Special Report with Bret Baier is launching a 12-day series on the topic called "12 in '12" that each day will feature a profile of one of 12 Republicans who may launch presidential bids for the 2012 race. Exclusive interviews with 11 of the 12 candidates are planned for the profiles, which begin Thursday evening with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.Surprisingly, the one individual who is considered certain to run is playing hard to get.
Other candidates being profiled include: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
A thirteenth story is also planned with long-shots such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and others like Donald Trump. All 13 stories will air again after the series in a one-hour special.
So which one of the 12 candidates was the one who opted not to sit down with Baier for an interview? Romney.The reasons given are somewhat puzzling.
Baier said he still has to tape an interview with Christie as well, but that has just been a scheduling issue, and he's talking to Christie's team today to iron out a time.
"Gov. Romney is a different story," Baier said. "We've talked to them a number of times. They've told me they are hesitant to do anything that has a 2012 connotation to it."
He added, however, that most of his interview subjects still say they aren't running or couched their answers in some way.
Nevertheless, Baier said, "I don't think many people in politics would bet against Mitt Romney running."
He said he's going to try one more time to get an interview and is still holding out hope.
An official for Romney's Free and Strong America PAC told RealClearPolitics that Romney did participate because FOX News was able to gather footage of Romney stumping for candidates on the campaign trail in the midterms in recent weeks.Is anyone else surprised that he would pass on this? It seems like a great opportunity for primary voters to compare and contrast the potential contenders. Perhaps he's still working on his health care talking points. The answer he gave on Hannity the other night was an improvement, but acknowledging that RomneyCare and ObamaCare have many "similarities" is a dangerous tactic. The ads practically write themselves.
Romney appeared on Sean Hannity's program on the network on Monday night and was asked about the presidential race as well as the health care law he pushed through as governor. Baier said that for now, they will use the sound from that interview.
"The Romney team thinks there is only limited value in time spent on cable television, particularly when the focus is on the outrage of the moment and politicians are forced to react to events rather than make a case for themselves," the story reads.
Read the entire article here.