Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said Wednesday that he is exploring dates to announce whether he will run for president in 2012, a hint he is nearing a final decision. 

Romney said he is not yet ready to make an official announcement and has no set timeline for doing so, but admitted that his camp is looking at "different dates."

"No decision at this point, Sean. No announcement to make ... We're all doing the things we need to do to keep the options open," he told Fox News host Sean Hannity. "I don't have a specific time frame at this point. We're looking at different dates for making that decision."

Romney is widely expected to run for president and is billed as the early front-runner in several recent polls of the potential GOP primary field.

But no serious candidate has officially entered the race to challenge President Obama, leading to greater scrutiny of the potential candidates' decisionmaking processes. 

Romney, who also ran for president in 2008, criticized President Obama's State of the Union address and appeared to tout his own credentials as a presidential candidate. He said that the president "doesn't know what to do" when it comes to the economy.

"You know, he is trying awfully hard; the problem is he just doesn't know what to do," Romney said.

The ex-governor said the main focus of the address should have been boosting employment while cutting spending, but that Obama "didn't address those issues in a way that that convinced people."

Romney said that at least one GOP candidate should have extensive private-sector experience (he led the private equity firm Bain Capital before getting into politics).

"I do believe it would be helpful if at least one of the people in the Republican field had extensive experience in the private sector, in small business, in big business, working with the economy," he said.