Mitt Romney's 'balancing act' campaign announcement

The presumed frontrunner for the GOP's presidential nomination officially enters the race. Can he win over the base without swinging too far right?

Mitt Romney
(Image credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

The video: Well, it's official. On Thursday, Mitt Romney announced in New Hampshire that he's running for president... again. (Watch clip below.) The ex-Massachusetts governor, who finished behind John McCain and Mike Huckabee in 2008, is the presumed frontrunner for the 2012 GOP nomination, thanks to his fundraising prowess, name recognition, and campaign experience — not to mention a rather lackluster GOP field. In breaking the news, Romney charged that the president "has failed America" by not rescuing the economy (prompting the Obama administration to immediately reply that it was saddled with a historically terrible economy). The Tea Party has already launched a "Stop Romney" campaign. And Sarah Palin briefly upstaged Romney's announcement with criticism of his Massachusetts health care plan — which bears striking resemblances to President Obama's.

The reaction: Romney's speech boiled down to this: "Things are bad, things are bad because of Obama, elect me and I'll use my business background to fix things," says Philip Klein in the Washington Examiner. But hey, "in a weak GOP field, this could be enough to win." It's not like he has other options, says Joshua Green in The Atlantic. "Romney isn't a passion-and-charisma candidate, so his best bet is to focus on the economy." The former Massachusetts governor also tried to "feed red meat" to conservatives by labeling Obama as "European," says Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. But he should be careful with this "balancing act." If he swings too far right, he'll fail in "preserving his aura and stature as a non-crazy alternative to the likes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann." Watch a clip from Romney's speech:

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