Mitt Romney, 70th Governor of Massachusetts

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Gov. Willard Mitt Romney

Also Known As: "Mitt Romney", "Willard Mitt Romney", "Mittens", "Willard Mitt"
Birthplace: Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George W. Romney, Governor of Michigan and Lenore Emily Romney
Husband of Ann Lois Romney
Father of Tagg Romney; Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private; Private and G. Scott Romney

Occupation: Governor of Massachusetts
Managed by: Jordan Andrew Kimball
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mitt Romney, 70th Governor of Massachusetts

W. Mitt Romney is the former Governor of Massachusetts. His influential father was thrice elected Governor of Michigan. The Romneys are Mormon, and he went on to Brigham Young University before matriculating at Harvard Business School and then Harvard Law School.

In 1984, Romney founded Bain Capital, an investment company that quickly came to own hundreds of other companies, including Staples, Domino's Pizza, Bright Horizons Childcare, Sealy, FTD Florists, Brookstone, and The Sports Authority.

Romney's claim to national fame came in 1999, when an inquiry into corruption found that the two top officials who led Salt Lake City's bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics had actually paid bribes of more than $1 million to 24 members of the International Olympic Committee. Organizers were embarrassed by the scandal, but terrified by hints that corporate sponsors might reduce their financial commitments.

Romney was the Salt Lake City Olympics' savior. As the event's CEO, he brought in new, stricter policies on ethical behavior and, after the unfortunate events of September 11, Romney instituted what some people considered to be draconian security measures for the event. Even so, millions of tickets were sold, millions more watched on TV, and the athletic competition was memorable.

As a businessman, Romney knows how and when to capitalize his assets, and in the Olympics afterglow he quickly announced his candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts. With no prior experience holding political office, Romney won handily. He is Massachusetts' fourth Republican Governor in a row, somewhat surprising for a state where only 13% of voters are registered as Republicans.

Romney was prominent among the contenders for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. Still, to appeal to conservatives, he has taken a hard stance on gay marriage, by a quirk legalized in his state by a judicial action of the state supreme court. In response he activated a long-inactive law aimed at interracial marriage, which forbids nonresidents to marry in Massachusetts if it is illegal for them to marry in their home states. He called for gun control legislation when he ran for the Senate in 1994, but in 2006 he joined the National Rifle Association.

Romney's wife, Ann, has multiple sclerosis, which she treats with holistic measures including reflexology, accupressure, accupuncture, deep-breathing exercises, and yoga. She says she is "a true believer in alternative medicine".

Father: George W. Romney (Governor, b. 1907, d. 1995) Mother: Lenore LaFount Romney (b. 1909) Brother: G. Scott Romney (attorney) Sister: Jane Romney Robinson Sister: Lynn Romney Keenan Wife: Ann Romney (m. 21-Mar-1969, five sons) Son: Tagg Romney (b. 1970) Son: Matt Romney Jr. Son: Josh Romney Son: Ben Romney Son: Craig Romney

University: MBA, Harvard Business School (1975)

University: JD, Harvard Law School (1975)

Governor of Massachusetts (2-Jan-2003 to 4-Jan-2007)


Author of books: No Apology: The Case For American Greatness (2010)




Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and former Governor of Massachusetts. Romney is also a former candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election.

Romney was CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. After his business career and serving as CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney was elected as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. Romney served one term and did not seek re-election in 2006; his term expired January 4, 2007.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and former Republican Governor of Massachusetts. Romney was CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. Romney successfully organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.[1] Romney served one term as Governor from 2003 to 2007,[2] and was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election. He is widely seen as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President in the 2012 Presidential Election.[3]

Early life and education, marriage and family

Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is the son of former three-term Michigan Governor, American Motors chairman and 1968 presidential candidate George W. Romney, and 1970 Michigan U.S. Senatorial candidate Lenore Romney. Mitt's father came from a humble background,[4] and is credited with turning around American Motors from the brink of bankruptcy with his promotion of the fuel economic Rambler. Mitt was named "Willard" after hotel magnate J. Willard Marriott, his father's best friend.[5] Mitt, his middle name, was the nickname of his father's cousin Milton Romney,[6] who played quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1925 to 1929.[7] Mitt Romney has three older siblings: Lynn Romney Keenan; Jane Romney Robinson; and G. Scott Romney.[8]

Romney was known as a kinetic kid who loved to pull off pranks, once staging an elaborate formal dinner in the center of a busy intersection.[4] Romney graduated with honors from the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1965.[4]

After attending Stanford University for two quarters, Romney served in France for 30 months as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[9] In June 1968, Romney was involved in a serious car accident while driving fellow missionaries in southern France. A Mercedes hit the Citroën DS Romney was driving;[10] the fault for the accident, which left one person dead, was attributed to the driver of the other vehicle.[11]

Soon after his return from missionary work in France, Romney married high school girlfriend Ann Davies on March 21, 1969.[12]

Romney attended Brigham Young University, where he graduated as valedictorian, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in English in 1971. Romney received a ministerial deferment from the military draft while in France, and three years of deferments while a student. When he became eligible for military service in 1970, his high number in the annual draft lottery meant he would not be drafted.[13]

