Text of Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy announcement

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 13 2007 1:57 p.m. MST

I am happy to be in Michigan this morning. I'm happy to have my brother Scott and Sister Lynn here. And I'm proud to have all my children and grandchildren here too.

Michigan is where Ann and I were born. It is where we met and fell in love. I still love Ann. And I still love Michigan!

During my parents' campaigns, I visited all 83 Michigan counties, doing my best to convince Michiganders that Romneys and Republicans could lead the state back to prosperity.

You know my father as a business leader, a governor, and as an advocate of volunteerism. But he came from humble roots. He labored with lath and plaster. He never graduated from college. But like many other Americans, he made his dreams come true.

And he made a difference. My father worked here to improve Detroit Schools. He worked to write a new state constitution. And he worked as your governor for six years to get Michigan on the move. His character and integrity left an impression that has lasted through the decades.

It was Mom who did the lion's share of raising Lynn, Jane, Scott and me. Dad said, that as a successful Mom, she had accomplished more than he. Later she worked in charities, in foster care, in music and the arts, and in volunteerism. She even ran for U.S. Senate.

I always imagined that I would come back to Michigan someday. That's why I took the bar exam here. I hadn't imagined it would happen this way, but I sure have come back to Michigan today.

I chose this site for a number of reasons. It's filled with cars and memories. Dad and I loved cars. Most kids read the sports box scores. Dad and I read Automotive News. We came here together, him teaching me about cars that were built before my time.

The Rambler automobile he championed was the first American car designed and marketed for economy and mileage. He dubbed it a compact car, a car that would slay the gas-guzzling dinosaurs. It transformed the industry.

This place is not just about automobiles; it is about innovation, innovation that transformed an industry, and in doing so, gave Americans a way of life our grandparents could never have imagined.

The DC 3 above us was the first true commercial airliner. It transformed aviation from a luxury to a standard mode of transportation.

Next to us is a Ford hybrid. It is the first giant step away from our reliance on the gasoline engine. It is already changing the world of transportation.

Just outside is Thomas Edison's laboratory. There, electricity that Benjamin Franklin discovered was transformed from a novelty into a necessity.

Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America's success. If there ever was a time when innovation and transformation were needed in government, it is now.

We have lost faith in government, not in just one party, not in just one house, but in government.

We are weary of the bickering and bombast, fatigued by the posturing and self-promotion. For even as America faces a new generation of challenges, the halls of government are clogged with petty politics and stuffed with peddlers of influence.

It is time for innovation and transformation in Washington. It is what our country needs. It is what our people deserve.

I do not believe Washington can be transformed from within by a lifelong politician. There have been too many deals, too many favors, too many entanglementsÉand too little real world experience managing, guiding, leading.

I do not believe Washington can be transformed by someone who has never tried doing such a thing before, in any setting, by someone who has never even managed a corner store, let alone the largest enterprise in the world.

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