Published April 11, 2011
Expected for some time, former Gov. Mitt Romney today formed a presidential exploratory committee, the first official step toward the Republican nomination and a White House run.
In a video message recorded after meeting with students from the University of New Hampshire, Romney focuses on the economy and his own private-sector experience.
… President 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.
The former governor faults Obama for the nation’s high unemployment and says it’s “time that we put America back on a course of greatness” with a vibrant economy and fiscal discipline. He touts his leadership in Massachusetts, where he “used [his] skills … to streamline state government, balance the budget every year, and restore a 2 billion dollar rainy day fund.”
An exploratory committee allows Romney to raise funds in accordance with federal law.
The former governor previously sought the Republican nomination for president in 2008.
Romney chose an interesting day to announce his committee: tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of Massachusetts’ universal health care coverage legislation, which the former governor signed into law. So-called “RomneyCare” has been used as political bait as he’s pondered another presidential run.
— Here’s a transcript of Romney’s video:
Hello, I’m Mitt Romney. This morning I spoke with a number of students here at the University of New Hampshire. Like young people all over the country, they wonder whether they’ll find good jobs when they graduate.
Last week, in Nevada, I walked through a neighborhood with homes vacant or in foreclosure. Unemployment there is over 13%. Across the nation, over 20 million Americans still can’t find a job, or have given up looking.
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. 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. In 1985, I helped found a company. At first, we had ten employees; today there are hundreds.
My work led me to become deeply involved in helping other businesses, from innovative startups to large companies going through tough times. Sometimes I was successful and helped create jobs, other times I was not. I learned how America competes with companies in other countries, why jobs leave, and how jobs are created here at home.
Later, when I served as governor of Massachusetts, I used the skills I had learned in 25 years in business to streamline state government, balance the budget every year, and restore a 2 billion dollar rainy day fund.
From my vantage point in business and in government, I have become convinced that America has been put on a dangerous course by Washington politicians, and it has become even worse during the last two years. But I am also convinced that with able leadership, America’s best days are still ahead.
That is why today I am announcing my Exploratory Committee for the Presidency of the United States.
It is time that we put America back on a course of greatness, with a growing economy, good jobs and fiscal discipline in Washington.
I believe in America. I believe in the freedom and opportunity, and the principles of our constitution, that have led us to become the greatest nation in the history of the earth – and I believe that these principles will confirm American’s future as well.
This effort is not about a person, it is about the cause of American freedom and greatness. I’d like to ask you to join with us – volunteer, donate, or just pass this along to a friend. Thanks so much.