Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney Announces Presidential Exploratory Committee

(NECN) - Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has taken the first step toward running for president in 2012.

The 2008 candidate and former Massachusetts Governor today announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a 2012 Presidential bid with a YouTube video and a campaign Romney website on Monday:

In the video, which was shot today in Durham, New Hampshire, Romney says it is "time to restore America's greatness," and criticizes the Obama administration for failing to effectively lead.

Watch the full video here:

Romney is making his run on the fifth anniversary of the Massachusetts health care reform law, which has been widely cited by potential Republican primary challengers as a state version of "Obamacare."

Editor's Note:

Here is the script for the video above -

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.

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