GOProud's Chris Barron has taken a swipe at former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty over his recent vow to undo repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the soon-to-be repealed law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.

Barron, the chairman of the gay GOP group, took issue with Pawlenty's recent comments on repeal of the law.

The presidential hopeful created a stir three weeks ago when he told the American Family Association's (AFA) Bryan Fischer that as president he would work to reinstate the law.

On Monday, during an appearance in Iowa at The Family Leader's Presidential Lecture Series, Pawlenty went further, adding that he's okay with withholding funds for implementing the law's repeal.

“We have to pay great deference, I think, to those combat units, their sentiments and their leaders,” he told the crowd. “That's one of the reasons why I said we shouldn't have repealed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and I would support reinstatement.”

When asked by Think Progress' Igor Volsky if he would support “rescinding the funds for implementation of repeal,” Pawlenty answered: “That would be a reasonable step as well.”

Barron suggested the former governor, known as a moderate Republican, was attempting to bolster his credentials among social conservatives in Iowa.

“I understand that Pawlenty is trying hard to get people to pay attention to his campaign,” Barron said in a statement. “It's certainly a challenge for someone with such little stature in the conservative movement to compete with high profile conservative leaders like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, etc. Unfortunately for Pawlenty, comments like this simply show how totally out-of-touch he is with the issues that rank and file conservatives care about. If he wants to show he is a committed social conservative he would be much better served talking about the need to defund Planned Parenthood, end federal funding for abortion, reign in an out of control judiciary and support for a parents' rights amendment to protect home-schoolers.”

The rift is likely to spill into this weekend's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) convention, where Pawlenty is expected to address the crowd and GOProud's sponsorship of the event has prompted a boycott by social conservatives who object to their presence.