WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama on Monday formally announced his 2012 re-election bid, saying the country needed "to protect the progress" it had made.


"Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign," Obama said in a statement.

He explained that as his administration and supporters across the country "fight to protect the progress we've made -- and make more -- we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest."

Obama said that in coming days, his supporters will begin forging a new organization in cities and towns across the country.

"And I'll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that's farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we've built before," he said.

The announcement was preceded by a video, which featured a group of presidential supporters talking about the importance of continuing the job the president started following his election in 2008.

"This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate," Obama said in the statement.

"But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together."