Romney, Santorum and Bachmann all signal 2012 announcement plans

at 08:18 PM ET, 05/26/2011


Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is kicking off his presidential campaign next week. (STEVE MARCUS - REUTERS)
Early next month, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum will formally enter the 2012 Republican presidential race while Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is widely expected to run, will clarify her own plans.

Romney, who is regarded as the race’s frontrunner, will formally announce his presidential campaign next Thursday, June 2 in New Hampshire, his campaign confirmed tonight.

Days later — on June 6 — Santorum will make it official with an announcement in Somerset, Pa. And Bachmann said Thursday night that she will make an “all-important announcement” next month in Waterloo, Iowa.

None of the announcements are unexpected as all three Republicans have been moving toward the race for months. But, taken together, their decisions will help bring clarity to a still-chaotic field.

Romney’s announcement will take place at the Scamman’s Bittersweet Farm in Stratham. Doug Scamman, the former speaker of the New Hampshire House, and his wife Stella, a former state representative, are an influential couple in New Hampshire Republican politics and their farm is a well-known stop for aspiring politicians. They endorsed Romney earlier this month.

In a sign of how important New Hampshire is to Romney’s presidential ambitions, this announcement will be his second in the Granite State. He launched his exploratory committee in April with a video filmed on the University of New Hampshire campus.

Earlier this week, Romney led a WMUR-CNN poll of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire by a huge margin. In the 2008 presidential election, he narrowly lost the state’s primary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Santorum’s announcement, which will be made near Somerset, Pennsylvania, comes just four days after Romney enters the race but will be greeted with significantly less fanfare.

Santorum spent 12 years in the Senate but lost his 2006 re-election race badly to Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D), a defeat that has badly tarnished his standing in the party.

Bachmann has served in the House since 2006, rapidly emerging as a leading conservative — and controversial -- voice in the chamber.

An Iowa native, Bachmann is regarded as a serious contender in the state’s caucuses thanks to her strong social conservative credentials and native daughter appeals.

 
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