News / USA

Romney, Santorum Move Toward US Presidential Bids

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. (file)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. (file)
TEXT SIZE - +

In U.S. politics, the 2012 presidential election is more than a year away.  But some Republicans with White House aspirations are beginning to eye the campaign trail.  

You can add two more likely Republican Party challengers to the mix for 2012.  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced this week that they are forming presidential exploratory committees, a traditional first step toward a campaign for the White House.

Romney finished behind eventual Republican nominee John McCain in 2008, despite the fact that he was as able to raise more campaign contributions than McCain.  Romney announced his initial step for 2012 in a video released by his campaign organization.

"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," he said.  "This effort isn’t about a person.  It is about the cause of American freedom and greatness."

Former U.S. Republican Senator Rick Santorum speaking at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in Washington, D.C., February 10, 2011
Former U.S. Republican Senator Rick Santorum speaking at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in Washington, D.C., February 10, 2011

Rick Santorum is less well known than Romney around the country.  But he has a reputation for holding strong conservative views on social issues, including opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

By setting up exploratory committees, potential candidates can begin fundraising and gauge how easy or difficult it will be for them to raise the tens of millions of dollars necessary to compete in a U.S. presidential race.

Romney has been at or near the top in most recent public opinion polls and some analysts consider Romney the closest thing to a front-runner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination at this very early point in the race.

"In the Republican tradition, Mitt Romney is the frontrunner simply because he has run before and come reasonably close to the nomination," said Larry Sabato, who directs the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.  "But he certainly is not a strong frontrunner.  He didn’t make a great impression in 2008, and we don’t know who’s running for sure yet."

Other analysts see the Republican race for 2012 as wide open and predict a large field of contenders will eventually join the fray.

Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich (file)
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich (file)

Already, former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer have taken initial steps toward a run for the White House.  Others expected to follow soon include Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

But some well-known Republicans have so far shown little indication of getting into the race, including former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  Palin was John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008, and she retains a loyal following as a conservative television commentator.

One surprise in recent weeks has been the rise of New York real estate mogul and television celebrity Donald Trump in some of the opinion polls.

Real estate developer Donald Trump (2006 file)
Real estate developer Donald Trump (2006 file)

Trump has raised questions about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, even though state officials in Hawaii confirmed its authenticity when Mr. Obama was a presidential candidate.  Under the U.S. Constitution, only people born in the United States are eligible to become president, and so-called "birther" groups opposed to Mr. Obama continue to allege that he was born in Kenya.

With names like Romney, Trump, Huckabee and Gingrich near the top of most opinion surveys, experts say that better known contenders have an advantage in the early stages of the 2012 Republican race.

"We have a huge field of candidates," said John Fortier, who is with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.  "The ones who are at the top now are those who are best known and who have high name recognition.  There are a few others who might make it into that final group, but it is a long process of sorting that out on the Republican side."

It is expected that most of those Republicans truly interested in running for president next year will formally announce their intentions in the next few months.  Candidate debates are scheduled beginning next month in South Carolina.  The first official test for the Republican field is scheduled for next February in the Iowa precinct caucuses.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid