Romney names former Utah gov. to lead potential transition
June 4th, 2012
09:49 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney names former Utah gov. to lead potential transition

(CNN) – Mitt Romney has named former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt to lead his presidential transition team should he win November's general election, the Republican presidential candidate's campaign confirmed Monday.

"Governor Romney has asked Governor Leavitt to lead the Readiness Project. This is exactly what the bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010 encouraged candidates to do," Romney's campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote.

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Saul was referring to the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010, which allowed the General Services Administration to provide candidates with resources – including office space and equipment - for a presidential transition ahead of the general election. The intent of that measure was to render the transfer of power between presidents as efficient as possible.

Appointing a transition team before the general election is a common practice among presidential candidates, meant to ensure no president-elect is caught off guard with the requirements of becoming commander-in-chief.

Obama appointed John Podesta, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff, to lead his transition team well ahead of 2008's general election.

Although it is standard operating procedure to have a transition team, Obama campaign Senior Strategist David Axelrod said on a conference call Monday it is not standard operating procedure to "make a big point of it."

"I view it as a political gesture on his part to do that," Axelrod said. "We had a transition process that was very quiet throughout the summer and fall."

He said the story will "be ultimately a part of the dust-bin of history."

Leavitt, Romney's pick to lead a potential transition, was elected governor of Utah in 1992, and went on to hold the office for ten years. He was governor of the state when Romney headed the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee in 2002.

In 2003 Leavitt was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He later became Bush's Secretary of Health and Human Services.

CNN's Jim Acosta and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

Also see:

Poll: Romney's favorable rating jumps, but Obama still more popular

Romney backer offers soft Obama praise

Barrett on a presidential visit: Obama's busy

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. FLIndpendent

    People need to wake up quickly and realize a Romney presidency will be even worse than Bush. He will have the same people in his administration so what will they do differently than what they did during those years? Their first priority will be starting a war with Iran, mark my words! When Bush was elected I knew he was going to start a war with Iraq and we all know how that turned out. We can't afford a Romney presidency!!!

    June 4, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. mississippi

    Get ready for war ! Cut spending for wars mitten & reps. #1 goal ready for war vote mitten!!!

    June 4, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. tee27

    Hear is what makes this so bad a reporter last week ask Mitt about not showing his past tax return from 1998-2010 he side step the question, Then was ask do you think rick scott try to steal the FL, election with purge from the voting rolls before the election Mitt side step that question to WOW. And they just found out the voters that are already purge from the list are are registered and most are independent voters, If any independent vote for a Republican in 2012 should be ashamed of there self.

    June 4, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. G

    The Bush Administration will rise back to power through Romney becoming president.

    June 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney taking USA backward with "A Better Amercia"

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney is so full of himself!....I can't wait to see that smirk on his face disappear to sadness when he lose big time!

    There is NO way Mitt is winning this election....never gonna happen!!!!

    June 4, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Myviewis

    Governor Romney enlists another Governor, 2 governors with day-to-day, hands-on experiense with budgets, jobs, tourism, laws, insurance, infrastructure, housing, education, utilities, etc....everything a governor deals with in a state. While Obama had no experience because he was a professor and community organizer, author.

    June 4, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Beverly - NYC

    Keep your day job Mr. Leavitt, you will be leading Mitt's transition back to civilian life.

    June 4, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Sounds like an LDS conspiracy to me. So he picks the guy whose bacon he saved from the Winter Olympics fiasco to run a potential transition team. Anyone want to bet on the number of LDS members who get prominent cabinet level positions?

    June 4, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Governor Romey likes to fire people. Another favorite of his as governor was ""I know how to veto. I like vetoes. I've vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as governor."

    His way or the highway. Didn't work in Mass, won't work for U.S.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 4, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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