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Leavitt, Romney's transition chief, a frequent Capitol guest

Published June 19, 2012 12:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ex-Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt says he plans to spend some serious time in Washington this summer as he plans what a Romney presidency would look like.

The Salt Lake Tribune spotted Leavitt just off of the Senate floor Tuesday and he remained tight lipped because of his new role as the head of the Romney campaign's transition team.

"I just came up to visit some friends," said Leavitt, with a big smile. " I've been having some visits on various subjects and I'll probably wander around here fairly often over the next little while."

On Monday, a Washington Post reporter caught Leavitt, a former Health and Human Services Secretary, coming out of a meeting with House Republicans where he said he talked about health care.

Since the end of the Bush administration, Leavitt has ran his own health care consulting business, Leavitt Partners, which is consulting with states attempting to create online insurance exchanges as required by the Affordable Care Act.

Romney helped set up the nation's first exchange as Massachusetts's governor, but has opposed the federal health bill in its entirety.

Asked about health reform, Leavitt said: "I'm helping Gov. Romney and I'm just not making any public policy statements."

He did confirm that he's still doing some consulting work, but its clear that the transition work is dominating his time and attention.

"Most of my focus is on thinking this problem through. It is just planning," he said.

— Matt Canham

Twitter: @mattcanham