UPDATED at 3:05 p.m.: As promised, Mitt Romney made it official. (You can watch video of his announcement speech at the bottom of the post.)
Meanwhile, the GOP frontrunner isn’t going to have New Hampshire to himself for much longer: Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour is set to roll into the state later this evening. She’s slated to attend a coastal clambake with local GOP officials, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.
Palin is calling the timing “coincidental,” but her first trip to the Granite State since the 2008 election is sure to steal some of Romney's buzz. As for her take on Romney’s speech: “I do agree with him on so many fronts, when you look at the joblessness and you look at the price of gas, and you look at the locked up lands that it takes political will to unlock to exploit our natural resources,” she said, according to Politico.
Still, she said she's not ready to back Romney just yet. “We’ll see,” Palin said. “But I appreciate that he’s going to be bold enough to talk about that today.”
Original post at 9:33 a.m.: After months of informal campaigning, Mitt Romney on Thursday will officially enter the 2012 race for the White House.
The former Massachusetts governor will head to Stratham, New Hampshire, where he’ll make the announcement at a chili cookout for supporters. The location won’t be the only thing traditional about Romney’s campaign launch, so will his economic-themed message that comes complete with a promise to “finally, finally balance the budget.”
According to his prepared remarks, Romney will repeat his vow to repeal “ObamaCare,” pledge to cap federal spending at 20 percent of the GDP, and argue that “we are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy.” And if that’s not enough to rally his supporters, he’ll throw in this likely applause-line for good measure: “Barack Obama has failed America.”
Romney’s camp got to work early spinning the event. A senior aide previewed his boss’s speech to Politico, like so: “Voters will hear a serious speech for serious times:”
An excerpt from Romney’s prepared speech:
A few years ago, Americans did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn't known for very long, who didn't have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place. At the time, we didn't know what sort of a President he would make. It was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when Barack Obama came to office, we wished him well and hoped for the best. Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by. Barack Obama has failed America.