The Romneys' first son, Tagg, was born in 1970[14] while both were undergraduates at Brigham Young,[15] living in a $75-a-month basement apartment.[16] They subsequently had Matt (born 1971), Josh (born 1975), Ben (born 1978) and Craig (born 1981).[14] Ann Romney's work as a stay-at-home mom would enable her husband to pursue his career, first in business and then in politics.[17]

In 1975, Romney graduated from a prestigious[18] joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He graduated cum laude from the law school and was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top five percent of his business school class.[19]

Business career

After graduation, Romney remained in Massachusetts and went to work for the Boston Consulting Group, where he had interned during the summer of 1974.[20] Romney rapidly progressed through the ranks and from 1978 to 1984, he was the vice president of Bain & Company, Inc., another management consulting firm based in Boston. In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to co-found a spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital.[21] During the 14 years he successfully headed the company, Bain Capital's average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent,[22] making money primarily through leveraged buyouts.[23] He invested in or bought many well-known companies such as Staples, Brookstone, Domino's, Sealy Corporation and Sports Authority.[24]

In 1990, Romney was asked to return to Bain & Company, which was facing financial collapse. As CEO, Romney managed an effort to restructure the firm's employee stock-ownership plan, real-estate deals and bank loans, while increasing fiscal transparency. Within a year, he had led Bain & Company through a highly successful turnaround and returned the firm to profitability without layoffs or partner defections.[22]

Romney left Bain Capital in 1998 serve as the President and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee.[25] He and his wife have a net worth of between 250 and 500 million USD,[26][27] not including Romney's blind trust in the name of their children, which is valued at about $100 million.[28]

2002 Winter Olympics

Romney served as president and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games held in Salt Lake City. In 1999, before Romney was hired, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. Plans were being made to scale back the games to compensate for the fiscal crisis.[29] The Games were also damaged by allegations of bribery involving top officials, including then Salt Lake Olympic Committee (SLOC) President and CEO Frank Joklik. Joklik and SLOC vice president Dave Johnson were forced to resign.[30]

On February 11, 1999, Romney was hired as the new president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.[31] Romney revamped the organization's leadership and policies, organized 23,000 volunteers, reduced budgets, and boosted fund raising. He also worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by coordinating a $300 million security budget.[32] Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up clearing a profit of $100 million, not counting the $224.5 million in security costs contributed by outside sources. Romney holds the record for most private money raised by any individual for the Winter Olympics.[33][34]

Romney contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and donated the $825,000 salary he earned as President and CEO to charity.[35] He wrote a book about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games.[36] Romney was widely praised for his successful efforts to turn around the 2002 Winter Olympics.[37]

Massachusetts political career

Campaign for United States Senate, 1994

Main article: United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1994

In 1994, Romney won the Massachusetts Republican Party's nomination for U.S. Senate.[38] Some early polls showed Romney close to Senator Ted Kennedy.[39] Kennedy was more vulnerable than usual in 1994, in part because of the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress as a whole and also because this was Kennedy's first election since the William Kennedy Smith trial in Florida.[40] Kennedy won the election with 58 percent of the vote to Romney's 41 percent, the second smallest margin in Kennedy's nine elections to the Senate.[41]

Campaign for Governor, 2002

Main article: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002

In 2002, Republican Acting Governor Jane Swift was viewed as an unpopular executive,[42][43] and decided not to seek her party's nomination. Prominent GOP activists campaigned to persuade Romney to run for governor.[44][45] Massachusetts Democratic Party officials improperly claimed that Romney was ineligible to run for governor, citing residency issues; the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission ruled that Romney was eligible to run for office.[46] Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, and the appeal of his broad economic background in the traditionally blue state of Massachusetts.[47] He was elected Governor in November 2002 with 50 percent of the vote over Democratic candidate Shannon O'Brien, who received 45 percent of the vote.[48]

Governor of Massachusetts, 2003–2007

Main article: Governorship of Mitt Romney

Romney was sworn in as the 70th governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003. Upon entering office, Romney faced a projected $3 billion deficit, but a previously enacted $1.3 billion capital gains tax increase and $500 million in unanticipated federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2 billion.[49] Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes, by 2006 the state had a $700 million surplus and was able to cut taxes.[50][51]

Romney supported raising various fees by more than $300 million, including those for driver's licenses, marriage licenses, and gun licenses.[51] Romney increased the state gasoline fee by 2 cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue.[52] Romney also closed tax loopholes that brought in another $181 million from businesses over the next two years.[52] The state legislature, with Romney's support, also cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns.[53] The cuts also included a $140 million reduction in state funding for higher education, which led state-run colleges and universities to increase tuition by 63%.[52] Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as Massachusetts governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget. All of those vetoes were overturned by the legislature.[54]

The combined state and local fee burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship but still was below the national average.[52] According to the Tax Foundation, that per capita burden was 9.8% in 2002 (below the national average of 10.3%), and 10.5% in 2006 (below the national average of 10.8%).[55]

On April 12, 2006, Romney signed the Massachusetts health reform law which requires nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face the loss of their personal income tax exemption. The bill also establishes means-tested state subsidies for people who do not have adequate employer insurance and who make below an income threshold, by using funds previously designated to compensate for the health costs of the uninsured.[56][57][58] He vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including an employer assessment[59] and provisions providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid.[60][61] The legislature overrode all eight vetoes. Romney's communications director Eric Fehrnstrom responded saying "These differences with the Legislature are not essential to the goal of getting everyone covered with insurance."

At the beginning of his governorship, Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions.[62][63] Faced with the dilemma of choosing between same-sex marriage or civil unions after the November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision legalizing same-sex marriages (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health), Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment in February 2004 that would have banned same-sex marriage but still allow civil unions, viewing it as the only feasible way to ban same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.[64] In May 2004 Romney instructed town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but 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,[65][66] no marriage licenses were to be issued to out-of-state same-sex couples not planning to move to Massachusetts. In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support for the compromise amendment, stating that the amendment confused voters who oppose both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Instead, Romney endorsed a petition effort led by the Coalition for Marriage & Family that would have banned same-sex marriage and made no provisions for civil unions.[67] In 2006 he urged the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment.[68][69]

On December 14, 2005, Romney announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term as governor.[70] Romney filed papers to establish a formal exploratory presidential campaign committee the next to last day in office as governor.[71] This solidified suspicions that had been circulating as early as 2005 that Romney would attempt to run for President.[72] Romney's term ended January 4, 2007.

Approval rating as Governor

Romney had a difficult time maintaining his approval ratings in office as governor of liberal Massachusetts in the wake of the legalization of gay marriage and the fall of Bush's approval ratings. For the majority of Romney's term however, his approval ratings were in positive territory. After Democrat Deval Patrick succeeded Romney as Governor of Massachusetts, Patrick's approval rating was 33% in April 2009 and 49% said Romney did a better job as governor than Patrick.[79]

Campaign for President

Since the 2004 Republican National Convention, Romney had been discussed as a potential 2008 presidential candidate.[80] On January 3, 2007, two days before he stepped down as governor of Massachusetts, Romney filed to register a presidential campaign exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission.[81][82] Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president on February 13, 2007.

In the January 2008 Iowa Caucus, the first contest of the primary elections, Romney received 25% of the vote and placed second to Mike Huckabee, who received 34%.[83][84] A few days later, Romney won the Wyoming Republican Caucuses.[85] Romney finished in second place behind John McCain in the New Hampshire primary on January 8, 2008.[86] In the January 15 Michigan primary, Romney won with 39% of the vote, followed by McCain (30%), Huckabee (16%), and others.[87] On January 19, Romney won the Nevada caucuses, but placed fourth in the South Carolina primary. Romney then came in second behind John McCain in the Florida primary on January 29, and came in first ahead of John McCain in the Maine caucuses on February 2, giving McCain an overall 97-92 lead over Romney in delegates to the 2008 Republican National Convention.[88] According to US election polls, going into Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney led in California (40% - 32% John McCain), Massachusetts (55% - 23%), Colorado (43% - 24%), and Utah (65% - 6%).[89] McCain led in 12 states and was 21 points ahead of Romney in national polls.[90]

Romney partly financed his campaign with his own personal fortune, contributing over $35 million of the $90 million raised by his campaign, as of December 31, 2007.[91]

Following the results of the 2008 Super Tuesday primaries, Romney suspended his campaign for the presidential nomination on February 7, 2008.[92][93][94] He stated that by staying in the race he would only "forestall the launch of a national campaign and frankly I'd be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Senator Barack Obama to win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding surrender to terror." He went on to say "I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century - still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower."[95]

Romney won 11 states primaries and caucuses, 4.2 million votes and 291 delegates,[96] although he would have likely won more had he not ended his campaign early.[97]

Romney decided not to seek donations to recover the $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign. Instead, the loans are to be reclassified as contributions by Romney. The Romney committee raised approximately $65 million from individual donors during the primary campaign.[98][99]

Romney endorsed McCain for President at a press conference in Boston, Massachusetts on February 14, 2008, one week after suspending his campaign.[100] He became one of the McCain Campaign's most visible surrogates, appearing on behalf of the GOP nominee at fundraisers, state Republican party conventions and on cable news programs.[101] “There’s nobody who represents me better today than Mitt Romney," said John McCain of his former rival's efforts to promote his candidacy.[102] Romney also launched the Free and Strong America PAC to assist conservative "officeholders and candidates who are dedicated to promoting public policies that will strengthen America at this critical time in our history." The political organization, which takes its name from a key line in Romney's 2007 Faith in America speech, supported local, state and federal Republican candidates including Senator John McCain, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Congressman Pete Hoekstra.[103][104]

Romney was reported to be under consideration on the McCain ticket as a vice-presidential nominee.[105][106] Shortly after McCain opted for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, Romney told reporters he had no interest in serving in a McCain Cabinet because he would not relish being "soldiered by 27-year-olds in the White House.... That is not an attractive position, in my view."[107] Romney said his disinterest in a Cabinet position stemmed from his father's past experience as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President Richard Nixon. Romney said he was not disappointed at being passed over for the vice presidential spot, and felt Palin would connect well with voters and strengthen the Republican ticket. He added, "I want to work from the outside of the administration, fighting for the values and the views that I think are essential to keep our country strong right now."[108]

Subsequent activities

Following the election, Romney paved the way for a possible 2012 presidential campaign by keeping much of his PAC's money to pay for salaries and consulting fees for his existing political staff.[109] He also had a network of former staff and supporters around the nation who were eager for him to run again.[110] In February 2009, Romney delivered a speech at the annual CPAC convention. There he won the 2012 presidential straw poll with 20%, leading many to think that he may emerge as the front runner in the 2012 race. In April 2009, Romney avoided questions about his political future by saying he was writing a book on "the challenges America faces".[111] He continued to give speeches, grant interviews, and raise campaign funds on behalf of fellow Republicans.[112] A June 2009 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll showed Romney as the 2012 presidential co-favorite of the Republican electorate along with Palin and Mike Huckabee.[113] The same month, a Pew Research Center poll found that among the general public, 40 percent viewed him favorably and 28 percent unfavorably.[114] This was a marked improvement from the days of his 2008 presidential campaign, where his unfavorable ratings had been higher than his favorables.[114] Romney also stood to gain from the Republican electorate's tendency to nominate candidates who had previously run for president before.[110] Following the August 2009 death of his past rival Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Romney declared that he had no interest in running in the special election to replace him.[115]

Public image

Main article: Public image of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, colloquially known as the Mormon church.[116][117][118][119] Religion played a role in the 2008 presidential campaign, with polls indicating that a quarter of Republican voters were “less likely” to vote for a presidential candidate who was a Latter-day Saint.[120][121] For privacy and religious reasons, Romney avoided speaking publicly about specific church doctrines, and pointed out that the U.S. Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office.[120]

Political positions

Romney asserts that he has learned from experience, and that people can rely on him to keep his campaign promises.[122] As a candidate for the Republican nomination for President, Romney increasingly expressed views in line with traditional conservatives on social issues and on domestic and foreign policy issues.[123][124]


Romney was photographed attending a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in 1994, and his wife made a $150 contribution to the organization.[125] In the past, Romney expressed support for the pro-choice position. Romney maintains that he has always followed his Church teachings and has been personally Pro-Life. Romney however acknowledges that his prior views were flawed, and now considers himself Pro-Life. Romney has consistently opposed Partial Birth Abortion and supports restrictions on Abortion such as parental notification provisions.[126][127][128] Romney says that he believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, that "abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother," and that "states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate."[128] As a candidate for office in Massachusetts, Romney held moderate to liberal views on abortion, and stated that the legislature should be the driving force behind policy decisions even though he personally opposed abortion. He explains his shift in views as a process of evolution, contending that he has gradually come to agree with the Pro-Life position. Romney opposes criminal penalties against women who undergo abortion and believes that society's "hearts and minds" must be changed for policy implementation to be successful.[129][130][131] Some critics of Romney portray him as an opportunist. For example, Democratic U.S. Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts once said, "The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsoever" to which a Romney spokesman replied that "We’ve never really paid much attention to what Barney Frank is saying, and we see no reason to start now."[132]

Second Amendment Rights

Romney has been a strong supporter of both Second Amendment rights as well as certain pieces of gun control legislation. He has backed the Brady Bill, a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on certain assault weapons that he viewed as posing a threat to Policex.[133] Romney has supported legislation that was endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners' Action League.[134] Romney also says he believes that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, rather than merely protecting a right of states.[135]

Illegal immigration

Romney welcomes more legal immigration and supports giving "a biometrically-enabled and tamperproof card to non-citizens and ... a national database for non-citizens" to reduce illegal immigration.[136] Romney's lawn care company had illegal aliens working at his private residence but Romney had the company fired soon after the fact was revealed to him in 2007.[137]

He supports the deportation of illegal immigrant, prioritizes a secure border as well as employer verification, and opposes granting Amnesty to illegal Aliens. While Governor, he has opposed granting in-state tuition tuition and driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.[138]

Same-sex marriage

Romney is a proponent of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.[139] As a candidate for governor in 2002, Romney said: "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union."[140] During that 2002 campaign, he also supported hate crimes legislation and opposed other discrimination against gays, while supporting some partner benefits for gays,[140] and he also opposed amending the state constitution to codify only traditional marriage because he believed the draft amendment would have outlawed other partner benefits.[141] When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of legalized same-sex marriage in 2003, Romney lobbied for a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage but allow civil unions.[140] Romney explained in 2005: "From day one I've opposed the move for same-sex marriage and its equivalent, civil unions.... I am only supporting civil unions if gay marriage is the alternative."[140] Romney continues to oppose both marriage and civil unions between people of the same sex.[142] Romney has supported Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy" in 1994, and continued to do so in 2007.[143][144]

Civil rights

Romney cites both Martin Luther King Jr. and his father George Romney as role models. The senior Romney made headlines by walking out on nominee Barry Goldwater because of his opposition to civil rights, despite opposition from many in his party.[145] Governor Romney supports the Employment Nondiscrimination Act at state level. Romney has expressed support for decreasing barriers to entry into the workforce for women and minorities. He has expressed support for Muslims who face discrimination due to their religion.[146]

Foreign policy

Romney supported the invasion of Iraq[147] and the "troop surge". He however has criticized mismanagement of Iraq post invasion. He has stated that both diplomatic and military efforts should both be used to achieve success in the region.[148]"[149] Upon hearing the testimony of David Petraeus, Romney reemphasized his agreement with current policy in Iraq and has called for a "Surge of Support" for the military. Romney has expressed support for an eventual reduction in military presence in Iraq but has strongly opposed a timetable for withdrawal. Romney has called for increased military spending to at least 4 percent of the United States GDP and wishes to increase the size of the military by at least 100,000 troops.[150] Romney has expressed concern over the growing suppression of Democracy in Russia. He has supported dialogue and efforts to establish cooperation with the Muslim world to fight the war on terror. Romney has proposed a non-confrontational peaceful effort to welcome Democracy into the Middle East.[151]

Tax policy and economic issues

Romney has supported tax relief for "middle income Americans," and has advocated eliminating the capital gains tax for all those who earn less than $200,000 per year.[152] Romney would also like to eliminating the estate tax, known by opponents as the Death Tax,[153] signed a pledge to oppose "any and all efforts" to increase income taxes,[154] and promises to control spending by Congress. Romney has supported a balanced budget amendment to deal with the burgeoning federal deficit. He has stated that deficit spending results in devaluation of the dollar and a decline in the economic stability of the United States. He has proposed reining in growth in entitlement programs. He has also proposed eliminating pork-barrell spending on unnecessary programs.[155] Romney has supported efforts to expand trade with developing countries, and has pushed to renegotiate trade deals with China to help eliminate the Trade Deficit.[156]


Romney supports increased health insurance portability, coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, a cap on malpractice lawsuits, the implementation of a streamlined electronic medical records system, an emphasis on preventative care, and tax benefits aimed at making health insurance more affordable for the uninsured and targeted to promote universal access. Romney opposes a federal government run, single-payer system, but supports state efforts to reduce the uninsured population. [157] As Governor, Romney signed the Massachusetts health reform law into law. He oppposes efforts to provide health coverage for Illegal Immigrants, and supports the Hyde Amendment to ban government funding for elective abortion.[158]

Crime and punishment

Romney supports the death penalty and sentencing under the three strikes law.[159][160][161] Romney opposes the use of torture;[152] however, he supports the limited use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" to stop an imminent wide-scale terrorist attack.[162] Romney supports mandatory increases in sentencing for repeat drunk drivers and has supported a federal effort to curtail the drug trade in Columbia.[163]

Energy policy

Romney has supported a $20 billion package for energy research & new car technology. He opposes a unilateral US global warming policy and believes that worldwide global warming solutions are optimal. He has supported the development of alternative energy such as nuclear, solar, wind, hydroelectric, and clean coal technology to break America's dependence on foreign oil. He has stated that large oil companies should reinvest profits in clean technology for oil refineries. He supports the popular measure of drilling in ANWR as short term measure to help the US achieve energy independence. As Governor, Romney supported clean environment initiatives.[164][165]


Romney supports increasing standards for education and quality based incentives for teachers. He proposes identifying failing schools, increasing school funding and accountability, greater choice, and English immersion. Romney has supported private and government efforts to increase merit scholarships for high school students. He has supported reforming underperforming schools with charter schools. Romney has supported means-tested vouchers for public and private schools as Governor. He has opposed efforts to teach creationism in schools, but believes that there should be more of an emphasis on family values in the educational system. Romney has supported efforts to fund nanotechnology and materials science education.[166]

Romney believes that a proper role for government in encouraging economic growth is ensuring that students receive the best education possible. After fostering a highly-educated workforce and lowering taxes, he asserts that the "best thing the country can do is unleash the power of entrepreneurs and get out of the way." [167]

Later personal life

Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998. Since then, she has been an outspoken advocate for those with multiple sclerosis.[168] She is in remission and was active in his 2008 presidential campaign.[169]

In addition to their five sons, the Romneys have eleven grandchildren.[170]

In December 2007 the Romneys had three homes, one in Belmont, Massachusetts in the Boston suburbs, a lakeside house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and a ski house in Park City, Utah.[171] In early 2009, they sold the homes in Massachusetts and Utah. As of May 2009 they had two homes, the one in New Hampshire and one in San Diego, California.[172]

Electoral history

Main article: Electoral history of Mitt Romney

See also

Pratt–Romney family

Presidents and Prophets: the Story of America’s Presidents and the LDS Church



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^ An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Acts of 2006 (Session Laws), Chapter 58. Retrieved January 2, 2007.

^ Dembner, Alice. Outline for new insurance plan proposed Boston Globe. January 19, 2007. Retrieved January 19, 2007.

^ Scott S. Greenberger (2005-11-04). "House approves healthcare overhaul: Tax at odds with plans by Romney, Travaglini". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-11-24.

^ North Adams Transcript - Romney signs health care bill

^ [1][dead link]

^ McElhenny, John. "Shannon O'Brien supports gay marriage" Daily Collegian October 16, 2002. Retrieved December 10, 2006.

^ "Mitt Romney on the Issues" Romney for Governor 2002. Retrieved December 11, 2006

^ Phillips, Frank (February 23, 2005). "Romney's stance on civil unions draws fire". Retrieved 2006-12-08.

^ "Will the State of Massachusetts Ever Permit Same-Sex Out-of-Staters to Marry?". FindLaw.

^ Greenberger, Scott S. (May 21, 2004). "History suggests race was the basis". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-12-08.

^ Lewis, Raphael (June 17, 2005). "Romney backs new effort to prohibit gay marriages". Retrieved 2006-12-08.

^ Romney, Mitt (June 2, 2006). "Letter to the US Senate" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-12-08.

^ "Testimony of Honorable Mitt Romney, Governor, Massachusetts". US Senate Committee on the Judiciary. June 22, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-08.

^ Phillips, Frank (2005-12-14). "Romney to announce he won't seek re-election". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-11-21.

^ Estes, Andrea; and Helman, Scott. Romney exits with pomp, ambition: Ends term, takes 1st formal step for White House bid Boston Globe. January 4, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2007.

^ Romney out of state 212 days so far in 2006, 25 Dec 2006, Boston Globe








^ Nina Bradley (2004-08-29). "Is Romney ready for the big time?: Mass. Gov. gets plum prime-time speaking spot during convention". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-01-01.

^ "FEC statement of candidacy". Retrieved 2007-10-21.

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^ Clymer, Adam (2008-01-05). "First G.O.P. Delegate Goes to Romney". (The New York Times). Retrieved 2008-02-14.

^ "Primary Results: NEW HAMPSHIRE". ABC News. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-14.

^ Kuhnhenn, Jim; Johnson, Glen (2008-01-10). "Romney decides to pull ads in S.C., Fla.". (Associated Press). Retrieved 2008-02-14.

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^ "McCain gets last-minute boost in New York". 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-02-14.

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^ King, John (2008-02-07). "Romney suspends presidential campaign". CNN.

^ Halperin, Mark (2008-02-07). "Romney to Quit Race". The Page (Time Magazine).

^ Romney for President, Inc. (2008-02-08). "Governor Mitt Romney Addresses CPAC". Press release. Retrieved 2008-02-08.

^ "Romney suspends White House bid". BBC News. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-14.

^ Election Center 2008: Delegate Scorecard - Elections & Politics news from

^ RealClearPolitics - 2008 Elections - Republican Delegate Count

^ Michael Kranish, "Romney not getting his $45m back: Says he won't seek gifts to repay campaign loans", Boston Globe, July 17, 2008

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^ Wangsness, Lisa (2008-06-08). "Once a rival now a Champion: Romney returns to promote McCain". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-06-14.

^ Chabot, Hillary (2008-06-11). "Veep talk swirls around 'vote-getter' Mitt Romney". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2008-06-14.

^ Official web page: Free & Strong America PAC, Inc.

^ Federal Elections Commission filings: statement of organization and financial disclosures for Free and Strong America PAC, Inc.

^ Nagourney, Adam (2008-05-21). "McCain to Meet 3 Possible Running Mates". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-18.

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^ Swindell, Bill and McPike, Erin. "Unwelcome guest tones down kickoff." National Journal, September 1, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-09-02.

^ Johnson, Glen. "Romney 'not disappointed' at missing McCain ticket." Associated Press, September 2, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-09-02.


^ a b Martin, Jonathan (June 29, 2009). "Mitt Romney's team awaits 2012". The Politico. Retrieved June 29, 2009.

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^ Cannon, Carl M. (June 2, 2009). "Mitt's Makeover: Channeling Reagan for 2012 Run". Politics Daily.

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^ a b "Romney's Image Improves; Palin Well Regarded by Republican Base". Pew Research Center. June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2009.

^ Barr, Andy (August 27, 2009). "Mitt Romney won't run for Ted Kennedy's seat". The Politico. Retrieved August 27, 2009.

^ Linda Feldmann (2007-08-09). "Mitt Romney: proudly, quietly Mormon". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2007-12-13.

^ "Mitt Romney Wants to Re-Tool Washington; Mike Wallace Interviews the Contender for the GOP Presidential Nomination", 60 Minutes, CBS News, May 13, 2006 (retrieved December 3, 2007).

^ Jill Lawrence, "Will Mormon Faith Hurt Bid for White House?", USA Today, March 12, 2007.

^ Tim Jones, "Romney: Smartest guy in the room", Chicago Tribune, November 2, 2007.

^ a b Linda Feldmann, "Romney moves to allay Mormon concerns directly", Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 2007.

^ Scott Keeter and Gregory Smith, "How the Public Perceives Romney, Mormons", The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, December 4, 2007.

^ Hope Yen."Romney: I'll Keep Campaign Promises", Associated Press (2007-12-16).

^ "Profile: Mitt Romney". BBC. 2007-02-15.

^ "The Romney Agenda: The Three-Legged Republican Stool". Mitt Romney.Com. 2007-10-15.

^ "Romney Attended Planned Parenthood Fundraiser in 1994". ABC News. 2007-12-18.


^ Governor Romney's Remarks At The Massachusetts Citizens For Life Mother's Day Pioneer Valley Dinner, (2007-05-10). Retrieved 2008-01-08.

^ a b Affirming America's Culture and Values, Retrieved 2008-01-08.


^ "Mitt Romney says he opposes abortion". MSNBC. 2007-02-07.

^ "GOP group to slam Romney on abortion". Boston Globe. 2007-11-28.

