Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) filed the paperwork for a presidential exploratory committee Monday, making the long-anticipated first step toward a 2012 bid.
The timing of the announcement also provided him the opportunity to suck some air from the Democrats, who were using Tuesday’s anniversary of Massachusetts’ healthcare law to remind voters that Romney signed the bill into law.
Romney's conservative critics have heaped criticism on his healthcare plan for its similarities to the reform bill President Obama passed through Congress, a measure despised by the GOP primary base.
The other is this. If you want to be in Fox's debate, you better file your paperwork
Republicans who want to participate in the first presidential debate of the 2012 primary cycle will be forced to formally get into the race by the end of this month, Fox News is expected to announce this afternoon.
Fox News Channel, a co-sponsor of May 5's debate with the South Carolina GOP, is expected to outline criteria this afternoon that would, most importantly, force candidates to make a decision by the end of the month about whether to get in the race if they want to participate in the debate.
Fox is expected to outline six criteria for candidates, which are listed below. The candidates and prospective participants in the debate:
— Must register a presidential exploratory committee or have announced a formal campaign for president;
— Must file all necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC);
— Must file all necessary paperwork with the South Carolina Republican Party;
— Must have paid all federal and South Carolina filing fees;
— Must meet all U.S. Constitutional requirements; and
— Must have garnered at least an average of 1 percent in five national polls based on most recent polling leading up to April 29.
The criteria could mean a smaller crowd onstage than is so far expected for the debate, which will be held in Greenville, S.C.
I don't like the polling requirement because polls can change quickly, but the rest of it I have no problem with whatsoever. Put up or shut up. You're either in or your out. Right now there's a ton of "I'm thinking about its" so some pols can get their names in the paper without formal announcements.
I don't know if I'm going to watch it or not. I'm more interested in action, not words.