In his new autobiography, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty reflects on his evolving political and personal life, from his humble upbringing in St. Paul, Minn., to the governor's mansion.
An evangelical Christian and a booming voice for the Republican party, Pawlenty has said several times he is strongly considering a presidential bid in 2012.
Read excerpts from his book, "Courage to Stand: An American Story," below:
Pawlenty on preparing materials for the vice presidential vetting process in 2008:
"It was kind of comical at times -- the Governor and First Lady in the middle of the night organizing stacks of paper now strewn all over the computer-room floor, trying to make tabs and get it all in the right place, checking to see if the three-hole punch worked and then running out to Kinko's for photocopies."
Pawlenty reflecting on McCain's choice of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate:
"Sarah Palin has become a force of nature in the Republican Party. She inspires people in the conservative cause. She exudes enthusiasm, and that energy is the fuel of grassroots politics. We need that kind of energy and fuel from people all over this country if we want a shot at setting America back on course. While some might still debate McCain's selection, the undeniable truth is that it took courage to stand up to the critics, the pundits, and the expectations of the media and the Washington establishment and choose Sarah Palin in the first place."
Pawlenty on the intersection of faith and politics:
"People often ask how I reconcile my faith life and my public life and to what extent my Christian faith influences my decision making. For any public leader -- or a leader in any arena, for that matter -- our upbringing, life experiences, values and beliefs inevitably influence who we are and how we approach the decisions before us. Faith is part of my experience, and it is the cornerstone of my value system. It is part of who I am and how I think."
Pawlenty taking issue with the federal government's corporate bailouts and subsidies for public broadcasting:
"The government is like one of those hoarders you see on talk shows -- the folks with fourteen dining room tables in their garage, eight boxes of sweaters in their kitchen. The federal government needs to have a yard sale!"
Pawlenty on President Barack Obama's first two years in office:
"President Obama broke his promise to pay for 'every dime' of new government spending. Of course, that's not the only promise that he has broken. He said that health-care reform would be a transparent, bipartisan effort; instead, the health-care bill was written behind closed doors and passed without any Republican support. He promised to not raise taxes on the middle class, but he broke that pledge. This is not change we can believe in. This is change we still can't believe."
Pawlenty on describing his philosophy toward government that echoes tea party principles:
"Endless government growth becomes a form of tyranny. When the government takes up more and more space -- space that was previously reserved for individuals, families, the faith community, charities, markets and the private sector -- the result is more displacement, discouragement, disincentive, and dependency. As government swells to become nearly everyone's financial nanny, freedom and personal responsibility are diminished."
Pawlenty on a heated meeting he had as a legislator with then-Gov. Jesse Ventura, who was mad at Pawlenty for accusing the former Navy Seal of leaving taxpayers "behind enemy lines.":
"The hockey player and wrestling fan in me would have some taken pride in surviving a Jesse Ventura smackdown. But the apology felt better. And that was all it took to let the air out of the balloon. He went from enraged to reasonable and graciously accepted the apology. The meeting ended well."
Pawlenty on his often-fractious dealings with the legislature, where Democrats controlled one or both chambers throughout his tenure:
"My eight years in office would be rife with head-on collisions, special sessions, constitutional issues, lawsuits, even a government shutdown. I wish the headlines could have read that Pawlenty mesmerized the liberals with his charm and wit and that they changed their views due to his winsome ways. But hard-fought battles over big issues are never that lovely."