin raising money that can directly fund a presidential race.

An evangelical Christian, Pawlenty - a candidate with a relatively known profile - joins a small group of prospective Republican contenders without an apparent frontrunner.