Presidential Election › Mitt Romney
On April 11, 2011, Romney announced in a video taped outdoors at the University of New Hampshire that he had formed an exploratory committee as a first step for a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination, saying "It is time that we put America back on a course of greatness, with a growing economy, good jobs and fiscal discipline in Washington." The announcement represented the culmination of Romney's activities; as one Quinnipiac University political science professor stated, "We all knew that he was going to run. He's really been running for president ever since the day after the 2008 election."
Romney stood to possibly gain from the Republican electorate's tendency to nominate candidates who had previously run for president and were "next in line" to be chosen. Perhaps his greatest hurdle in gaining the Republican nomination was opposition to the Massachusetts health care reform law that he had signed five years earlier. The early stages of the race found Romney as the apparent front-runner in a weak field, especially in terms of fundraising prowess and organization. As many potential Republican candidates decided not to run (including Mike Pence, John Thune, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Mitch Daniels), Republican party figures searched for plausible alternatives to Romney.
On June 2, 2011, Romney formally announced the start of his campaign. Speaking on a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, he stressed economic issues and said that the nation was suffering from "President Obama's own misery index". He said that, "In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to make it – because I have lived it."
Romney took the early fundraising lead, raising four times more in the second quarter of 2011 than his nearest Republican opponent. He ran a low-key, low-profile campaign at first and avoided statements about the ongoing U.S. debt ceiling crisis until the final days, when he said he opposed the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved it.