Possible 2012 Presidential Candidates Address Tea Party

By BRIAN BAKST
|  Sunday, Feb 27, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 AM CDT
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Possible 2012 Presidential Candidates Address Tea Party

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Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) addresses the crowd at the Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit at the Phoenix Convention Center February 26, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Paul is a likely contender for the 2012 presidential race.

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More than 2,000 tea party members from all fifty states gathered in Arizona for the  Tea Party Patriots' "American Policy Summit" over the weekend.

Among the attendees, are potential candidates for the 2012 presidential election.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says growing government, powerful unions and bailed-out businesses make up "a royal triangle of greed" in America.

The possible presidential candidate delivered his assessment Saturday.

Pawlenty held up the U.S. Constitution for effect during a speech in which he stressed his long list of vetoes as governor and a partial government shutdown on his watch. Pawlenty praised governors like Wisconsin's Scott Walker for taking on public employee unions in their states.

Pawlenty drew cheers when he adapted the spoofed "the rent is too damn high" catchphrase of a longshot New York gubernatorial candidate. Pawlenty's motto: "The government's too damn big!"

Texas Rep. Ron Paul also spoke at the Tea Party Patriots weekend summit. Paul ran for president in 2008 and following of diehard supporters.

Paul renewed his call for less government and less spending which continues to drive the tea party organization, a movement Paul says is important for any republican hoping to run for president.

"This is a very vocal group, and very important because they  have a lot of influence and have already had a lot of influence back in Washington," said Paul.

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