ABC News' Matthew Jaffe (@matthewbjaffe) reports:
HUMBOLDT, Iowa — Both Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty appeared this evening at the Humboldt County Republicans' picnic in this small town a few hours northwest of Des Moines and, just after Bachmann had fired up a large raucous crowd outside, Pawlenty gave a more subdued speech indoors, but one that included some stinging shots directed at President Obama.
"Look, you can almost stick a fork in him. I think he's about done politically," Pawlenty said. "His numbers nationally are bad. You look at his numbers in the swing states that are going to really decide the election like Iowa and among independents, his numbers are awful."
The former Minnesota governor didn't stop there either, reprising one of his favorite comparisons for the president by likening him to "a manure spreader in a windstorm."
"On the economy he comes out yesterday and gives a speech. The stock market is down something like 300 points. He speaks and it goes down 300 more. He comes out to assure the country and give confidence to the country. There's no confidence in what he has to do," Pawlenty said. "This guy is like a manure spreader in a windstorm. And he's throwing it around in every direction, it doesn't smell good, he's got no focus, and it's not going in the right direction."
For her part, Bachmann spent about an hour rallying the crowd outside in the evening sun. After the event, she autographed a sign, "Let's make Obama a one-term president. I'll get 'er done!"
For what it's worth, the difference between the two Minnesota Republicans is not only evident in the tone of their speeches, but also in their entrances and exits as they tour Iowa.
Bachmann pulled up to the event in a massive blue bus that parked directly behind the stage, flanked by a tent on one side and a truck on the other, both emblazoned with her banners, all part of a carefully orchestrated arrival that also included blaring music. When she left, she paused on the steps of the bus, turned around, and waved to the crowd, urging them to come to the Ames straw poll on her behalf.
Pawlenty, meanwhile, rides around in a non-descript white RV, walking into the back of the picnic room with little fanfare to await his introduction and quietly exiting the event to head off towards his next stop down the road in Fort Dodge.