ST. PAUL  (AP) -- Possible presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty sculpts an image as a faith-based politician in a new memoir infused with Bible verses and the flavor of the Republican's blue-collar upbringing.

The former Minnesota governor's book called "Courage to Stand: An American Story" is his effort to carve out a national identity as he eyes a 2012 campaign. The book's official release is Tuesday, but The Associated Press purchased copies Thursday at bookstores in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Pawlenty traces a path from a boyhood handling rotten meat in a stockyards town to a political career that made him a vice presidential contender in 2008. He takes some shots at President Barack Obama and provides the outlines of a 2012 platform.

Pawlenty's book tour takes him through key states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)