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. Bill

    Transition to what? Returning to lifesyles of the rich and famous? A wasted effort, as no transition to the presidency will ever occur.

    June 4, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Cynthia L.

    You mean doing that Etch-a-Sketch thing??

    June 4, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has surrounded himself with a lot of those involved in the Bush error and economic meltdown. Keep on polishing those turds, Mittens.

    June 4, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The transition if Mittens is elected will be to move from a democracy to a plutocracy.

    June 4, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Before Republicans vote Romney, you better be aware of who these people are that he's lining up to run this country. You can start by reading their bio.

    June 4, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Anonymous

    This is concerning. A former Bushie and a LDS member all in one transition. Looks as if Mitt is going "all stubborn" on America.

    June 4, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Isn't this putting the cart before the horse ??????

    June 4, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. enuff

    and the cronyism begins.

    June 4, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. ST

    This man Romney is dreaming everyday sitting in the White House. 99% are not going to allow him any more to make money for investors only. Mr. severely conservative, what I can only say to you is: impatience never commanded success!

    June 4, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. enuff

    WAIT A MINUTE! he's taking advantage of a law by President Obama? and bragging about it? It's the end of the world!

    June 4, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. B

    Talking about counting your chickens before they hatch.

    June 4, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    So far, I give Mittens a grade of F -, based on the people he has chosen as advisors. his lack of understanding of foreign policy, and his dismal job creation as governor of MA. He has no record to run on, other than being born in the end zone, and thinking he scored a touchdown.

    June 4, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Expat American

    Leavitt’s job is easy.
    The number one priority of the Republican Party and Romney for November 5, 2012 is war with Iran.
    The 1% in the Defense industry have been forced to live the sad lives of paupers!

    June 4, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. GI Joe

    Transitioning to Mormonism as the religion of the U.S.?

    Don't let it happen.

    June 4, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. ST

    Can't folks see Romney as a total failure?

    1. In 1994 he was defeated in Mass. senate run, by late Edward Kennedy
    2. He was one time governor in Mass.
    3. He failed Bain Capital
    4. In 2008 he run for presidential nomination and he failed

    Still people think he can make it this time and become a president???????

    June 4, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. s

    Waste of time, he is not going to win, HELLO

    June 4, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. Tony

    Romney is putting the cart before the horse. He needs to improve his poll numbers among women. The gender gap is significant, and there are more female than male voters. He also needs to improve his poll numbers in the battleground states. He trails Obama in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virgina and Wisconsin, among others. In Wisconsin, even though Governor Walker leads in the polls before the recall election, the same polls give Obama a comfortable lead over Romney.

    June 4, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. go

    back to the bush crash and burn-this time there will be no money to fix it

    June 4, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. NVa Native

    Great – another angry white guy who worships profit. More of the last same.

    June 4, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Dave Harris

    Why doesn't he ask Dick Chaney? Just bring back the good old days. He'll start a few more wars, torture some prisoners, devastate the environment, just like before.

    June 4, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Expat American

    The GOP has already selected Rove to lead the transition team.

    June 4, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. Thomas

    Governor Mike Leavitt ... Romney counts on Mormons .

    Here comes the Mormon Mafia !

    Brigham Young / Mitt Romney / Donald Trump

    June 4, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. Anonymous

    GI Joe

    Transitioning to Mormonism as the religion of the U.S.?

    Don't let it happen.

    By choosing Leavitt, there is that perception and Romney is a fool to allow it to continue. It's a thumbing his nose gesture if ever I've seen one. Par for the course where Mitt Romney is concerned - thumbing his nose, that is.

    June 4, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. ThinkAgain

    Transition to what? Mittens is proposing all of GW Bush's and the GOP's economic, military and foreign policies, which are all PROVEN FAILURES.

    Why? Because Mittens and the GOP appeal to the greedy who are willfully taking our country down the toilet and the ignorant who cling to their magical thinking that if we just give more money to the rich and deregulate all industry, that everything will turn out fine for them – ALL EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    June 4, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    Leavitt, no need. Willard will be transitioning back into being an election loser. Campaigning 6 years and woefully unprepared. Willard best not think that his tax return issue is put to bed.
    All that time in 6 years and the "job creator" hasn't created a single job....not even for himself.

    June 4, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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