Pawlenty and his wife, Mary (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)
But now the former Minnesota governor admits he's had second thoughts about whether he did the right thing by quitting the race so early.
Speaking to reporters at his official state portrait unveiling Monday, Pawlenty said he might have stayed in the race had he known it would be so volatile.
"If I had known then what I know now," Pawlenty said, per the Associated Press's Brian Bakst.
The ex-governor admitted he made a strategic mistake in focusing most of his campaign resources on Iowa. If he had it to do over again, Pawlenty said he would have spread out his cash to help his campaign last through the fall.
"It was the wrong call," he admitted.
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