Speaking at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announces his candidacy for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He introduced himself as a political outsider with the managerial skills necessary to fix a flawed government.
Romney highlighted his experience in government, as a businessman and in the nonprofit sector, where he ran the Salt Lake City Olympics Committee in 2002.
Despite his close ties to three states, Romney, 59, chose Michigan to announce his candidacy. His father was governor of the state, in addition to running an automobile company there.
But Michigan is also a key battleground state, and it hosts a relatively early primary with many delegates at stake.
Making his announcement Tuesday morning, Romney was joined by his wife, Ann, their children and grandchildren.
Behind the candidate were three big props: a vintage DC-3 propeller airplane, which Romney told the audience had transformed commercial air travel; a classic AMC Rambler, which his father pioneered as the first American high-mileage car; and a brand-new Ford hybrid SUV.
"Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America's success," Romney said. "If there ever was a time when innovation and transformation were needed in government, it is now."