Mitt Romney speaks at RNC meeting aboard USS Midway

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SAN DIEGO -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is scheduled Friday night to deliver brief remarks at the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum to conclude the three-day Republican National Committee Winter Meeting.

Romney, who owns a home in La Jolla, is exploring a third presidential bid, ensuring that his speech will be watched closely for clues regarding his intentions. He lost to President Barack Obama in 2012 and failed to secure the GOP nomination in 2008.

The RNC announced earlier Friday that it will sanction nine debates for its presidential hopefuls beginning in August, including one at a so far undisclosed location in California, to be broadcast by CNN.

“By constructing and instituting a sound debate process, it will allow candidates to bring their ideas and vision to Americans in a timely and efficient way,'' said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “This schedule ensures we will have a robust discussion among our candidates while also allowing the candidates to focus their time engaging with Republican voters.''

While final arrangements for the debates still need to be negotiated, it will give the public a chance to hear from what he thinks will be a large field of candidates, said Priebus, who was reelected as party chairman.

At a dinner Thursday at the Hotel del Coronado, one of those potential presidential hopefuls, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, delivered the meeting's keynote speech. He criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and contrasted himself with his party's other potential 2016 presidential candidates.

“She lives in Washington. She works in Washington. She came to Washington through this president and his administration,'' Walker said of Clinton, whom he described as the all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee.

“She was in Washington when she was a United States senator. She was in Washington when her husband was president of the United States. You look at everything that people dislike about Washington, and she embodies it,'' Walker said.

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