Pawlenty loosens up on ‘Colbert’: ‘I thought about shooting sparks up my butt.’

Chris Moody

Fresh off the Republican presidential campaign trail, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty appeared on Comedy Central's Colbert Report Tuesday night for some light-hearted post-campaign debriefing--and he said some things you never would have heard him say if he were still running.

Looking more relaxed than he ever did before dropping out of the Republican presidential race last month, Pawlenty took shots at his former rivals Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul and joked about his low ratings in the polls.

"I was out of money," Pawlenty said when host Stephen Colbert asked why he dropped out after his third-place finish at the Ames Straw Poll in August. "I came in third place behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. I think that's enough for any one person to endure."

Pawlenty, whose staff worked hard to overcome critics who called him "dry" and "boring" with Hollywood action-movie style ads, lamented that campaigns were taking on a "reality TV show component."

"I thought about shooting sparks up my butt," Pawlenty cracked.

You can watch the full interview below: