Governor of Massachusetts
Health Care Reform
Campaign for the Presidency (2012)
Campaign for the Presidency (2008)
Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman
and politician who served as the 70th
Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts from
2003 to 2007 and was the Republican Party's nominee for President of
the United States in the 2012 election.
Raised in Bloomfield Hills,
Michigan by his parents George and Lenore
Romney, he spent 2½ years in France as a Mormon missionary, starting
in 1966. He married Ann Davies in 1969, and they have five sons. By
1971, he had participated in the political campaigns of both parents.
He earned a BA from
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University in 1971 and a joint
Harvard University in 1975. Romney became a management
consultant and in 1977 secured a position at Bain & Company. Later
serving as Bain's chief executive officer (CEO), he helped lead the
company out of a financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded and led the
spin-off company Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity
investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the
nation. Active in
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS
Church) throughout his adult life, he served as the bishop of his ward
(head of his local congregation) and then as stake president near
After stepping down from
Bain Capital and his local leadership role in
the LDS Church, Romney ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994
Massachusetts election for U.S. Senate. After losing to longtime
incumbent Ted Kennedy, he resumed his position at Bain Capital. Years
later, a successful stint as President and CEO of the then-struggling
Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the
2002 Winter Olympics
2002 Winter Olympics led to a
relaunch of his political career. Elected
Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts in
2002, Romney helped develop and then signed into law the Massachusetts
health care reform legislation, the first of its kind in the nation.
It provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level
subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. He also
presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion
deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and
closing corporate tax loopholes. He did not seek re-election in 2006,
instead focusing on his campaign for the Republican nomination in the
2008 U.S. presidential election. Though he won several primaries and
caucuses, the eventual nominee was Senator John McCain. Romney's
considerable net worth, estimated in 2012 at $190–250 million,
helped finance his political campaigns prior to 2012.
Romney was the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United
States in the 2012 election. He won the 2012 Republican presidential
nomination, becoming the first Mormon to be the presidential nominee
of a major party. He was defeated by incumbent Democratic President
Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election, losing the
electoral college by 332–206. The popular vote between the two
major-party nominees was 51%–47% in Obama's favor. Romney kept a low
profile for a while after the election, but later became more visible
politically. In February 2018, Romney announced his candidacy for the
2018 Senate election in Utah.
1 Early life and education
1.1 Heritage and youth
1.2 University, France mission, marriage, and children: 1965–75
2 Business career
2.1 Management consulting
2.2 Minor political issues
2.3 Private equity
2.4 Personal wealth
3 Local LDS Church leadership
4 1994 U.S. Senatorial campaign
5 2002 Winter Olympics
6 Governor of Massachusetts
6.1 2002 Gubernatorial campaign
6.2 Tenure, 2003–07
7 2008 presidential campaign
8 Activity between presidential campaigns
9 2012 presidential campaign
9.1 Political positions
10 Subsequent activities
10.1 2016 presidential election and relationship with Donald Trump
11 2018 U.S. Senatorial campaign
12 Awards and honors
13 Published works
14 See also
18 Further reading and viewing
19 External links
Early life and education
Heritage and youth
See also: Romney family
Willard Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, at Harper
University Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, one of four children born
to automobile executive
George W. Romney
George W. Romney (1907–1995) and homemaker
Lenore Romney (née LaFount; 1908–1998). His mother was a native
of Logan, Utah, and his father was born to American parents in a
Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico. Of primarily English
descent, he also has Scottish and German ancestry. A
fifth-generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints (LDS Church), he is a great grandson of
Miles Park Romney
Miles Park Romney and a
great-great-grandson of Miles Romney, who converted to the faith in
its first decade. Another great-great-grandfather, Parley P. Pratt,
helped lead the early Church.
Romney has three older siblings, Margo, Jane, and Scott. Mitt was the
youngest by nearly six years. His parents named him after a family
friend, businessman J. Willard Marriott, and his father's cousin,
Milton "Mitt" Romney, a former quarterback for the Chicago Bears.
Romney was referred to as "Billy" until kindergarten, when he
expressed a preference for "Mitt". In 1953, the family moved from
Detroit to the affluent suburb of Bloomfield Hills and his father
became the chairman and CEO of
American Motors the following year and
helped the company avoid bankruptcy and return to profitability.
By 1959, his father had become a nationally known figure in print and
on television, and Mitt idolized him.
Romney began attending Cranbrook School in 1959.
Romney attended public elementary schools until the seventh grade,
when he enrolled as one of only a few Mormon students at Cranbrook
School, a private upscale boys' preparatory school a few miles from
his home. Many students there came from backgrounds even more
privileged than his. Not particularly athletic, he also did not
distinguish himself academically. He did participate in his
father's successful 1962
Michigan gubernatorial campaign, and
later worked as an intern in the Governor's office. Romney
took up residence at Cranbrook when his newly elected father began
spending most of his time at the state capitol.
At Cranbrook, Romney helped manage the ice hockey team, and he joined
the pep squad. During his senior year, he joined the cross country
running team. He belonged to eleven school organizations and
school clubs overall, including the Blue Key Club, a booster group
that he had started. During his final year there, his academic
record improved but fell short of excellence. Romney was
involved in several pranks while attending Cranbrook. He has since
apologized for those, stating that some of the pranks may have gone
too far.[nb 1] In March of his senior year, he began dating Ann
Davies; she attended the private Kingswood School, the sister school
to Cranbrook. The two became informally engaged around the
time of his June 1965 graduation.
University, France mission, marriage, and children: 1965–75
Stanford University during the 1965–66 academic
year. He was not part of the counterculture of the 1960s then
taking form in the San Francisco Bay Area. As opposition to United
States involvement in the
Vietnam War grew, a group staged a May 1966
sit-in at Stanford's administration building to demonstrate against
draft status tests; Romney joined a counter-protest against that
group. He continued to enjoy occasional pranks.[nb 2]
In July 1966, he began a thirty-month stint in France as a Mormon
missionary, a traditional rite of passage in his family.[nb 3]
He arrived in Le Havre, where he shared cramped quarters under meager
conditions. Rules against drinking, smoking, and dating were
strictly enforced. Most individual Mormon missionaries do not gain
many converts[nb 4] and Romney was no exception: he later
estimated ten to twenty for his entire mission.[nb 5] He initially
became demoralized and later recalled it as the only time when "most
of what I was trying to do was rejected." He soon gained
recognition within the mission for the many homes he called on and the
repeat visits he was granted. He was promoted to zone leader in
Bordeaux in early 1968, and soon thereafter became assistant to the
mission president in Paris. Residing at the Mission Home
for several months, he enjoyed a mansion far more comfortable than the
digs he had had elsewhere in the country. When the French
expressed opposition to the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, Romney
debated them. Those who yelled at him and slammed their doors in his
face merely reinforced his resolve.
Mitt's father George (pictured here in a 1968 poster) lost the
Republican presidential nomination to
Richard M. Nixon
Richard M. Nixon and later was
appointed to the Nixon cabinet.
Mitt's mother Lenore, promoted here on a button, lost a Senate race in
1970. Mitt worked for her campaign.
In June 1968, he was in southern France and driving an autombile that
was hit by another vehicle, which seriously injured him and killed one
of his passengers, the wife of the mission president.[nb 6] Romney
then became co-president of a mission that had become demoralized and
disorganized after the May 1968 general strike and student uprisings
and the car accident. With Romney rallying the others, the mission
met its goal of 200 baptisms for the year, the most in a
decade. By the end of his stint in December 1968, he was
overseeing the work of 175 others. As a result of his
experience there, Romney developed a lifelong affection for France and
its people and has also remained fluent in French.
At their first meeting following his return, Romney and Ann Davies
reconnected and decided to get married. Romney began attending
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University (BYU), where she had been studying. The
couple married on March 21, 1969, in a civil ceremony in Bloomfield
Hills and on the following day, they flew to Utah for a Mormon wedding
ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple; Ann had converted to the faith while
he was away.
Mitt had missed much of the tumultuous anti-
Vietnam War movement in
America while away in France. Upon his return, he was surprised to
learn that his father had joined that same movement during his
unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign. George was now serving in
President Richard Nixon's cabinet as United States Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development. In a June 1970 newspaper profile of
children of cabinet members, Mitt said that U.S. involvement in the
war had been misguided – "If it wasn't a political blunder to
move into Vietnam, I don't know what is" – but supported
Cambodian Incursion as a sincere attempt to bring the
war to a conclusion. During the U.S. military draft for the
Vietnam War, Romney sought and received two 2-S student deferments,
then a 4-D ministerial deferment while living in France as a Mormon
missionary. He later sought and received two additional student
deferments. When those ran out, the result of the December
1969 draft lottery where he drew number 300 ensured he would not be
At culturally conservative BYU, Romney remained isolated from much of
the upheaval of that era. He became president of the Cougar
Club booster organization and showed a new-found discipline in his
studies. During his senior year, he took a leave of absence to
work as driver and advance man for eventually unsuccessful Senate
campaign of his mother, Lenore Romney; together, they visited
Michigan counties. He earned a
Bachelor of Arts in
English with highest honors in 1971, giving commencement addresses
to both the College of Humanities and to the whole of BYU.[nb 7]
The Romneys' first son, Taggart, was born in 1970 while they were
undergraduates at BYU and living in a basement apartment. Ann
subsequently gave birth to Matthew (1971) and Joshua (1975). Benjamin
(1978) and Craig (1981) would arrive later, after Romney had begun his
Mitt Romney wanted to pursue a business career, but his father advised
him that a law degree would be valuable to his career even if he never
practiced law. As a result, he enrolled in the recently
created four-year joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration
program coordinated between
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School and Harvard Business
School. He readily adapted to the business school's pragmatic,
data-driven case study method of teaching. Living in a Belmont,
Massachusetts house with Ann and their two children, his social
experience differed from most of his classmates'. He was
nonideological and did not involve himself in the political issues of
the day. He graduated in 1975 cum laude from the law school,
in the top third of that class, and was named a
Baker Scholar for
graduating in the top five percent of his business school
Main article: Business career of Mitt Romney
Recruited by several firms in 1975, Romney joined the Boston
Consulting Group (BCG), reasoning that working as a management
consultant for a variety of companies would better prepare him for a
future position as a chief executive.[nb 8] Part of a 1970s
wave of top graduates who chose to go into consulting rather than join
a large company directly, he found his legal and business
education useful in his job. He applied BCG principles such as the
growth-share matrix, and executives viewed him as having a bright
future there. At the Boston Consulting Group, he was a
colleague of Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he formed a friendship that
has lasted for more than forty years.
