Governor Tim Pawlenty is busy this weekend campaigning for local politicians in eastern Iowa. This latest trip marks Pawlenty's third to Iowa since he announced he would not seek reelection as Minnesota governor.
Pawlenty is considering running for president in 2012, and said his trips to Iowa and New Hampshire are part of an effort to help Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections.
Political observers say Pawlenty is laying the foundation for a White House bid.
Pawlenty and his wife Mary made stops in Dubuque, Waverly and in Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Pawlenty told Republicans gathered at a fundraiser for a state senate candidate that businesspeople are telling him they're hesitate to expand right now.
"They're saying they lack confidence in the direction of this county and this president and this congress -- they feel that their burdens are being increased, not decreased, that they're be discouraged not encouraged from starting new businesses and growing businesses," Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty is scheduled to hold two more fundraisers in Iowa Sunday and Monday morning. He will be back in Iowa after a couple of weeks for more fundraising and an appearance at the Iowa State Fair.