Entries in exploratory committee (6)


Is There a President King in America's Future?

PeteKing [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican Party is looking for a few good presidential candidates.  Is Congressman Peter King one of them?

The outspoken Republican from Staten Island, New York insists he has no designs on the White House, at least for the moment.

King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, told Politico Wednesday, "I'm not going to Iowa, I'm not going to New Hampshire, I’m not forming an exploratory committee."

Rumblings over the Internet about a possible King candidacy began Tuesday when Long Island Republican Committee chairman Joseph Mondello said that King should definitely throw his hat into the ring.

The longtime lawmaker didn't exactly shut the door on a possible run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 when he told Politico he might be interested "if it takes off."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Announces Presidential Exploratory Committee

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum announced on the Fox News Channel Wednesday night that he's formed an exploratory committee to examine a possible run for the White House in 2012.

In announcing the move, Santorum said, “It’s time for America to be America again -- an America that rewards innovation and hard work, that stands by our allies instead of our enemies, that protects even the most vulnerable of our society, and an America that says every life is to be cherished.”

Reps for Santorum say the former GOP Senator has visited the key primary and caucus states of Iowa and New Hampshire nearly 40 times and will travel back to New Hampshire Thursday.  The reps say Santorum has also made numerous visits to South Carolina, and recently won a presidential straw poll in Greenville County, grabbing 31 percent of the vote.

The formation of an exploratory committee allows possible candidates to conduct fundraising activities to determine if there's sufficient interest, and funding, to become full-fledged candidates.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Announces 2012 Presidential Exploratory Committee

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally launched his 2012 presidential exploratory committee on Monday in a Web video, declaring that “President Obama’s policies have failed.”

“He and virtually all the people around him have never worked in the real economy,” Romney said in the message. “They just don’t know how jobs are created in the private sector. That’s where I spent my entire career.”

Romney's announcement comes on the fifth anniversary of his signing of a health care law in Massachusetts that is similar to the national law passed last year and backed by the Obama administration.

Obama has recently been bestowing frequent words of praise for the health care reform law Romney put in place, and Romney has been firing back, saying the two measures are not the same.

Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and lost to Sen. John McCain, goes into the 2012 presidential contest as one of the favorites.

Romney is just the second major GOP presidential contender to form an exploratory committee. He follows in the footsteps of another former governor, Minnesota Republican Tim Pawlenty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tim Pawlenty Hires Nick Ayers to Lead Exploratory Committee

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tim Pawlenty's presidential exploratory committee announced Monday it has a new leader: Nick Ayers, 28, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association.

His hire by Pawlenty was seen as something of a coup since Ayers has a close relationship with another potential presidential candidate -- Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Ayers helped draft the RGA’s four-year political plan starting in 2007.  During his time at the helm, he led a successful fundraising effort and managed a $112 million budget.  After his time at the RGA, Ayers was tapped to help oversee the Republican National Committee’s transition team by newly-elected RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

Before joining the RGA, Ayers ran Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2006 re-election campaign.

Ayers plans to relocate to Minneapolis -- headquarters for the Pawlenty presidential effort -- and begin his new job on April 25.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty to Announce 2012 Presidential Exploratory Committee

ABC News (file)(WASHINGTON) -- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to make his presidential intentions official Monday by announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, a source close to Pawlenty told ABC News.

Pawlenty will make the announcement on his Facebook page at 3 p.m. ET on Monday.

The Republican former governor has been traveling the country in recent months, focusing on early nominating states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and fine-tuning his message to potential GOP presidential primary voters.

While not an official declaration of his candidacy, the exploratory commitee allows Pawlenty to begin testing the waters for a Republican presidential bid.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Downplays Announcement As The Wait For 2012 Continues

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Just hours after word leaked out that Newt Gingrich would cement his place as the first major Republican candidate to take a step toward the 2012 presidential race, his top spokesman was already seeking to tamp down speculation about just how official of a roll-out the former House Speaker was planning.

Gingrich is scheduled to be in Atlanta on Thursday for a press conference with Georgia’s GOP Gov. Nathan Deal at which he was expected to officially announce a presidential exploratory committee. Not so fast, Gingrich's spokesman Rick Tyler said in a statement that landed in reporters' inboxes Tuesday night titled: "Clarification."

"While Speaker Gingrich is in Georgia on Thursday, he will NOT announce the formation of an exploratory committee," Tyler said in the message.

A source close to Gingrich told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that, for legal reasons, Gingrich is prepared to announce something called "an explore phase" that will allow him to prepare for a presidential run.  This "explore phase," the source says, is legally different from an official exploratory committee.

But Gingrich adviser Joe Gaylord, who for two decades has been Gingrich's closest political hand, had already disclosed to the Des Moines Register that the formation of a presidential exploratory committee was in the offing during the Atlanta trip.

"It's exactly that, an exploratory committee," Gaylord told the Register's Tom Beaumont. (Tyler called it that "a significantly inaccurate statement.")

The roll-out strategy seems like a head-scratcher even to long-time political observers. And the Gingrich team's conflicting public -- and private -- comments about the former House Speaker's intentions underlies the fundamental paradox of this election for Republicans: is the nomination really worth it?

Another potential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, has candidly noted the difficulty of beating an incumbent president and the steep challenge (fundraising, in particular) of running in 2012. The forecasts for the economy and job growth are improving, albeit sluggishly -- unemployment remains high nationwide. And after the palpable anger at Democrats and the Washington political establishment boosted Republicans to historic victories in the November elections, it could be a challenge for the GOP to keep that level of voter enthusiasm high.

Moreover, Gingrich has to unravel a very complicated -- and lucrative -- business empire to pursue the nomination. As Gaylord also noted in the Des Moines Register interview, during the "explore phase," Gingrich will be asking one fundamental question: "Is it really feasible for me to do this? And let me check this out in the next six or seven weeks, because I want to find out if it's real before I do it."

Even so, most GOP insiders still fully expect Gingrich to ultimately make the leap. And Register political columnist, Kathie Obradovich, praised the timing of Gingrich's decision to start exploring a run first, writing that "he'll be in a position to snap up some Iowa operatives."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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