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Romney Launches 2012 Exploratory Phase

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.

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