Mitt Romney finally confirmed Monday what the nation has long expected: He's making a second bid for the White House.
The former Massachusetts governor made the announcement on Twitter, linking to a two-and-a-half minute long YouTube video in which he announced he's forming an official 2012 exploratory committee--the first step in a White House run.
The low key announcement--which came down with no advance notice to reporters--came as Democrats tried to capitalize on tomorrow's anniversary of the Massachusetts health care law Romney signed into law five years ago.
In the video, which was filmed in New Hampshire, Romney talks almost exclusively about the economy, touting his own credentials in the private sector while criticizing President Obama's "failed" policies amid record unemployment numbers.
"Over 20 million Americans still can't find a job or have given up looking. How has this happened in a nation that leads the world in innovation and productivity?" Romney says. "The answer is that President Obama's policies have failed. He and virtually all of the people around him have never worked in the real economy."
Notably, Romney makes no mention of what could be his biggest vulnerability in the race: his stewardship of a health care reform bill in Massachusetts that White House officials said inspired Obama's controversial national plan.
You can watch the video here:
Romney is now the second leading GOP candidate to officially announce an exploratory bid. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty jumped into the race two weeks ago. Yet Romney has already been revving up for his 2012 bid. Over the last month, the former Massachusetts governor has been traveling the country securing financial commitments for the race. He told donors he plans to raise in upwards of $50 million alone for the GOP primary.
Perhaps not unintentionally, Romney's announcement also came on the same day Pawlenty announced the biggest staff hire of the 2012 primary so far: rising star GOP strategist Nick Ayers, who had been courted by all of the campaigns, said today he'll work for the ex-Minnesota governor.
(Screenshot of Romney via YouTube)