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Text of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid announcement

Published: Thursday, June 2 2011 12:25 p.m. MDT

With the economy in crisis, his answer is to borrow money we can't afford and throw it at Washington bureaucrats and politicians. Just like Europe.

Instead of encouraging entrepreneurs and employers, he raises their taxes, piles on record-breaking mounds of regulation and bureaucracy and gives more power to union bosses.

Instead of recognizing the states rightful authority to solve problems, he seizes power from them and rams through a disastrous national health care plan.

This President's first answer to every problem is to take power from you, your local government and your state so that so-called "experts" in Washington can make those choices for you. And with each of these decisions, we lose more of our freedom.

You and I understand this. We look at our country, and we know in our hearts that things aren't right, and they're not getting better.

President Obama's European answers are not the right solution to America's challenges.

In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to make it — because I have lived it.

Twenty-seven years ago, I left a steady job to join with some friends to start a business. Like many of you, it had been a dream of mine to try and build a business from the ground up. We started in a small office a couple of hours from here and over the years, we were able to grow from ten employees to hundreds.

My work led me to become deeply involved in helping other businesses, from innovative startups to large companies going through tough times. Sometimes I was successful and helped create jobs, other times I was not. I learned how America competes with companies in other countries, what works in the real world and what doesn't.

I left my business in 1999 to help put the Salt Lake City Olympics back on track. And when the Games were over, I came home to Massachusetts and served as governor.

I'd never held office before but I went at it like I ran businesses and the Olympics: ask tough questions and take on the toughest problems first, because they'll only get worse.

When I took office, I faced a nearly $3 billion budget hole. My legislature was over 85% Democrat. The expectation was that we'd have to raise taxes but I refused. I ordered a review of all state spending, made tough choices and balanced the budget without raising taxes. That sent a message that business as usual was over.

Over the next four years, we consolidated agencies, cut programs, sold state property and cut taxes nineteen times. The state was giving away over a billion dollars in free health care, much of it to people who could have paid something but were gaming the system. You won't be surprised that a lot of Democrats thought we should be giving away even more.

I took it on and hammered out a solution that took a bad situation and made it better. Not perfect but it was a state solution for a state problem. At the end of four years, it took over 800 vetoes but we balanced every budget, restored a $2 billion dollar rainy day fund and kept our schools first among all 50 states.

All of these experiences — starting and running businesses for 25 years, turning around the Olympics, governing a state — have helped shape who I am and how I lead. Of course, if I ran through a list of all my mistakes, Ann would find it hilarious, and we'd be here all night. But I've learned a lot.

Turning around a crisis takes experienced leadership and bold action. For millions of Americans, the economy is in crisis today, and unless we change course, it will be in crisis for all of us tomorrow.

Government under President Obama has grown to consume almost 40% of our economy. We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy. I will cap federal spending at 20% or less of the GDP and finally, finally balance the budget.

My generation will pass the torch to the next generation, not a bill.

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