In 1977, he was hired by Bain & Company, a management consulting
firm in Boston formed a few years earlier by Bill Bain and several
other ex-BCG employees. Bain himself would later say of
the thirty-year-old Romney, "He had the appearance [sic] of
confidence of a guy who was maybe ten years older." Unlike other
consulting firms, which issued recommendations and then departed, Bain
& Company immersed itself in a clients' businesses and worked with
them until changes were implemented. Romney became a
vice-president of the firm in 1978, working with such clients as
the Monsanto Company, Outboard Marine Corporation, Burlington
Industries, and Corning Incorporated. Within a few years, the firm
considered him one of its best consultants. In fact, clients sometimes
preferred to use him rather than more-senior partners.
Minor political issues
Two family incidents during this time later surfaced during Romney's
political campaigns. A state park ranger in 1981 told Romney
his motorboat had an insufficiently visible license number and that he
would face a $50 fine if he took the boat onto the lake.
Disagreeing about the license and wanting to continue a family outing,
Romney took it out anyway, saying he would pay the fine. The ranger
arrested him for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped several
days later. In 1983, on a twelve-hour family road trip, he placed
the family's dog in a windshield-equipped carrier on the roof of their
car, and then washed the car and carrier after the dog suffered a bout
of diarrhea. The dog incident in particular later became fodder
for Romney's critics and political opponents.
Further information: Bain Capital
In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to co-found and lead the
spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital. He had
initially refrained from accepting Bill Bain's offer to head the new
venture, until Bain rearranged the terms in a complicated partnership
structure so that there was no financial or professional risk to
Romney. Bain and Romney raised the $37 million in
funds needed to start the new operation, which had seven
employees. Romney held the titles of president and
managing general partner. Though he was the sole shareholder
of the firm, publications also referred to him as managing director or
Bain Capital focused on venture capital investments. Romney
set up a system in which any partner could veto one of these potential
opportunities, and he personally saw so many weaknesses that few
venture capital investments were approved in the initial two
years. The firm's first significant success was a 1986 investment
to help start Staples Inc., after founder
Thomas G. Stemberg
Thomas G. Stemberg convinced
Romney of the market size for office supplies and Romney convinced
Bain Capital eventually reaped a nearly sevenfold return on
its investment, and Romney sat on the Staples board of directors for
over a decade.
Romney soon switched Bain Capital's focus from startups to the
relatively new business of leveraged buyouts: buying existing
companies with money mostly borrowed from banking institutions using
the newly bought companies' assets as collateral, then taking steps to
improve the companies' value, and finally selling those companies once
their value peaked, usually within a few years. Bain Capital
lost money in many of its early leveraged buyouts, but then found
deals that made large returns. The firm invested in or acquired
Accuride Corporation, Brookstone, Domino's Pizza, Sealy Corporation,
Sports Authority, and Artisan Entertainment, as well as some
lesser-known companies in the industrial and medical
sectors. Much of the firm's profit was earned from a
relatively small number of deals; Bain Capital's overall
success-to-failure ratio was about even.[nb 9]
Romney discovered few investment opportunities himself (and those that
he did, often failed to make money for the firm). Instead, he
focused on analyzing the merits of possible deals that others brought
forward and on recruiting investors to participate in them once
approved. Within Bain Capital, Romney spread profits from deals
widely within the firm to keep people motivated, often keeping less
than ten percent for himself. Data-driven, Romney often played the
role of a devil's advocate during exhaustive analysis of whether to go
forward with a deal. He wanted to drop a
Bain Capital hedge
fund that initially lost money, but other partners disagreed with him
and it eventually made billions. He opted out of the Artisan
Entertainment deal, not wanting to profit from a studio that produced
R-rated films. Romney served on the board of directors of Damon
Corporation, a medical testing company later found guilty of
defrauding the government;
Bain Capital tripled its investment before
selling off the company, and the fraud was discovered by the new
owners (Romney was never implicated). In some cases, Romney had
little involvement with a company once
Bain Capital acquired it.
Bain Capital's leveraged buyouts sometimes led to layoffs, either soon
after acquisition or later after the firm had concluded its
role. Exactly how many jobs
Bain Capital added compared to
those lost because of these investments and buyouts is unknown, owing
to a lack of records and Bain Capital's penchant for privacy on behalf
of itself and its investors. Maximizing the value of
acquired companies and the return to Bain's investors, not job
creation, was the firm's primary investment goal. Bain
Capital's acquisition of
Ampad exemplified a deal where it profited
handsomely from early payments and management fees, even though the
subject company itself later went into bankruptcy. Dade
Behring was another case where
Bain Capital received an eightfold
return on its investment, but the company itself was saddled with debt
and laid off over a thousand employees before
Bain Capital exited (the
company subsequently went into bankruptcy, with more layoffs, before
recovering and prospering). Referring to the layoffs that
sometimes occurred, Romney said in 2007: "Sometimes the medicine is a
little bitter but it is necessary to save the life of the patient. My
job was to try and make the enterprise successful, and in my view the
best security a family can have is that the business they work for is
In 1990, facing financial collapse, Bain & Company asked Romney to
return. Announced as its new CEO in January 1991, he drew
a symbolic salary of one dollar (remaining managing general
Bain Capital during this time). He oversaw an
effort to restructure Bain & Company's employee stock-ownership
plan and real-estate deals, while rallying the firm's one thousand
employees, imposing a new governing structure that excluded Bain and
the other founding partners from control, and increasing fiscal
transparency. He got Bain and other initial owners who had
removed excessive amounts of money from the firm to return substantial
amounts, and persuaded creditors, including the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation, to accept less than full payment. Within
about a year, he had led Bain & Company to a return to
profitability. He turned Bain & Company over to new leadership
and returned to
Bain Capital in December 1992.
Romney took a leave of absence from
Bain Capital from November 1993 to
November 1994 to run for the U.S. Senate. During that time,
Ampad workers went on strike and asked Romney to intervene. Against
the advice of
Bain Capital lawyers, Romney met the strikers, but told
them he had no position of active authority in the matter.
Bain Capital was on its way towards becoming one of the
foremost private equity firms in the nation, having increased its
number of partners from 5 to 18, with 115 employees and
$4 billion under management. The firm's average annual
internal rate of return on realized investments was
113 percent and its average yearly return to investors
was around 50–80 percent on their investments.
Starting in February 1999, Romney took a paid leave of absence from
Bain Capital in order to serve as the president and CEO of the 2002
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee. Billed in
some public statements as keeping a part-time role, Romney
remained the firm's sole shareholder, managing director, CEO, and
president, signing corporate and legal documents, attending to his
interests within the firm, and conducting prolonged negotiations for
the terms of his departure. He did not involve himself in
day-to-day operations of the firm or in the investment decisions of
Bain Capital's new private equity funds. He retained his
position on several boards of directors during this time and regularly
Massachusetts to attend meetings.
In August 2001, Romney announced that he would not return to Bain
Capital. His separation from the firm concluded in early
2002; He transferred his ownership to other partners and
negotiated an agreement that allowed him to receive a share of the
profits as a retired partner in some
Bain Capital entities, including
buyout and investment funds. The private equity business
continued to thrive, earning him millions of dollars in annual
As a result of his business career, Romney and his wife had a net
worth of between $190 and $250 million, including their
retirement account, worth between $20 and $100 million. Most
of that wealth has been held in blind trusts since 2003, some of it
offshore. An additional blind trust, valued at
$100 million in 2012, exists in the name of their
children. In 2010, Romney and his wife received about
$22 million in income, almost all of it from investments such as
dividends, capital gains, and carried interest; and they paid about
$3 million in federal income taxes, for an effective tax rate of
14 percent. For the years 1990–2010, their effective
federal tax rates were above 13 percent with an average rate of
about 20 percent.
Romney has tithed to the LDS Church regularly, and donated generously
to LDS Church-owned BYU. In 2010, for example, he and his
wife gave $1.5 million to the Church. The Romney family's
Tyler Charitable Foundation gave out about $650,000 in that year, some
of which went to organizations that fight diseases.
Local LDS Church leadership
During his business career, Romney held several positions in the local
lay clergy. In 1977, he became a counselor to the president of the
Boston Stake. He served as bishop of the ward (ecclesiastical and
administrative head of his congregation) at Belmont, Massachusetts,
from 1981 to 1986. As such, in addition to home teaching, he
also formulated Sunday services and classes using LDS scriptures to
guide the congregation. After the destruction of the Belmont
meetinghouse by a fire of suspicious origins in 1984, he forged links
with other religious institutions, allowing the congregation to rotate
its meetings to other houses of worship during the reconstruction of
the Belmont building.
From 1986 to 1994, Romney presided over the Boston Stake, which
included more than a dozen wards in eastern
Massachusetts and almost
4,000 church members. He organized a team to handle
financial and management issues, sought to counter anti-Mormon
sentiments, and tried to solve social problems among poor Southeast
Asian converts. An unpaid position, his local church
leadership often took 30 or more hours a week of his time, and he
became known for his considerable energy in the role. He also
earned a reputation for avoiding any overnight travel that might
interfere with his church responsibilities.
Romney took a hands-on role in the Belmont Stake's matters, helping in
domestic maintenance efforts, visiting the sick, and counseling
burdened church members. A number of local church
members later credited him with turning their lives around or helping
them through difficult times. Others, rankled by his
leadership style, desired a more consensus-based approach. Romney
tried to balance the conservative directives from church leadership in
Utah with the desire of some
Massachusetts members to have a more
flexible application of religious doctrine. He agreed with some
requests from a liberal women's group that published Exponent II
calling for changes in the way the church dealt with women, but he
clashed with women whom he felt were departing too much from
doctrine. In particular, he counseled women not to have abortions
except in the rare cases allowed by LDS doctrine[nb 10] and encouraged
unmarried women facing unplanned pregnancies to give up their babies
for adoption. Romney later said that the years spent as an LDS
minister gave him direct exposure to people struggling financially and
empathy for those with family problems.
1994 U.S. Senatorial campaign
Main article: United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1994
Campaigning for U.S. Senate in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1994
For much of his business career, Romney did not take public, political
stances. He had kept abreast of national politics since
college, though, and the circumstances of his father's
presidential campaign loss had irked him for decades. He
registered as an Independent and voted in the 1992 presidential
primaries for the Democratic former senator from Massachusetts, Paul
By 1993, Romney had begun thinking about entering politics, partly
based upon Ann's urging and partly to follow in his father's
footsteps. He decided to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S.
Senator Ted Kennedy, who was seeking re-election for the sixth time.
Political pundits viewed Kennedy as vulnerable that year – in
part because of the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress as a
whole, and in part because this was Kennedy's first election since the
William Kennedy Smith trial in Florida, in which the senator's
reputation for character had suffered. Romney changed
his affiliation to Republican in October 1993 and formally announced
his candidacy in February 1994. In addition to his leave from Bain
Capital, Romney also stepped down from his church leadership role in
Radio personality Janet Jeghelian took an early lead in polls among
candidates for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat, but
Romney proved the most effective fundraiser. He won
68 percent of the vote at the May 1994
Party convention; businessman
John Lakian finished a distant second,
eliminating Jeghelian. Romney defeated Lakian in the September
1994 primary with more than 80 percent of the vote.
In the general election, Kennedy faced the first serious re-election
challenge of his career. The younger, telegenic, and well-funded
Romney ran as a businessman who stated he had created ten thousand
jobs and as a Washington outsider with a solid family image and
moderate stances on social issues. When Kennedy tried to tie
Romney's policies to those of
Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush,
Romney responded, "Look, I was an independent during the time of
Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to take us back to Reagan-Bush."
Romney stated, "Ultimately, this is a campaign about change."
Romney's campaign was effective in portraying Kennedy as soft on
crime, but had trouble establishing its own consistent positions.
By mid-September 1994, polls showed the race to be about
even. Kennedy responded with a series of ads that
focused on Romney's seemingly shifting political views on issues such
as abortion; Romney responded by stating, "I believe that
abortion should be safe and legal in this country." Other Kennedy
ads centered on layoffs of workers at the
Ampad plant owned by
Romney's Bain Capital. The latter was effective in blunting
Romney's momentum. Kennedy and Romney held a widely watched
late-October debate that had no clear winner, but by then, Kennedy had
pulled ahead in polls and stayed ahead afterward. Romney spent
$3 million of his own money in the race and more than
$7 million overall.[nb 11] In the November general election,
despite a disastrous showing for Democrats nationwide, Kennedy won the
election with 58 percent of the vote to Romney's
41 percent, the smallest margin in any of Kennedy's
re-election campaigns for the Senate.
The day after the election, Romney returned to Bain Capital, but the
loss had a lasting effect; he told his brother, "I never want to run
for something again unless I can win." When his father died
in 1995, Mitt donated his inheritance to BYU's George W. Romney
Institute of Public Management. He also became vice-chair of the
Board of the Points of Light Foundation, which had embraced his
father's National Volunteer Center. Romney felt restless as the decade
neared a close; the goal of simply making more money held little
attraction for him. Although no longer in a local leadership
position in his church, he still taught Sunday School. During the
long and controversial approval and construction process for the
$30 million Mormon temple in Belmont, he feared that, as a
political figure who had opposed Kennedy, he would become a focal
point for opposition to the structure. He thus kept to a limited,
behind-the-scenes role in attempts to ease tensions between the church
and local residents.
2002 Winter Olympics
Further information: 2002 Winter Olympics
Ann Romney learned that she had multiple sclerosis; Mitt
described watching her fail a series of neurological tests as the
worst day of his life. After experiencing two years of severe
difficulties with the disease, she found – while living in Park
City, Utah, where the couple had built a vacation home – a
combination of mainstream, alternative, and equestrian therapies that
enabled her to lead a lifestyle mostly without limitations. When
her husband received a job offer to take over the troubled
organization responsible for the
2002 Winter Olympics
2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics,
to be held in
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City in Utah, she urged him to accept it;
eager for a new challenge, as well as another chance to prove himself
in public life, he did. On February 11, 1999, the Salt
Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
of 2002 hired Romney as its president and CEO.
Romney, as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for
the 2002 Winter Olympics, speaking before a curling match
Before Romney took over, the event was $379 million short of its
revenue goals. Officials had made plans to scale back the Games
to compensate for the fiscal crisis, and there were fears it might be
moved away entirely. In addition, the image of the Games had been
damaged by allegations of bribery against top officials including
prior committee president and CEO Frank Joklik. The Salt Lake
Organizing Committee forced Joklik and committee vice president Dave
Johnson to resign. Utah power brokers, including Governor Mike
Leavitt, searched for someone with a scandal-free reputation to take
charge of the Olympics. They chose Romney based on his business and
legal expertise as well as his connections to both the LDS Church and
the state. The appointment faced some initial criticism from
both non-Mormons and Mormons that it represented cronyism and made the
Games seem too Mormon-dominated. Romney donated to charity the
$1.4 million in salary and severance payments he received for his
three years as president and CEO, and also contributed $1 million
to the Olympics.
Romney restructured the organization's leadership and policies. He
reduced budgets and boosted fundraising, alleviating the concerns of
corporate sponsors while recruiting new ones. Romney worked
to ensure the safety of the Games following the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks by coordinating a $300 million security
budget. He oversaw a $1.32 billion total budget,
700 employees, and 26,000 volunteers. The federal
government provided approximately $400 million to
$600 million of that budget, much of it a result of
Romney's having aggressively lobbied Congress and federal
agencies. It was a record level of federal funding for the
staging of a U.S. Olympics. An additional $1.1 billion
of indirect federal funding came to the state in the form of highway
and transit projects.
Romney emerged as the local public face of the Olympic effort,
appearing in photographs, in news stories, on collectible Olympics
pins depicting Romney wrapped by an American flag, and on buttons
carrying phrases like "Hey, Mitt, we love you!" Robert
H. Garff, the chair of the organizing committee, later said "It was
obvious that he had an agenda larger than just the Olympics," and
that Romney wanted to use the Olympics to propel himself into the
national spotlight and a political career. Garff believed
the initial budget situation was not as bad as Romney portrayed, given
there were still three years to reorganize. Utah Senator Bob
Bennett said that much of the needed federal money was already in
place. An analysis by
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe later stated that the
committee had nearly $1 billion in committed revenues at that
time. Olympics critic Steve Pace, who led Utahns for Responsible
Public Spending, thought Romney exaggerated the initial fiscal state
to lay the groundwork for a well-publicized rescue. Kenneth
Bullock, another board member of the organizing committee and also
head of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, often clashed with Romney
at the time, and later said that Romney deserved some credit for the
turnaround but not as much as he claimed. Bullock said: "He tried
very hard to build an image of himself as a savior, the great white
hope. He was very good at characterizing and castigating people and
putting himself on a pedestal."
Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up with a
surplus of $100 million. President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush praised
Romney's efforts and 87 percent of Utahns approved of his
performance as Olympics head. It solidified his reputation as
a "turnaround artist", and Harvard Business School
taught a case study based around his actions. U.S. Olympic
Committee head William Hybl credited Romney with an extraordinary
effort in overcoming a difficult time for the Olympics, culminating in
"the greatest Winter Games I have ever seen". Romney wrote a book
about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the
Olympic Games, published in 2004. The role gave Romney experience in
dealing with federal, state, and local entities, a public persona he
had previously lacked, and the chance to relaunch his political
Governor of Massachusetts
2002 Gubernatorial campaign
Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002
Romney's gubernatorial logo from 2002
In 2002, plagued by political missteps and personal scandals, the
administration of Republican Acting
Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts Jane
Swift appeared vulnerable, and many Republicans viewed her as unable
to win a general election. Prominent party figures –
as well as the White House – wanted Romney to run for
governor and the opportunity appealed to him for reasons
including its national visibility. A poll by the Boston Herald
showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than
50 percentage points. On March 19, 2002, Swift announced she
would not seek her party's nomination, and hours later Romney declared
his candidacy, for which he would face no opposition in the
primary. In June 2002, the
Massachusetts Democratic Party
challenged Romney's eligibility to run for governor, noting that state
law required seven years' consecutive residence and that Romney had
filed his state tax returns as a Utah resident in 1999 and
2000. In response, the bipartisan
Massachusetts State Ballot
Law Commission unanimously ruled that he had maintained sufficient
financial and personal ties to
Massachusetts and was, therefore, an
Romney again ran as a political outsider. He played down his
party affiliation, saying he was "not a partisan Republican" but
rather a "moderate" with "progressive" views. He stated that he
would observe a moratorium on changes to the state's laws on abortion,
but reiterated that he would "preserve and protect a woman's right to
choose" and that his position was "unequivocal". He touted
his private sector experience as qualifying him for addressing the
state's fiscal problems and stressed his ability to obtain
federal funds for the state, offering his Olympics record as
evidence. He proposed to reorganize the state government
while eliminating waste, fraud, and mismanagement. The
campaign innovatively utilized microtargeting techniques, identifying
like-minded groups of voters and reaching them with narrowly tailored
In an attempt to overcome the image that had damaged him in the 1994
Senate race – that of a wealthy corporate buyout specialist out
of touch with the needs of regular people – the campaign staged
a series of "work days", in which Romney performed blue-collar jobs
such as herding cows and baling hay, unloading a fishing boat, and
hauling garbage. Television ads highlighting the
effort, as well as one portraying his family in gushing terms and
showing him shirtless, received a poor public response and were a
factor in his Democratic opponent,
Massachusetts State Treasurer
Shannon O'Brien, leading in the polls as late as
mid-October. He responded with ads that accused O'Brien of
being a failed watchdog for state pension fund losses in the stock
market and that associated her husband, a former lobbyist, with the
Enron scandal. These were effective in capturing independent
voters. O'Brien said that Romney's budget plans were unrealistic;
the two also differed on capital punishment and bilingual education,
with Romney supporting the former and opposing the latter.
During the election, Romney contributed more than
$6 million – a state record at the time – to the
nearly $10 million raised for his campaign overall. On
November 5, 2002, he won the governorship, earning 50 percent of
the vote to O'Brien's 45 percent.
Main article: Governorship of Mitt Romney
Governor Romney speaking at a ceremony, at the Old North Church in
Boston, marking the announcement of a Save America's Treasures
Historic Preservation grant for the Church, May 27, 2003
Governor Romney with HUD Secretary
Alphonso Jackson in May 2004
Governor Romney received a tour of the aircraft carrier USS John F.
Kennedy in May 2005 as part of celebrating Armed Forces Day
Governor Romney with Commerce Secretary
Carlos Gutierrez in October
Mitt Romney with Interior Secretary
Gale Norton in November
The swearing in of Romney as the 70th governor of
place on January 2, 2003. He faced a
legislature with large Democratic majorities in both houses, and had
picked his cabinet and advisors based more on managerial abilities
than partisan affiliation. He declined a governor's salary
of $135,000 during his term. Upon entering office in the middle
of a fiscal year, he faced an immediate $650 million shortfall
and a projected $3 billion deficit for the next year.
Unexpected revenue of $1.0–1.3 billion from a previously
enacted capital gains tax increase and $500 million in new
federal grants decreased the deficit to
$1.2–1.5 billion. Through a combination of spending
cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes, the
state achieved surpluses of around $600–700 million during
Romney's last two full fiscal years in office, although it began
running deficits again after that.[nb 12]
Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House portrait of Governor Mitt Romney, by artist
Richard Whitney, with
Ann Romney pictured to the right
Romney supported raising various fees, including those for drivers'
licenses and gun licenses, to raise more than
$300 million. He increased a special gasoline retailer
fee by two cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per
year in additional revenue. Opponents said the reliance on
fees sometimes imposed a hardship on those who could least afford
them. Romney also closed tax loopholes that brought in another
$181 million from businesses over the next two years and over
$300 million for his term. He did so in the face
of conservative and corporate critics who viewed these actions as tax
The state legislature, with the governor's support, cut spending by
$1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state
aid to cities and towns. The cuts also included a
$140 million reduction in state funding for higher education,
which led state-run colleges and universities to increase fees by
63 percent over four years. Romney sought additional
cuts in his last year as governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in
the state budget; a heavily Democratic legislature overrode all the
The cuts in state spending put added pressure on localities to reduce
services or raise property taxes, and the share of town and city
revenues coming from property taxes rose from 49 to
53 percent. The combined state and local tax burden in
Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship. He did
propose a reduction in the state income tax rate that the legislature
Romney sought to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the
state. This came after Staples founder
Tom Stemberg told him at the
start of his term that doing so would be the best way he could help
people. Another factor was that the federal government, owing to
the rules of
Medicaid funding, threatened to cut $385 million in
those payments to
Massachusetts if the state did not reduce the number
of uninsured recipients of health care services. Although
the idea of universal health insurance had not come to the fore during
the campaign, Romney decided that because people without insurance
still received expensive health care, the money spent by the state for
such care could be better used to subsidize insurance for the
Determined that a new
Massachusetts health insurance measure not raise
taxes or resemble the previous decade's failed "Hillarycare" proposal
at the federal level, Romney formed a team of consultants from diverse
political backgrounds to apply those principles. Beginning in late
2004, they devised a set of proposals that were more ambitious than an
incremental one from the
Massachusetts Senate and more acceptable to
him than one from the
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Massachusetts House of Representatives that
incorporated a new payroll tax. In particular, Romney
pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level.
Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal health coverage his
life's work and who, over time, had developed a warm relationship with
Romney, gave the plan a positive reception, which encouraged
Democratic legislators to cooperate. The effort eventually
gained the support of all major stakeholders within the state, and
Romney helped break a logjam between rival Democratic leaders in the
On April 12, 2006, the governor signed the resulting Massachusetts
health reform law, commonly called "Romneycare", which requires nearly
Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face
escalating tax penalties, such as the loss of their personal income
tax exemption. The bill also established means-tested state
subsidies for people who lacked adequate employer insurance and whose
income was below a threshold, using funds that had covered the health
costs of the uninsured. He vetoed eight sections of the
health care legislation, including a controversial $295-per-employee
assessment on businesses that do not offer health insurance and
provisions guaranteeing dental benefits to Medicaid
recipients. The legislature overrode all eight vetoes, but
the governor's office said the differences were not essential.
The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the
signature achievement of Romney's term in office.[nb 13]
At the beginning of his governorship, Romney opposed same-sex marriage
and civil unions, but advocated tolerance and supported some domestic
partnership benefits. A November 2003 Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court decision required the state to recognize
same-sex marriages (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health).
Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment in February
2004 that would have banned those marriages but still allowed civil
unions, viewing it as the only feasible way to accomplish the
former. In May 2004, in compliance with the court decision, the
governor instructed town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to
same-sex couples. However, citing a 1913 law that barred out-of-state
residents from getting married in
Massachusetts if their union would
be illegal in their home state, he said no marriage licenses were to
be issued to those people not planning to move to
Massachusetts. In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support
for the compromise amendment, stating that it confused voters who
opposed both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Instead, he
endorsed a ballot initiative led by the Coalition for Marriage and
Family (an alliance of socially conservative organizations) that would
have banned same-sex marriage and made no provisions for civil
unions. In 2004 and 2006, he urged the U.S. Senate to vote in
favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving
from the pro-choice positions expressed during his 1994 and 2002
campaigns to a pro-life one in opposition to Roe v. Wade. Romney
attributed his conversion to an interaction with Harvard University
biologist Douglas Melton, an expert on embryonic stem cell biology,
although Melton vehemently disputed Romney's recollection of their
conversation. Romney subsequently vetoed a bill on pro-life
grounds that expanded access to emergency contraception in hospitals
and pharmacies (the legislature overrode the veto). He also
amended his position on embryonic stem cell research itself.[nb 14]
Romney used a bully pulpit approach towards promoting his agenda,
staging well-organized media events to appeal directly to the public
rather than pushing his proposals in behind-doors sessions with the
state legislature. He dealt with a public crisis of confidence in
Big Dig project – that followed a fatal ceiling
collapse in 2006 – by wresting control of the project from the
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. After two years of negotiating
the state's participation in the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas
Initiative that instituted a cap-and-trade arrangement for power plant
emissions in the Northeast, Romney pulled
Massachusetts out of the
initiative shortly before its signing in December 2005, citing a lack
of cost limits for industry.
During 2004, Romney spent considerable effort trying to bolster the
state Republican Party, but it failed to gain any seats in the state
legislative elections that year. Given a prime-time
appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, political
figures began discussing him as a potential 2008 presidential
candidate. Midway through his term, Romney decided that he wanted
to stage a full-time run for president, and on December 14, 2005,
announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term.
As chair of the Republican Governors Association, Romney traveled
around the country, meeting prominent Republicans and building a
national political network; he spent all, or parts of, more than
200 days out of state during 2006, preparing for his run.
The Governor had a 61 percent job approval rating in public polls
after his initial fiscal actions in 2003, although his approval rating
subsequently declined, driven in part by his frequent
out-of-state travel. Romney's approval rating stood at
34 percent in November 2006, ranking 48th of the 50 U.S.
governors. Dissatisfaction with Romney's administration and the
weak condition of the Republican state party were among several
factors contributing to Democrat Deval Patrick's 20-point win over
Republican Kerry Healey, Romney's lieutenant governor, in the 2006
Massachusetts gubernatorial election.
Romney filed to register a presidential campaign committee with the
Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission on his penultimate day in office as
governor. His term ended January 4, 2007.
2008 presidential campaign
Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2008
See also: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2008
Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican
nomination for president on February 13, 2007, in Dearborn,
Michigan. Again casting himself as a political outsider, his
speech frequently invoked his father and his family, and stressed
experiences in the private, public, and voluntary sectors that had
brought him to this point.
Holding an "Ask Mitt Anything" session in Ames, Iowa, in May 2007
The campaign emphasized Romney's highly profitable career in the
business world and his stewardship of the Olympics.[nb 15]
He also had political experience as a governor, together with a
political pedigree courtesy of his father (as well as many
biographical parallels with him).[nb 16] Ann Romney, who had become an
advocate for those with multiple sclerosis, was in remission and
would be an active participant in his campaign, helping to soften
his political personality. Media stories referred to the
6-foot-2-inch (1.88 m) Romney as handsome. Moreover, a
number of commentators noted that with his square jaw and ample hair
graying at the temples, he physically matched one of the common images
of what a president should look like.
Romney's liabilities included having run for senator and serving as
governor in one of the nation's most liberal states and having taken
positions in opposition to the party's conservative base during that
time. Late during his term as governor, he had shifted
positions and emphases to better align with traditional conservatives
on social issues. Skeptics, including some Republicans,
charged Romney with opportunism and a lack of core
principles. As a Mormon, he faced suspicion and
skepticism by some in the Evangelical portion of the party.
For his campaign, Romney assembled a veteran group of Republican
staffers, consultants, and pollsters. He was little-known
nationally, though, and stayed around the 10 percent support
range in Republican preference polls for the first half of 2007.
He proved the most effective fundraiser of any of the Republican
candidates and also partly financed his campaign with his own personal
fortune. These resources, combined with the mid-year
near-collapse of nominal front-runner John McCain's campaign, made
Romney a threat to win the nomination and the focus of the other
candidates' attacks. Romney's staff suffered from internal
strife; the candidate himself was at times indecisive, often asking
for more data before making a decision.
During all of his political campaigns, Romney has avoided speaking
publicly about Mormon doctrines, referring to the U.S. Constitution's
prohibition of religious tests for public office. But persistent
questions about the role of religion in Romney's life, as well as
Southern Baptist minister and former
Governor of Arkansas
Governor of Arkansas Mike
Huckabee's rise in the polls based upon an explicitly Christian-themed
campaign, led to the December 6, 2007, "Faith in America" speech.
In the speech Romney declared, "I believe in my Mormon faith and
endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be
true to them and to my beliefs." Romney added that he should
neither be elected nor rejected based upon his religion, and
echoed Senator John F. Kennedy's famous speech during his 1960
presidential campaign in saying, "I will put no doctrine of any church
above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of
the law." Instead of discussing the specific tenets of his faith,
he said he would be informed by it, stating: "Freedom requires
religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom and religion
endure together, or perish alone." Academics would later
study the role religion had played in the campaign.[nb 17]
The campaign's strategy called for winning the initial two
contests – the January 3, 2008,
Iowa Republican caucuses and
the adjacent-to-his-home-state January 8 New Hampshire
primary – and propelling Romney nationally. However, he
took second place in both, losing
Iowa to a vastly outspent Huckabee
who received more than twice the evangelical Christian
votes, and losing New Hampshire to the resurgent
McCain. Huckabee and McCain criticized Romney's image as a flip
flopper and this label would stick to Romney through the
campaign (one that Romney rejected as unfair and inaccurate,
except for his acknowledged change of mind on abortion).
Romney seemed to approach the campaign as a management consulting
exercise, and showed a lack of personal warmth and political feel;
Evan Thomas wrote that Romney "came off as a phony, even
when he was perfectly sincere." The fervor with which Romney
adopted his new stances and attitudes contributed to the perception of
inauthenticity that hampered the campaign. Romney's staff
would conclude that competing as a candidate of social conservatism
and ideological purity rather than of pragmatic competence had been a
A win by McCain over Huckabee in South Carolina, and by Romney over
McCain in childhood-home Michigan, set up a pivotal battle in the
Florida primary. Romney campaigned intensively on economic
issues and the burgeoning subprime mortgage crisis, while McCain
attacked Romney regarding Iraq policy and benefited from endorsements
from Florida officeholders. McCain won a 5 percentage
point victory on January 29. Although many Republican
officials were now lining up behind McCain, Romney persisted
through the nationwide Super Tuesday contests on February 5. There he
won primaries or caucuses in several states, but McCain won in more
and in larger-population ones. Trailing McCain in delegates by a
more than two-to-one margin, Romney announced the end of his campaign
on February 7.
Altogether, Romney had won 11 primaries and caucuses,
receiving about 4.7 million votes and garnering about
280 delegates. He spent $110 million during the
campaign, including $45 million of his own money.
Romney endorsed McCain for president a week later, and McCain had
Romney on a short list for vice presidential running mate, where his
business experience would have balanced one of McCain's
weaknesses. McCain, behind in the polls, opted instead for a
high-risk, high-reward "game changer", selecting Alaska Governor Sarah
Palin. McCain lost the election to Democratic Senator Barack
Activity between presidential campaigns
Romney supported the Bush administration's Troubled Asset Relief
Program in response to the late-2000s financial crisis, later saying
that it prevented the U.S. financial system from collapsing.
During the U.S. automotive industry crisis of 2008–10, he opposed a
bailout of the industry in the form of direct government intervention,
and argued that a managed bankruptcy of struggling automobile
companies should instead be accompanied by federal guarantees for
post-bankruptcy financing from the private sector.
Following the 2008 election, Romney laid the groundwork for a likely
2012 presidential campaign by using his Free and Strong America
political action committee (PAC) to raise money for other Republican
candidates and pay his existing political staff's salaries and
consulting fees. A network of former staff and supporters
around the nation were eager for him to run again. He continued
to give speeches and raise funds for Republicans, but fearing
overexposure, turned down many potential media appearances. He
also spoke before business, educational, and motivational groups.
From 2009 to 2011, he served on the board of directors of Marriott
International, founded by his namesake J. Willard Marriott. He
had previously served on it from 1993 to 2002.[nb 18]
In 2009, the Romneys sold their primary residence in Belmont and their
ski chalet in Utah, leaving them an estate along
Lake Winnipesaukee in
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and an oceanfront home in the La Jolla
district of San Diego, California, which they had purchased the year
La Jolla home proved beneficial in location
and climate for Ann Romney's multiple sclerosis therapies and for
recovering from her late 2008 diagnosis of mammary ductal carcinoma in
situ and subsequent lumpectomy. Both it and the New
Hampshire location were near some of their grandchildren. Romney
maintained his voting registration in Massachusetts, however, and
bought a smaller condominium in Belmont during 2010. In
February 2010, Romney had a minor altercation with
LMFAO member Skyler
Gordy, known as Sky Blu, on an airplane flight.[nb 19]
Romney signing copies of his new book No Apology: The Case for
American Greatness for service members at Marine Corps Air Station
Miramar in March 2010
Romney released his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,
in March 2010, and undertook an 18-state book tour to promote the
work. In the book, Romney writes of his belief in American
exceptionalism, and presents his economic and geopolitical views
rather than anecdotes about his personal or political life.
It debuted atop
The New York Times
The New York Times Best Seller list. Romney
donated his earnings from the book to charity.
Immediately following the March 2010 passage of the Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act, Romney attacked the landmark legislation as
"an unconscionable abuse of power" and said the act should be
repealed. The antipathy Republicans felt for it created a
potential problem for the former governor, since the new federal law
was in many ways similar to the
Massachusetts health care reform
passed during Romney's gubernatorial tenure; as one Associated Press
article stated, "Obamacare ... looks a lot like Romneycare."
While acknowledging that his plan was an imperfect work in progress,
Romney did not back away from it. He defended the state-level health
insurance mandate that underpinned it, calling the bill the right
answer to Massachusetts' problems at the time.
In nationwide opinion polling for the 2012 Republican Presidential
primaries, Romney led or placed in the top three with Palin and
Huckabee. A January 2010
National Journal survey of political insiders
found that a majority of Republican insiders and a plurality of
Democratic insiders predicted Romney would be the party's 2012
nominee. Romney campaigned heavily for Republican candidates in
the 2010 midterm elections, raising more money than the other
prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidates. Beginning in
early 2011, Romney presented a more relaxed visual image, including
more casual attire.
2012 presidential campaign
Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2012
See also: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012
Giving an interview at a supporters rally in Paradise Valley, Arizona
On April 11, 2011, Romney announced, via a video taped outdoors at the
University of New Hampshire, that he had formed an exploratory
committee for a run for the Republican presidential
Quinnipiac University political science
professor Scott McLean stated, "We all knew that he was going to run.
He's really been running for president ever since the day after the
Romney stood to benefit from the Republican electorate's tendency to
nominate candidates who had previously run for president, and thus
appeared to be next in line to be chosen. The early
stages of the race found him as the apparent front-runner in a weak
field, especially in terms of fundraising prowess and
organization. Perhaps his greatest hurdle in gaining
the Republican nomination was party opposition to the Massachusetts
health care reform law that he had shepherded five years
earlier. As many potential Republican candidates with
star power and fundraising ability decided not to run (including Mike
Pence, John Thune, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Mitch Daniels),
Republican party figures searched for plausible alternatives to
On June 2, 2011, Romney formally announced the start of his campaign.
Speaking on a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, he focused on the
economy and criticized President Obama's handling of it. He said,
"In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and
opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to
make it – because I have lived it."
Romney raised $56 million during 2011, more than double the
amount raised by any of his Republican opponents, and refrained
from spending his own money on the campaign. He initially pursued
a low-key, low-profile strategy.
Michele Bachmann staged a brief
surge in polls, which preceded a poll surge in September 2011 by Rick
Perry who had entered the race the month before. Perry and Romney
exchanged sharp criticisms of each other during a series of debates
among the Republican candidates. The October 2011 decisions of
Chris Christie and
Sarah Palin not to run effectively settled the
field of candidates. Perry faded after poor performances in
those debates, while Herman Cain's 'long-shot' bid gained popularity
until allegations of sexual misconduct derailed it.
Romney continued to seek support from a wary Republican electorate; at
this point in the race, his poll numbers were relatively flat and at a
historically low level for a Republican frontrunner.
After the charges of flip-flopping that marked his 2008 campaign began
to accumulate again, Romney declared in November 2011: "I've been as
consistent as human beings can be." In the final month
before voting began,
Newt Gingrich experienced a significant
surge – taking a solid lead in national polls and most of the
early caucus and primary states – before settling back
into parity or worse with Romney following a barrage of negative ads
from Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney Super PAC.
In the initial contest, the 2012
Iowa caucuses of January 3, election
officials announced Romney as ahead with 25 percent of the vote,
edging out a late-gaining
Rick Santorum by eight votes (an also-strong
Ron Paul finished third). Sixteen days later, however, they
certified Santorum as the winner by a 34-vote margin. A week
Iowa caucuses, Romney earned a decisive win in the New
Hampshire primary with a total of 39 percent of the vote; Paul
finished second and
Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Jon Huntsman, Jr. third.
In the run-up to the South Carolina Republican primary, Gingrich
launched ads criticizing Romney for causing job losses while at Bain
Capital, Perry referred to Romney's role there as "vulture
Sarah Palin pressed Romney to prove his claim that he
created 100,000 jobs during that time. Many
conservatives rallied in defense of Romney, rejecting what they
inferred as criticism of free-market capitalism. During two
debates in the state, Romney fumbled questions about releasing his
income tax returns, while Gingrich gained support with
audience-rousing attacks on the debate moderators. Romney's
double-digit lead in state polls evaporated; he lost to Gingrich by
13 points in the January 21 primary. Combined with the
delayed loss in Iowa, Romney's admitted poor week represented a lost
chance to end the race early, and he quickly decided to release two
years of his tax returns. The race turned to the Florida
Republican primary, where in debates, appearances, and advertisements,
Romney launched a sustained barrage against Gingrich's past record and
associations and current electability. Romney enjoyed a
large spending advantage from both his campaign and his aligned Super
PAC, and after a record-breaking rate of negative ads from both sides,
Romney won Florida on January 31, gaining 46 percent of the vote
to Gingrich's 32 percent.
With running mate
Paul Ryan in Norfolk, Virginia, during the vice
presidential selection announcement on August 11, 2012
Several caucuses and primaries took place during February, and
Santorum won three in a single night early in the month, propelling
him into the lead in national and some state polls and positioning him
as Romney's chief rival. Days later, Romney told the Conservative
Political Action Conference that he had been a "severely conservative
governor" (while during his term in 2005 he had maintained that
his positions were moderate and characterized reports that he was
shifting to the right to attract conservative votes a media
distortion). Romney won the other five February contests,
including a closely fought one in his home state of
Michigan at the
end of the month. In the Super Tuesday primaries and
caucuses of March 6, Romney won six of ten contests, including a
narrow victory in Ohio over a vastly outspent Santorum. Although his
victories were not enough to end the race, they were enough to
establish a two-to-one delegate lead over Santorum. Romney
maintained his delegate margin through subsequent contests, and
Santorum suspended his campaign on April 10. Following a sweep of
five more contests on April 24, the
Republican National Committee
Republican National Committee put
its resources to work for Romney as the party's presumptive
nominee. Romney clinched a majority of the delegates with a win
in the Texas primary on May 29.
Polls consistently indicated a tight race for the November general
election. Negative ads from both sides dominated the campaign,
with Obama's proclaiming that Romney shipped jobs overseas while at
Bain Capital and kept money in offshore tax havens and Swiss bank
accounts. A related issue dealt with Romney's purported
responsibility for actions at
Bain Capital after taking the Olympics
post. Romney faced demands from Democrats to release
additional years of his tax returns, an action a number of Republicans
also felt would be wise; after being adamant that he would not do
that, he released summaries of them in late September.
During May and June, the Obama campaign spent heavily and was able to
paint a negative image of Romney in voters' minds before the Romney
campaign could construct a positive one.
In July 2012, Romney visited the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland,
meeting leaders in an effort to raise his credibility as a world
statesman. Comments Romney made about the readiness of the 2012
Summer Olympics were perceived as undiplomatic by the British
press. Israeli Prime Minister (and former BCG colleague)
Benjamin Netanyahu, embraced Romney, though some Palestinians
criticized him for suggesting that Israel's culture led to their
greater economic success.
On August 11, 2012, the Romney campaign announced the selection of
Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running
On August 28, 2012, the
2012 Republican National Convention
2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa,
Florida, officially nominated Romney as their candidate for the
presidency. Romney became the first Mormon to be a major-party
In mid-September, a video surfaced of Romney speaking before a group
of supporters in which he stated that 47 percent of the nation
pays no income tax, are dependent on the federal government, see
themselves as victims, and will support President Obama
unconditionally. Romney went on to say: "And so my job is not to worry
about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take
personal responsibility and care for their lives."
After facing criticism about the tone and accuracy of these comments,
he at first characterized them as "inelegantly stated", then a couple
of weeks later commented: "I said something that's just completely
wrong." Exit polls published following the election showed that
voters never saw Romney as someone who cared about people like
County-by-county results of the election, shaded by percentage won:
Obama in blue, Romney in red
The first of three 2012 presidential election debates took place on
October 3, in Denver. Media figures and political analysts widely
viewed Romney as having delivered a stronger and more focused
presentation than did President Obama. That initial debate
overshadowed Obama's improved presentation in the last two debates
later in October, and Romney maintained a small advantage in the
debates when seen as a whole.
The election took place on November 6, and Obama was projected the
winner at about 11:14 pm Eastern Standard Time. Romney garnered
206 electoral college votes to Obama's 332, losing all but one of nine
battleground states, and 47 percent of the nationwide popular
vote to Obama's 51 percent. Media accounts described
Romney as "shellshocked" by the result. He and his senior
campaign staff had disbelieved public polls showing Obama narrowly
ahead, and had thought they were going to win until the vote tallies
began to be reported on the evening of the election. But Romney's
get out the vote operation had been inferior to Obama's, both in
person-to-person organization and in voter modeling and outreach
technology (the latter exemplified by the failure of the Project
Orca application). In his concession speech to his supporters, he
said, "Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the
field. We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish that I had
been able to fulfill your hopes to lead this country in a different
direction, but the nation chose another leader." Reflecting on
his defeat during a conference call to hundreds of fundraisers and
donors a week after the election, Romney attributed the outcome to
Obama's having secured the votes of specific interest groups,
including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, young people, and
women, by offering them what Romney called "extraordinary financial
gifts." The remark drew heavy criticism from prominent
members of the Republican party.
See also: Issues and positions throughout Romney's political career
Romney meeting with President Obama after the 2012 presidential
In addition to calling for cuts in federal government spending to help
reduce the national debt, Romney proposed measures intended to limit
the growth of entitlement programs, such as introducing means testing
and gradually raising the eligibility ages for receipt of Social
Security and Medicare. He supported substantial increases in
military spending and promised to invest more heavily in military
weapons programs while increasing the number of active-duty military
personnel. He was very supportive of the directions taken by
the budget proposals of Paul Ryan, although he later proposed his own
Romney pledged to lead an effort to repeal the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and replace it with a system that
gives states more control over
Medicaid and makes health insurance
premiums tax-advantaged for individuals in the same way they are for
businesses. He favored repeal of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the
Sarbanes–Oxley Act and
intended to replace them with what he called a "streamlined, modern
He also promised to seek income tax law changes that he said would
help to lower federal deficits and would stimulate economic growth.
These included: reducing individual income tax rates across the board
by 20 percent, maintaining the Bush administration-era tax rate
of 15 percent on investment income from dividends and capital
gains (and eliminating this tax entirely for those with annual incomes
less than $200,000), cutting the top tax rate on corporations from 35
to 25 percent, and eliminating the estate tax and the Alternative
Minimum Tax. He promised that the loss of government revenue
from these tax cuts would be offset by closing loopholes and placing
limits on tax deductions and credits available to taxpayers with the
highest incomes, but said that that aspect of the plan could not
yet be evaluated because details would have to be worked out with
Romney opposed the use of mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions
to deal with global warming. He stated that he believed climate
change is occurring, but that he did not know how much of it could be
linked to human activity. He was a proponent of increased
domestic oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), building
more nuclear power plants, and reducing the regulatory authority of
the Environmental Protection Agency. He believed North
American energy independence could be achieved by 2020.
Romney labeled Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe",
and asserted that preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability
should be America's "highest national security priority". Romney
stated his strong support for Israel. He planned to formally
label China a currency manipulator and take associated counteractions
unless that country changed its trade practices. Romney supported
the Patriot Act, the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay
detention camp, and use of enhanced interrogation techniques against
suspected terrorists. Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil
unions, although he favored domestic partnership legislation that
gives certain legal rights to same-sex couples, such as hospital
visitation. In 2011, he signed a pledge promising to seek passage
of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the
union of one man and one woman.
Since 2005, Romney described himself as "pro-life". In that year,
he wrote: "I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases
of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother."[nb 10][nb
14] During his 1994 campaign for the senate, Romney had said, "I
believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country," a
stance he reiterated during his 2002 campaign for governor.
While Romney would prefer to see passage of a constitutional amendment
that would outlaw abortion, he did not believe the public would
support such an amendment; as an alternative, he promised to
nominate Supreme Court justices who would help overturn Roe v. Wade,
allowing each state to decide on the legality of abortion.
Romney said that he would appoint federal judges in the mold of U.S.
Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia,
and Samuel Alito. He advocated judicial restraint and strict
constructionism as judicial philosophies.
During the first year following the election defeat, Romney generally
kept a low profile, with his ordinary daily activities around San
Diego being captured via social media glimpses. In December 2012,
he joined the board of
Marriott International for a third stint as a
director. In March 2013, Romney gave a reflective interview on
Fox News Sunday, stating, "It kills me not to be there, not to be in
the White House doing what needs to be done." He again expressed
regret at the "47 percent" remark, saying "There's no question that
hurt and did real damage to my campaign." (He was still
echoing both of these sentiments a year later.) Romney began
working as executive partner group chairman for Solamere Capital, a
private capital firm in Boston owned by his son Tagg. He was also
involved in supporting several charitable causes.
Ann Romney share a moment with his former running mate, Paul
Ryan, as they witness the election and ascension of Ryan as the 54th
Speaker of the House of Representatives on October 29, 2015
The Romneys bought a home again in the
Deer Valley area of Park City,
Utah, followed by a property in Holladay, Utah, where they
plan to tear down an existing house and build a new one. They
also gained long-sought permission to replace their
La Jolla home with
a much bigger one, including a car elevator that had brought some
derision during the 2012 campaign. In addition, Romney and
his siblings continue to own a cottage in the gated community called
Beach O' Pines located south of Grand Bend, Ontario, which has been in
the family for more than sixty years. With the new acquisitions
the couple briefly had five homes, located near each of their five
sons and respective families, and the couple continued to spend
considerable time with their grandchildren, who by 2013 numbered
22. They then sold the condominium in Belmont and decided to
make their main residence in Utah, including switching voter
registration. The 2014 documentary film Mitt showed a
behind-the-scenes, family-based perspective on both of Romney's
presidential campaigns and received positive notices for humanizing
the candidate and illustrating the toll that campaigning
Romney himself thought he might be branded a "loser for life" and fade
into an obscurity like Michael Dukakis (a similar figure with no
obvious base of political support who had lost what his party
considered a winnable presidential election) but, to the surprise
of many political observers, that did not happen. Romney
re-emerged onto the political scene in the run-up to the 2014 U.S.
midterm elections, endorsing, campaigning, and fundraising for a
number of Republican candidates, especially those running for the U.S.
Watch Mitt Romney's full March 3 speech: 'Trump is a phony, a fraud',
17:49, see 2;40–10:00,
Donald Trump responds to Romney's comments at Maine rally, 43:25, see
2016 presidential election and relationship with Donald Trump
By early 2014, the lack of a clear mainstream Republican candidate for
the 2016 presidential election led some supporters, donors, and
pollsters to suggest Romney stage a third run. Regarding such a
possibility, Romney at first responded, "Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no,
no, no. No, no, no." Nevertheless, speculation continued: the
continuing unpopularity of Obama led to buyer's remorse among some
2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine
2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine made
Romney's "number one geopolitical foe" remark look prescient; and an
August 2014 poll of Iowan Republicans showed Romney with a large lead
there over other potential 2016 candidates. A poll conducted in
July 2014 by CNN showed Romney with a 53 to 44 lead over Obama in a
hypothetical election "redo." By early 2015, Romney was
actively considering the idea and contacting his network of
supporters. In doing so he was positioning himself in the
invisible primary – the preliminary jockeying for the backing of
party leaders, donors, and political operatives – against former
Florida governor Jeb Bush, who had already set a likely campaign in
motion and would be a rival to Romney for establishment Republican
support. Despite support in some quarters for a third bid
for the presidency, there was a backlash against him from
conservatives who wanted a fresher face without a history of
presidential losses, and many of Romney's past donors were not
willing to commit to him again. Romney announced on January 30,
2015 that he would not run for president in 2016, saying that while he
thought he could win the nomination, "one of our next generation of
Republican leaders" would be better positioned to win the general
As the Republican presidential nomination race went into the primaries
season, Romney had not endorsed anyone but was one of the Republican
establishment figures who were becoming increasingly concerned about
the front-runner status of New York businessman Donald Trump.
Romney publicly criticized Trump for not releasing his taxes, saying
there might be a "bombshell" in them. Trump responded by calling
Romney "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of
Republican politics." Then Romney gave a speech on March 3, 2016,
at the Hinckley Institute of Politics, that represented a scathing
attack on Trump's personal behavior, business performance, and
domestic and foreign policy stances. He said Trump was "a phony, a
fraud ... He's playing members of the American public for suckers" and
that "If we Republicans choose
Donald Trump as our nominee, the
prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly
diminished." In response Trump dismissed Romney as a "choke
artist". Romney's speech represented an unprecedented attack by a
major U.S. party's most recent presidential nominee against the
party's current front-runner for the nomination. Romney
encouraged Republicans to engage in tactical voting, by supporting
whichever of the remaining rivals had the best chance to beat Trump in
any given state, and as such Romney announced he was voting for,
although not endorsing,
Ted Cruz for president prior to the March 22
Utah caucus. As the race went on, there was some evidence of
tactical voting occurring, and some partial arrangements were formed
among candidates, but by May 3 Trump had defeated all his
opponents and became the party's presumptive nominee. Romney then
announced that he would not support Trump in the general election,
saying, "I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better
In June, Romney said that he would not vote for Democratic nominee
Hillary Clinton either, saying: "It's a matter of personal conscience.
I can’t vote for either of those two people."He suggested that he
may vote for a third-party candidate, or write-in his wife's name,
saying she would be "an ideal president". When pressed on who of Trump
and Clinton was more qualified to be President, Romney quoted P. J.
Hillary Clinton is wrong on every issue, but she's wrong
within the normal parameters."
He considered voting for the Libertarian ticket of former Republican
Gary Johnson and William Weld, saying that he would "get to
Gary Johnson better and see if he's someone who I could end up
voting for", adding that "if
Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket,
it would be very easy for me to vote for
Bill Weld for
president." In September he called for Johnson to be included in
the presidential debates and in October it emerged that
Evan McMullin was using an email list of 2.5
million Romney supporters to raise money. McMullin's chief
strategist said that it was purchased from Romney for President and
that "we'll let other folks discuss what that may mean and certainly
never speak for [Romney]". A spokeswoman for Romney said that the
list had been "rented by several political candidates in the
presidential primary, and by countless other political and commercial
users in the time since the 2012 campaign" and Romney made no
public comment on McMullin's candidacy. Romney and his wife cast
early ballots in Utah, but he declined to say who he voted for.
After Trump won the election, Romney congratulated him via phone call
and on Twitter. On November 19, Romney met with the
President-elect at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New
Jersey, reportedly to discuss the position of Secretary of
State, a position which ultimately went to Rex
Tillerson. In February 2017, Romney stated that Trump is "off to
a very strong start" in fulfilling his campaign promises, although he
has "no regrets" about his anti-Trump speech. A year later, Trump
gave his endorsement for Romney's 2018 senate campaign. 
Romney was treated for prostate cancer in summer 2017.
2018 U.S. Senatorial campaign
Romney for Utah logo
Main article: United States Senate election in Utah, 2018
In September and October 2017 press reports said that should U.S.
Orrin Hatch retire, Romney would run in Utah for that seat in
2018. In November 2017,
New Right political strategist Steve
Bannon gave a speech in Alabama in support of the U.S. Senate
candidacy of Roy Moore, which Romney had opposed due to the sexual
abuse allegations against Moore. Rhetorically addressing Romney,
Bannon said, "You hid behind your religion. [...] You went to France
to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in
On January 2, 2018, after
Orrin Hatch announced he would retire,
Romney changed his Twitter location from
Massachusetts to Holladay,
Utah, contributing to speculation that he may be considering a run for
Hatch's Senate seat. On February 1, Romney tweeted that he would
make an announcement on February 15, but delayed that announced
the day before out of respect for the victims of the Douglas High
On February 16, 2018, Romney formally launched his campaign through a
video message posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Romney would, if his campaign is successful, become the third
individual to serve as governor of a state and U.S. senator from a
different state. The other two were William W. Bibb (who served
as a U.S. senator from Georgia and as the first governor of Alabama)
Sam Houston (who served as the sixth governor of Tennessee and as
a U.S. senator from Texas).
Awards and honors
Receiving the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award
on behalf of his state
Romney has received a number of honorary doctorates, including in
business from the
University of Utah
University of Utah in 1999, in law from Bentley
College in 2002, in public administration from Suffolk University
Law School in 2004, in public service from
Hillsdale College in
2007, and in humanities from
Liberty University in 2012. He
also received one from
Southern Virginia University
Southern Virginia University in 2013 and
ones in 2015 from Jacksonville University, Utah Valley
University, and Saint Anselm College.
People magazine included Romney in its 50 Most Beautiful People list
for 2002, and in 2004, a foundation that promotes the Olympic
truce, gave him its inaugural Truce Ideal Award. The Cranbrook
School gave him their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. In 2008,
he shared with his wife Ann, the Canterbury Medal from The Becket Fund
for Religious Liberty, for "refus[ing] to compromise their principles
and faith" during the presidential campaign. In 2012, Time
magazine included Romney in their List of The 100 Most Influential
People in the World.
Romney, Mitt; Robinson, Timothy (2004). Turnaround: Crisis,
Leadership, and the Olympic Games. Washington: Regnery Publishing.
Romney, Mitt (2010). No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. New
York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-60980-1.
Mitt Romney portal
LDS Church portal
List of Governors of Massachusetts
List of United States Republican Party presidential tickets
President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
^ Pranks conducted by Romney during his Cranbrook years included
sliding down golf courses on large ice cubes, dressing as a police
officer and tapping on the car windows of friends who were making out,
and staging an elaborate formal dinner on the median of a busy
street. The golf course escapade led to Romney and Ann Davies
being detained by local police. In 2012, five former
classmates described a 1965 episode where Romney, then a senior, took
the lead in holding down a younger student while cutting his long,
bleached-blond hair with scissors. Romney said that he does not
recall the incident, though he acknowledged that he might have
participated in some high school "hijinks and pranks" that went too
far, and he apologized for any harm that resulted from them.
^ Pranks conducted by Romney during his Stanford years included
dressing as a police officer and pretending to arrest people and
pre-"Big Game" customs involving the Stanford Axe.
^ Mitt's great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and two uncles had
been missionaries, as had his brother, Scott. He did briefly
consider breaking with tradition and not going on a mission (and
he had successfully been rushed by the
Phi Kappa Sigma
Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity at
Stanford, for sophomore year membership). But he did go, and all
five of Mitt's sons later served as missionaries as well.
^ Based on figures from 1971 to 2010, the average Mormon gets only
4–8 baptism converts to the faith per year during a mission. The
church succeeds in expanding by having huge numbers of missionaries,
so that the small number of conversions from each one add up.
^ Romney's task was complicated by proselytizing for a religion that
prohibits alcohol in a country known for it. He reflected upon
this in 2002: "As you can imagine, it's quite an experience to go to
Bordeaux and say, 'Give up your wine! I've got a great religion for
^ On June 16, 1968, Romney and five fellow Mormons were traveling on
dangerous roads in southern France. As they drove through
the village of Bernos-Beaulac, a Mercedes that was passing a truck
missed a curve and swerved into the opposite lane hitting the Citroën
DS Romney was driving head-on. Trapped between the steering
wheel and door, the unconscious Romney had to be pried from the car; a
French police officer mistakenly wrote Il est mort in his
passport. Besides killing the wife of the mission
president, the other four passengers were seriously injured.
George Romney relied on his friend Sargent Shriver, the U.S.
Ambassador to France, to go to the local hospital and discover that
his son had survived. Mitt Romney, who was not at fault in the
accident, had suffered broken ribs, a fractured arm, a
concussion, and facial injuries, but recovered quickly without needing
surgery. The French police say that they have no records of
the incident because such records are routinely destroyed after
^ Some sources incorrectly report that Romney graduated first in his
class at BYU. Romney himself has corrected this notion, saying that he
didn't. While he believes he did have the highest grade point average
for his on-campus BYU years in the College of Humanities, he did not
if his Stanford stint was factored in.
^ Romney sat for the bar exam in his home state of
Michigan in July,
passed it, and was admitted to practice law there. He never did,
however, because doing so was only a fall-back possibility in case his
business career did not work out.
^ One study of 68 deals that
Bain Capital made during Romney's
time there found that the firm lost money or broke even on 33 of
them. Another study that looked at the eight-year period following
77 deals during Romney's time found that in 17 cases the
company went bankrupt or out of business, and in 6 cases Bain
Capital lost all its investment. But 10 deals were very
successful and represented 70 percent of the total profits.
^ a b Romney's cited exceptions regarding abortion are in line with
those of the LDS Church, which allows it in cases of rape,
incest, when the mother's health is seriously threatened, or when the
fetus cannot survive past birth. When Romney was a bishop in the
1980s, there was a case where a woman in his congregation with four
children was advised by her doctor to terminate her pregnancy because
she had a potentially life-threatening blood clot. Romney strongly
advised her not to, but she did anyway.
^ Kennedy spent $10.5 million overall, including a
$1.5 million loan to himself. This was the second-most
expensive race of the 1994 election cycle, after the Dianne
Michael Huffington Senate race in California.
^ Official state figures for fiscal year 2005 (July 1, 2004 –
June 30, 2005) declared a $594.4 million surplus. For
fiscal 2006, the surplus was $720.9 million. During fiscal
2007, Romney cut $384 million in spending that the legislature
wanted; in January 2007, midway through the fiscal year, incoming
Deval Patrick restored that amount, and also declared
that the state faced a "looming budget shortfall" of $1 billion
for fiscal 2008. Patrick consequently proposed a budget for
fiscal 2008 that included $515 million in spending cuts and
$295 million in new corporate taxes. As it happened, the
state ended fiscal 2007 with a $307.1 million deficit and fiscal
2008 with a $495.2 million deficit.
^ Upon passage of the law, Romney said "There really wasn't Republican
or Democrat in this. People ask me if this is conservative or liberal,
and my answer is yes. It's liberal in the sense that we're getting our
citizens health insurance. It's conservative in that we're not getting
a government takeover." Within four years, the
had achieved its primary goal of expanding coverage: in 2010, 98% of
state residents had coverage, compared to a national average of 83%.
Among children and seniors the 2010 coverage rate was even higher,
99.8% and 99.6% respectively. Approximately two-thirds of residents
received coverage through employers; one-sixth each received it
through Medicare or public plans.
^ a b Romney also amended his position on embryonic stem cell
research: having once supported it broadly, he changed to being
against therapeutic cloning of embryos for scientific research,
insisting that "surplus embryos" from fertility treatments should be
^ American political opinion periodically looked towards industry for
business managers who it was thought could straighten out what was
held to be wrong in the nation's capital. The track record of such
efforts was at best mixed, with
Lee Iacocca declining to run, Romney's
father George and
Steve Forbes failing to get far in the primaries,
Ross Perot staging one of the more successful third-party runs in
^ Biographical parallels between George and
Mitt Romney include: Both
served as Mormon missionaries in Europe and considered the experiences
formative. Both pursued high school sweethearts single-mindedly until
the women agreed to marry them several years later, then had families
with four or five children. Both had very successful careers in
business and became known for turning around failing companies or
organizations. Both presided over a stake in the LDS Church. Both
achieved their first elected position at age 55, as Republican
governor of a Democratic-leaning state. The two bear a close physical
resemblance at similar ages and both have been said to "look like a
president". Both staged their first presidential run in the year they
turned 60. Both were considered suspect by ideological conservatives
within the Republican Party. Neither protested publicly
against the LDS Church policy that did not allow black people in its
lay clergy, although the elder Romney hoped the church leadership
would revise the policy, and his son has said that he was greatly
relieved when the church did so in 1978. There are also
obvious differences in their paths, including that George had a
hardscrabble upbringing while Mitt's was affluent, and that Mitt far
exceeded George's accomplishments in formal education. Another is that
Mitt's personality is more reserved, private, and controlled than his
father's was, traits he got from his mother Lenore, and his
political personality is also shaped at least as much by Lenore as by
George. And while George was willing to defy political trends,
Mitt has been much more willing to adapt to them.
^ Regarding the role of Romney's religion in the 2008 campaign, one
academic study, based upon research conducted throughout the 2008
primaries, showed that a negative perception of
widespread during the election, and that perception was often
resistant to factual information that would correct mistaken notions
about the religion or Romney's relationship to it. The authors
concluded that, "For Romney ... religion is the central
story." Another study, analyzing a survey conducted during
January 2008 (when an African American, a woman, and a Mormon all had
realistic chances of becoming the first president from that group),
found that voters had internally accepted the notion of black
equality, paving the way for Barack Obama's election; had partially
established but not fully internalized the notion of gender equality,
making Hillary Clinton's task somewhat more difficult; but had only
selectively internalized the notion of religious equality, and in
particular not extended it to Mormons, thus making Romney's run
significantly more difficult. Those authors concluded that, "for
a Mormon candidate, the road to the presidency remains very
rough ... The bias against a Mormon candidate is
^ During most of Romney's first stint on the Marriott board, he was a
member of, and for six years chair of, the board's audit
committee. In 1994, during Romney's time as chair, Marriott
Son of BOSS tax shelter, which resulted in the company
claiming $71 million in losses. In 2008 and 2009, federal courts
ruled this use of the shelter illegal and said those losses never
PolitiFact.com calls a 2012 claim that Romney personally
approved the shelter as "Half True".
^ After having attended the 2010 Winter Olympics, Romney and wife were
on board an
Air Canada plane waiting to take off on a flight from
Vancouver to Los Angeles when he got into a physical altercation with
Sky Blu, sitting in front of him, over Sky Blu's seat not being in the
upright position. Romney said that Sky Blu became physically violent
and that he did not retaliate, while Sky Blu said that Romney gave him
a "Vulcan grip" first and that he responded physically to that. Sky
Blu was escorted off the aircraft by Canadian police but Romney did
not press charges and Sky Blu was released.
^ a b c d Kuhnhenn, Jim (August 14, 2007). "Romney Worth As Much As
$250 Million". The Washington Post. Associated Press.
^ Hosenball, Mark (May 29, 2012). "Romney's birth certificate evokes
his father's controversy". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. Also see
Michigan Certificate of Live Birth".
^ Page, Susan (February 20, 2012). "Home sweet home?
a challenge for Romney". USA Today.
^ Mahoney, The Story of George Romney, pp. 59–62, 104, 113.
^ Miroff, Nick (July 21, 2011). "In besieged Mormon colony, Mitt
Romney's Mexican roots". The Washington Post.
^ Burnett, John (January 22, 2012). "Mexican Cousins Keep Romney's
Family Tree Rooted". NPR.
^ Mahoney, The Story of George Romney, pp. 52, 70.
^ Roberts, Gary Boyd (1998). Notable Kin: An Anthology of Columns
First Published in the NEHGS NEXUS 1986–1995, Volume 2. Boston: Carl
Boyer, 3rd. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-936124-20-9.
^ Potter, Mitch (January 23, 2012). "
Mitt Romney has Canadian roots".
^ a b c d e f g h Kranish, Michael; Paulson, Michael (June 25, 2007).
"The Making of Mitt Romney: Part 2: Centered in faith, a family
emerges". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 25,
2007. Also available as "Mitt's LDS roots run deep", Deseret
Morning News, July 2, 2007.
^ a b c Kaleem, Jaweed (August 29, 2012). "
Mitt Romney Holds Mormon
Faith Close Through Political Rise". The Huffington Post.
^ Mahoney, The Story of George Romney, pp. 104, 113.
^ Kranish; Helman, The Real Romney, pp. 14–15.
^ a b c d e Gell, Jeffrey N. (October 21, 1994). "Romney Gains
Momentum As He Keeps On Running". The Harvard Crimson.
^ Kranish; Helman, The Real Romney, pp. 15–16.
^ Candee, Marjorie Dent (ed.) (1958).
Current Biography Yearbook 1958.
New York: H. W. Wilson Company. p. 368.
ISBN 978-0-8242-0124-1. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Swidey, Neil; Paulson, Michael (June 24,
2007). "The Making of Mitt Romney: Part 1: Privilege, tragedy, and a
young leader". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on
September 18, 2007. Also available from HighBeam. Also available
as "Mitt Romney: the beginning", Deseret Morning News, July 1, 2007
(archived from the original on September 18, 2007).
^ a b c d e f Horowitz, Jason (May 10, 2012). "Mitt Romney's prep
school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents". The
^ a b c d Greenberger, Scott S. (June 12, 2005). "From prankster to
politician, Romney deemed a class act". The Boston Globe. Archived
from the original on October 8, 2009.
^ a b c d Tumulty, Karen (May 10, 2007). "What Romney Believes".
^ Martelle, Scott (December 25, 2007). "Romney's running mate". Los
^ a b c d e f LeBlanc, Steve (December 16, 2007). "Fortunate Son: Mitt
Romney's life is his father's legacy". Deseret Morning News. Salt Lake
City. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 26,
^ a b Vickers, Marcia (June 27, 2007). "The Republicans' Mr. Fix-it".
^ Parker, Ashley; Kantor, Jodi (May 10, 2012). "Bullying Story Spurs
Apology From Romney". The New York Times.
^ Rucker, Philip (May 10, 2012). "
Mitt Romney apologizes for high
school pranks that 'might have gone too far'". The Washington
^ Kranish; Helman, The Real Romney, pp. 27–29.
^ a b c d Conroy, Scott; Strickler, Laura (June 7, 2012). "At
Stanford, Romney got his bearings in a year of change". CBS
^ Kranish, Michael (June 24, 2012). "Mitt Romney's prankster ways
continued in college". The Boston Globe.
^ Ngai, Edward (August 22, 2012). "
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Canellos, Peter S. (ed.) and The Team at
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe (2009). The
Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy. New York: Simon &
Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-3817-5.
Clymer, Adam (1999). Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography. New York: Wm.
Morrow & Company. ISBN 978-0-688-14285-8.
Heilemann, John; Halperin, Mark (2010). Game Change: Obama and the
Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime. New York:
HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-173363-5.
Hersh, Burton (1997). The Shadow President:
Ted Kennedy in Opposition.
South Royalton, Vermont: Steerforth Press.
Hewitt, Hugh (2007). A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every
American Should Know About Mitt Romney. Washington: Regnery
Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59698-502-5.
Kranish, Michael; Helman, Scott (2012). The Real Romney. New York:
HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-212327-5.
Mahoney, Tom (1960). The Story of George Romney: Builder, Salesman,
Crusader. New York: Harper & Brothers. OCLC 236830.
Thomas, Evan (2009). "A Long Time Coming": The Inspiring, Combative
2008 Campaign and the Historic Election of Barack Obama. New York:
PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-607-5.
Further reading and viewing
Foster, Craig (2008). A Different God?: Mitt Romney, the Religious
Right, and the Mormon Question. Draper, Utah: Greg Kofford Books.
Hines, Phillip (2012).
Mitt Romney in His Own Words. New York:
Threshold Editions. ISBN 978-1-4516-8780-4.
Scott, Ronald B. (2011). Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and
His Politics. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press.
Turner, Lisa Ray; Field, Kimberly (2007). Mitt Romney: The Man, His
Values, and His Vision. Silverton, Idaho: Mapletree Publishing.
Whiteley, Greg (2014). Mitt – A
Netflix original documentary
(documentary film). Netflix.
Profile at Project Vote Smart
Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election
Mitt Romney at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Appearances on C-SPAN
Chief Executive Officer of Bain Capital
Replaced by a Management Committee
Chief Executive Officer of Bain and Company
as Worldwide Managing Director of Bain and Company
as Chair of Bain and Company
Party political offices
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Massachusetts health care reform
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Speech on Donald Trump
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Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games
No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
Ann Romney (spouse)
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George W. Romney
George W. Romney (father)
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Articles related to Mitt Romney
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Henry Bennion Eyring
Henry J. Eyring
Bennett, Archibald Fowler (1951), A Guide for Genealogical Research,
Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints
Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The
Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 401.
Hebblethwaite, Cordelia (June 13, 2012), Mitt Romney's Mormon roots in
northern England, Preston, England: BBC News
Romney, Catharine Cottam; Hansen, Jennifer Moulton (ed.) (1992).
Letters of Catharine Cottam Romney, plural wife. University of
Illinois Press. p. 283. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list
Special Collections: Inventory of the Henry Eyring papers, J. Willard
Marriott Library, University of Utah, retrieved March 14, 2012
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