Pawlenty, who's behind in the polls and lagging in fundraising, says that as a former Minnesota governor, he has executive experience and achieved results under challenging circumstances.
A poll last month in early-voting Iowa put former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and tea party favorite Bachmann at the top. Pawlenty was back in the pack despite an aggressive campaign in the state.
He tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that early polls aren't good indicators of anything.
Pawlenty says that over the next 60 days, he needs to show "significant progress." He's pointing to the Iowa Republican Party's straw poll on Aug. 13 and thinks he'll prevail.