Romney, seeking US Senate seat, calls for action against mass shootings

Just hours after announcing plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took the stage Friday night in Provo to draw attention to a matter clear across the country: this week's massacre in Florida.

“I think we can’t just sit and wait and hope for things to get better,” Romney said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “It is wrong and unacceptable for children in our schools to fear for their lives.”

Romney called for preventive measures, such as strengthening the FBI database for firearm background checks and enhancing school security with police patrols and intervention teams, as steps states should consider to prevent such tragedies.

Romney is considered the heavy favorite to replace the retiring Orrin Hatch.

After losing the 2012 presidential race, the former Massachusetts governor moved to Utah, where he has deep roots from his time at Brigham Young University and his role in repairing the image of the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Romney briefly outlined his platform for his campaign in a video message posted to Twitter, where he touched on immigration, fiscal responsibility and took what seemed to be a jab at President Donald Trump.

“Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington,” Romney says in the video. “Utah has balanced its budgets. Washington is buried in debt. Utah exports more abroad than it imports. Washington has that backwards. Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.”

Romney’s announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise, but it was delayed after Wednesday’s shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.