Mitt Romney launches 2012 presidential campaign
It was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s day in New Hampshire, but the presidential hopeful ended up sharing the spotlight with a potential rival.
Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” family bus tour just happened to roll into the Granite State on Thursday — the same day as Romney’s big announcement. The former Alaska governor says the timing of her arrival was just a coincidence.
Romney formally tossed his hat into the ring to compete for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination under clear blues skies at a New Hampshire farm. The main event was an informal cook-out where the candidate served up chili and charges that “Barack Obama has failed America.” The former Massachusetts governor blamed the Democratic president for high unemployment, home foreclosures and other economic woes, highlighting Obama’s main weakness.
The early frontrunner in a Republican field seen as weak, Romney has some vulnerabilities including his own version of health care reform.
Shortly before Romney launched his second bid for the White House, Palin weighed in saying he’d be a great candidate and then she brought up his health care problem.
“In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, so obviously … there will be more the explanation coming from former governor, Romney, on his support for government mandates,” Palin said during a stop in Boston, on the way to New Hampshire.
As governor, Romney signed a measure that expanded health coverage in Massachusetts through a system of subsidies and mandates – a model for the Obama health care overhaul despised by many Republican voters. Romney has defended the state law while attacking the federal version.
Former New York Mayor, 2008 presidential candidate and potential 2012 contender Rudy Giuliani was in New Hampshire on Thursday too.
“Pure coincidence,” he told CNN. Coincidence or not, Giuliani also stepped into the spotlight with a swipe at Romney, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The reality is that Obamacare and Romneycare are almost exactly the same. It’s not very helpful trying to distinguish them,” Giuliani said. “The best way to deal with it is to say, ‘It was a terrible mistake, and if I could do it over again I wouldn’t do it,’” he said. “That’s the answer to Romneycare. And to the extend that it helped foster Obamacare, it was also a mistake.”
Palin and Giuliani score high in the polls, but they are still undecided on a presidential run.
Photo Credits: REUTERS/Brian Snyder (Romney announcing candidacy; Romney serving chili; Palin)