Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke at a GOP activist event in Alabama Friday night, just two days into the 2010 Minnesota legislative session.
Alabama is the 19th state Pawlenty has visited since he announced last year that he won't run for a third term as governor. Pawlenty's 25-minute speech criticized President Obama and Democrats in control of Congress for what Pawlenty called "reckless spending."
The governor told activists that Republicans need to deliver on low taxes and government spending cuts when they get elected to office.
Read more and listen to Pawlenty's entire speech on Polinaut.
The governor also criticized Obama for trying suspected terrorists in federal civilian court.
"We shouldn't treat people who are not citizens of our country, who have come to our country or towards it with terroristic intentions to blow up and kill hundreds if not thousands of our citizens ...[with] all of the rights and privileges of our civil or criminal system," he said.
Pawlenty, who has not ruled out a run for the White House in 2012, will also visit North Carolina, Missouri, Washington D.C. and Nevada this month.
DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez says Pawlenty should quit campaigning for president and focus on his job as governor.
Melendez says he's disappointed Pawlenty made the trip to Alabama on just the second day of the 2010 legislative session.
"Tim Pawlenty should spend his full time being governor of Minnesota and if he needs to leave the state occassionally, that's one thing but leaving every week and on the second day of session means he's really checked out as being governor," Melendez said. "If he's not going to do the job then he should resign and let Carol Molnau take over."
(Alabama Public Radio's Daniel Cherry contributed to this report.)