US: Mitt Romney Entering Race to Oust Obama in 2012

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 2:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has become the latest high-profile Republican to join the U.S. presidential race, hoping to deny President Barack Obama a second term.

Romney launched his 2012 campaign Thursday in the northeastern state of New Hampshire, telling supporters Mr. Obama “has failed America.”

He pledged to slash government spending, repeal President Obama's health care reforms, and make job creation a top priority.

This is the second time Romney has run for president. In 2008 he lost the nomination to Senator John McCain .

Romney has been laying the groundwork for months for another bid for the White House. Numerous polls show him as the slight leader for the Republican nomination against several other contenders, but with the support of only about one of every five party voters in what is considered a wide-open contest.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, current Texas Representative Ron Paul and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty have also announced their candidacies.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has not said whether she will enter the race. She was the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president.

Palin is currently on a bus tour of the U.S. East Coast and is expected to visit New Hampshire Thursday.

President Obama's Democratic Party is already targeting Romney's candidacy, accusing him of changing his position on key issues — from the economy to health care — in a video posted Thursday on YouTube.

When he was governor, Romney pushed through comprehensive health care legislation covering most of the state's residents. That law became the model for the national health care bill supported by Mr. Obama and narrowly approved by Congress last year.

Numerous Republicans are opposed to the national law because it requires most people to buy health insurance, the same provision as in the state law. Romney has had to defend his support for the Massachusetts measure. He says he does not support the national insurance mandate.

Romney is credited with turning the scandal-ridden 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, into a success. He later became a venture capitalist and founder of a management consulting company.