Bachmann and Pawlenty Drop the Gloves

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So much for 'Minnesota Nice.'

The campaigns of fellow Minnesotans , Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, have been developing a quiet rivalry out on the campaign trail for weeks.

It came raging out into the open Wednesday night on the stage of the FOX News, Washington Examiner GOP presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.

Bachmann accused Pawlenty of implementing cap and trade in Minnesota and attempting to mandate health care, while saying the "era of small government is over."

Bachmann also took credit for leading the fight in Washington against raising the debt ceiling and other Obama administration policies such as "Obamacare."

Pawlenty countered by saying Bachmann has a habit of misspeaking and added, "If that's your view of leadership, please stop, you're killing us."

Later Pawlenty attempted to pound the point home again, "leading and failing is not the objective..."

Coming into this debate, many Republican activists in Iowa felt that this week, with the debate, leading up to the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, is a make or break time for Pawlenty.

It looked like Pawlenty may have felt that way as well. He also went after the perceived frontrunner Mitt Romney.

In an earlier debate Pawlenty declined to call former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's health care plan 'Obamney-Care,' while sharing the stage with his rival.

Pawlenty seemed to relish the chance to take another shot at the line tonight and also seemed to deride Romney's wealth, offering to pay off a bet by cooking dinner for anyone or mowing their lawn, except for Mitt, "only one acre of yours."