Minnesota’s former governor appeared on Fox and Friends this morning to call out Barack Obama for his lack of intestinal fortitude in the State of the Union speech. Tim Pawlenty got even more blunt than that, at one point calling Obama “chicken” for hiding behind “soaring rhetoric” while offering no solutions to the massive crises in entitlements and for barely even acknowledging the problem. “Most Americans understand we’ve got a problem,” Pawlenty says, but they need leadership around which to rally for common-sense solutions to them. Obama failed to provide it, Pawlenty says, thanks to a lack of political courage:

Gretchen Carlson asks Pawlenty why he’s taking a tougher tone with Obama, and Pawlenty warns her not to confuse Minnesota Nice with being weak. That’s going to be what Pawlenty has to sell if he wants to push himself into the top tier of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination in 2012.