Tim Pawlenty announced yesterday that he was running for the Republican presidential nomination with the platform of telling the truth to the American people.

And with that, he took the podium at the Iowa Historical Building and declared: We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won't get fixed if we keep going down the same path.

His plan to put America back on track, he said, is to cut back the role of government in society, end ethanol subsidies - a stance, the Wall Street Journal, said in an editorial is downright amazing, considering no candidate who wants to win the Iowa Presidential caucuses can afford to oppose -- overhaul Medicare, freeze federal worker salaries, and raise the retirement age for Social Security.

It's time for new leadership. It's time for a new approach, Pawlenty said. And it's time for America's president - and anyone who wants to be president - to look you in the eye and tell you the truth.

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 of Minnesota in 2002. After serving two terms - he had spent a decade in the state's legislature - he chose not to seek re-election.

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