^ "Congressman Frank blasts the 'real Romney'". Boston Herald. 2007-06-11.

^ Scott Helman Romney retreats on gun control, Boston Globe (2007-01-14).

^ Mitt

^ "Flash Back: Romney's Four Wedge Issues", Human Events (2007-12-28).

^ Ending Illegal Immigration

^ "Illegal immigrants toiled for governor" Boston Globe


^ Douglas Kmiec, Revising Kennedy, National Review, November 14, 2007. To quote Romney: "There is nothing more awful, in my view, than the violation of the marriage covenant that one has with one’s wife. The practice of polygamy is abhorrent, it’s awful, and it drives me nuts that people who are polygamists keep pretending to use the umbrella of my church....My church abhors it, it excommunicates people who practice it, and it's got nothing to do with my faith."

^ a b c d "Romney's stance on civil unions draws fire". Boston Globe. 2005-02-23.

^ Rick Klein. “Group promises aid for amendment foes”, Boston Globe (2004-02-11): “Romney opposed that amendment as a gubernatorial candidate in 2002. At the time, Romney said he felt the amendment went too far because it would have outlawed domestic-partner benefits for gay couples, as well as gay marriage, and said he would vote against it.”

^ "Romney’s Tone on Gay Rights Is Seen as Shift". New York Times. 2007-09-08.

^ Michael Luo (2007-09-08). "Romney’s Tone on Gay Rights Is Seen as Shift". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-24.

^ John Solomon (2007-02-19). "Romney Supports 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-01..



^ Lorentzen, Amy (July 27, 2007). "Romney:U.S. is angry about Iraq". American Spectator (Houston Chronicle). Retrieved 2007-04-20.[dead link]


^ Press release from official Mitt Romney website

^ Romney Urges More Be Spent On Defense And Energy Research


^ a b "Mitt Romney Iowa Straw Poll Speech". CSPAN. 2007-11-08.

^ "Romney rolls through business plan in hopes of winning Iowa". Boston Globe. 2007-08-10.

^ Helman, Scott (2007-01-05). "Romney finds 'no new taxes' promise suits him after all". Boston Globe.





^ Lewis, Raphael (April 29, 2005). "Romney files death penalty bill". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-04-20.

^ Sacchetti, Maria (February 1, 2005). "Romney plan would greatly boost charter schools". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-04-20.

^ "Mitt Romney on crime". OnTheIssues. , 1994. Retrieved 2007-04-20.

^ Governor Romney: Protecting America at YouTube (requires Adobe Flash)





^ Meyers, Donald (2009-12-03). "Romney: Entrepreneurs key to ending recession". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2009-12-17.


^ Faye Fiore, "Does perfection have its price for Romney?”[dead link] Los Angeles Times (2007-11-24).

^ Jose Antonio Vargas (2007-06-09). "Romney brothers dish on Dad". Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved 2007-11-24.

^ "Mitt Romney's Rivals Try Class Warfare", Associated Press (2007-12-14).

^ Eric Zimmermann (May 11, 2009). "Romney moving to New Hampshire?". The Hill.

Spouse(s) Ann Romney

Children Tagg (b. 1970), Matt (b. 1971), Josh (b. 1975), Ben (b. 1978), Craig (b. 1981)

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman, Republican Party politician, and was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He is the son of the businessman and politician George W. Romney, and Lenore Romney.

Romney was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and served as a Mormon missionary in France. He attended Stanford University and Brigham Young University as an undergraduate, then earned a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He entered the management consulting business and became CEO of Bain & Company and co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts but lost to incumbent Edward M. Kennedy. Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Romney won the election for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. In his one term, he presided over a series of spending cuts and increases in fees while the state's finances improved. He signed into law the landmark Massachusetts health care reform legislation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via subsidies and mandates. Romney was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election, winning several caucuses and primaries but ultimately losing to John McCain. Since then he has published a book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, and given speeches and raised campaign funds on behalf of fellow Republicans. He is widely seen as a front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election.

Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician who served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and 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 in 1971 and a joint JD–MBA from 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 (LDS Church) throughout his adult life, he served as the bishop of his ward (head of his local congregation) and then as stake president in his home area near Boston.

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 led to a relaunch of his political career.

Elected 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.

Contents [hide] 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 10.2 2017 11 Awards and honors 12 Published works 13 See also 14 Notes 15 References 16 Bibliography 17 Further reading and viewing 18 External links Early life and education Heritage and youth See also: Romney family Willard Mitt Romney[3] was born on March 12, 1947, at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, Michigan,[4] one of four children born to automobile executive George W. Romney (1907–1995) and homemaker Lenore Romney (née LaFount; 1908–1998).[5] His mother was a native of Logan, Utah, and his father was born to American parents in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.[6][7] Of primarily English descent, he also has Scottish and German ancestry.[8][9][10] 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 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.[11][12]

Romney has three older siblings, Margo, Jane, and Scott. Mitt was the youngest by nearly six years.[13] 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.[14] Romney was referred to as "Billy" until kindergarten, when he expressed a preference for "Mitt".[15] In 1953, the family moved from Detroit to the affluent suburb of Bloomfield Hills.[16] His father became the chairman and CEO of American Motors the following year and helped the company avoid bankruptcy and return to profitability.[16] By 1959, his father had become a nationally known figure in print and on television,[17] and Mitt idolized him.[18]

