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Richard Piatt Reporting Mitt Romney made it official today by announcing he is a Presidential candidate for 2008. He enters at a time when the list of candidates is already getting crowded.
Romney made his announcement in his home state of Michigan today. However, he knows Utah is a base of support, and we already have hard results to back that up.
Romney was born in Michigan, where his father George Romney was governor in the late 1960's. Here, with his father's political legacy playing along side his own, he made a case for his leadership on important issues, like the war in Iraq.
Mitt Romney (R), Presidential Candidate: "Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America's success since the very beginning. And if ever there was a time when innovation and transformation were needed in government, it is now (applause)."
Romney stressed his experience in the private, public and volunteer sectors, referring of course to his leadership in the 2002 Winter Olympics here in Utah. And he compared himself to other Republican heavy hitters in the race, like Rudy Giuliani and John McCain.
Even with that competition, most people in Utah prefer Romney right now, according to a recent Dan Jones poll. 45 percent of the 418 people in the survey support Romney right now. That's more than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat.
But pollster Dan Jones says Romney's changing position on the issues could hurt him later.
Dan Jones, Political Pollster: "He tried to be a little more conservative in some of the audiences, and that's catching up to him. He has to take a stand on these issues. He can't flip flop back and forth."
If successful, Romney would be the first Mormon president. The religious issue is also seen as a huge unknown that will probably affect how the race to the primary will go.