Mitt Romney Announces 2012 Presidential Exploratory Committee
Romney is only the second Republican to form an exploratory committee, behind former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who made his announcement late last month.
Romney’s short video, entitled “Believe in America,” outlined how he plans to take on fiscal and economic issues, emphasizing his ability to balance budgets during his tenure as a governor.
The Washington Post reported:
Lamenting that 20 million Americans are out of work, Romney said, “How has this happened in the nation that leads the world in innovation and productivity? The answer is that President Obama’s policies have failed.”
His own experience, he added, has convinced him that “America has been put on a dangerous course by Washington politicians, and it has become even worse in the last two years.”
The video showed the former governor in front of a football field at the University of New Hampshire, a neighboring state that has been a virtual second home to Romney. His loss there in 2008 was a blow from which his campaign never recovered. A victory in New Hampshire is just as crucial to his hopes in 2012.
Romney taped the video at the University of New Hampshire, coincidentally the state where the first national primary showdown takes place every four years. Romney was at the University to make a speech to students about the economy. But there seemed to be one key issue that he left out of his speech and his announcement video—healthcare.
From the Los Angeles Times:
In the video, Romney did not mention healthcare, a potentially huge liability in the nomination fight because the state measure included a government health insurance mandate similar to Obama's, which has been denounced by conservatives.
New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley alluded to Romney's defense of his healthcare plan — he says he wouldn't impose the Massachusetts system on other states, which should be free to adopt their own plan — in attacking the Republican's reputation for altering his stance on major issues.
"Is he the socially liberal Mitt Romney of 1994 and 2002 — the man who ran for the Senate and who served as a progressive governor of a neighboring state — or is he the Mitt Romney of 2008 and 2012, who changed all his positions as soon as he started thinking about running for the Republican nomination for president?" Buckley said in a statement Monday.
Romney reached out rhetorically to the Republican right in the video, employing a familiar tea party reference to "the principles of our Constitution" as the source of American "greatness," a theme he repeated three times.
The former Massachusetts governor has not said if he wants to participate in next month’s GOP debate hosted by the Fox News Channel in South Carolina. Fox News specified all participants must have declared an exploratory committee by April 29.
See Romney's announcement video below: