Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) announced Monday that he is forming a 2012 presidential exploratory committee, the first step in what is expected to be his second White House bid.
Romney made the announcement in a video filmed Monday in Durham, N.H. The two-and-a-half-minute video features Romney speaking directly to the camera about his business experience. He makes no mention of his conservative positions on hot-button social issues that were such a prominent part of his 2008 campaign pitch.
“President [Barack] Obama’s policies have failed. He and virtually all the people around him have never worked in the real economy. They just don’t know how jobs are created in the private sector. That’s where I spent my entire career,” Romney says. “I’m convinced that with able leadership, America’s best days are still ahead. That’s why, today, I am announcing my exploratory committee for the presidency of the United States. It’s time that we put America back on a course of greatness.”
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) announced his exploratory committee three weeks ago, and Obama made his re-election bid official last week. The Republican field is deep with potential candidates but has been slow to formalize. Pawlenty and Romney are the only two top-tier candidates to have formed exploratory committees, although others are expected to follow suit.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.