Brick buildings facing a courtyard 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.[15][19] Many students there came from backgrounds even more privileged than his.[20] Not particularly athletic, he also did not distinguish himself academically.[18] He did participate in his father's successful 1962 Michigan gubernatorial campaign,[21] and later worked as an intern in the Governor's office.[18][22] Romney took up residence at Cranbrook when his newly elected father began spending most of his time at the state capitol.[19]

At Cranbrook, Romney helped manage the ice hockey team, and he joined the pep squad.[19] During his senior year, he joined the cross country running team.[15] He belonged to eleven school organizations and school clubs overall, including the Blue Key Club, a booster group that he had started.[19] During his final year there, his academic record improved but fell short of excellence.[18][20] 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.[20][27] The two became informally engaged around the time of his June 1965 graduation.[18][23]

University, France mission, marriage, and children: 1965–75 Romney attended Stanford University during the 1965-66 academic year.[18] He was not part of the counterculture of the 1960s then taking form in the San Francisco Bay Area.[18] 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.[18][28] He continued to enjoy occasional pranks.[nb 2]

In July 1966, he began a thirty-month stint in France as a Mormon missionary,[18][31] a traditional rite of passage in his family.[nb 3] He arrived in Le Havre, where he shared cramped quarters under meager conditions.[11][33] Rules against drinking, smoking, and dating were strictly enforced.[11] Most individual Mormon missionaries do not gain many converts[nb 4] and Romney was no exception:[33] he later estimated ten to twenty for his entire mission.[38][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."[33] He soon gained recognition within the mission for the many homes he called on and the repeat visits he was granted.[11] He was promoted to zone leader in Bordeaux in early 1968, and soon thereafter became assistant to the mission president in Paris.[11][33][40] 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.[40] 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.[11][33]

1968 campaign poster showing a smiling George Romney Mitt's father George (pictured here in a 1968 poster) lost the Republican presidential nomination to Richard M. Nixon and later was appointed to the Nixon cabinet. campaign button advocating Lenore Romney for U. S. Senate Mitt's mother Lenore (promoted here on a button) lost a Senate race in 1970, and he worked for her campaign. In June 1968, an automobile he was driving in southern France was hit by another vehicle, seriously injuring him and killing 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.[41] With Romney rallying the others, the mission met its goal of 200 baptisms for the year, the most in a decade.[41] By the end of his stint in December 1968, he was overseeing the work of 175 others.[33][42] As a result of his experience there, Romney developed a lifelong affection for France and its people and has also remained fluent in French.[44]

At their first meeting following his return, Romney and Ann Davies reconnected and decided to get married.[45] Romney began attending Brigham Young University (BYU), where she had been studying.[46] The couple married on March 21, 1969, in a civil ceremony in Bloomfield Hills.[47][48] 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.[47][48]

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.[33] 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 Nixon's ongoing Cambodian Incursion as a sincere attempt to bring the war to a conclusion.[49] 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.[28][50] When those ran out, the result of the December 1969 draft lottery where he drew number 300 ensured he would not be drafted.[28][50][51]

At culturally conservative BYU, Romney remained isolated from much of the upheaval of that era.[33][46] He became president of the Cougar Club booster organization and showed a new-found discipline in his studies.[33][46] 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;[23][47] together, they visited all 83 Michigan counties.[52][53] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with highest honors in 1971,[46] 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[35] while they were undergraduates at BYU and living in a basement apartment.[46] Ann subsequently gave birth to Matthew (1971) and Joshua (1975). Benjamin (1978) and Craig (1981) would arrive later, after Romney had begun his career.[35]

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.[56][57] As a result, he enrolled in the recently created four-year joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.[58] He readily adapted to the business school's pragmatic, data-driven case study method of teaching.[57] Living in a Belmont, Massachusetts house with Ann and their two children, his social experience differed from most of his classmates'.[47][57] He was nonideological and did not involve himself in the political issues of the day.[47][57] 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 class.[54][58]

Business career Main article: Business career of Mitt Romney Management consulting 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.[56][59][nb 8] Part of a 1970s wave of top graduates who chose to go into consulting rather than join a large company directly,[61] he found his legal and business education useful in his job.[56] He applied BCG principles such as the growth-share matrix,[62] and executives viewed him as having a bright future there.[56][63] 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.[64]

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.[56][62][65] 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."[66] 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.[56][62] Romney became a vice-president of the firm in 1978,[15] working with such clients as the Monsanto Company, Outboard Marine Corporation, Burlington Industries, and Corning Incorporated.[59] 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.[56][67]

Minor political issues Two family incidents during this time later surfaced during Romney's political campaigns.[68][69] 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.[70] 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.[47] The dog incident in particular later became fodder for Romney's critics and political opponents.[69][71]

Private equity For more details on this topic, see Bain Capital. In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to cofound the spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital.[72] 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.[56][66][73] Bain and Romney raised the $37 million in funds needed to start the new operation, which had seven employees.[59][74] Romney held the titles of president[75] and managing general partner.[76][77] Though he was the sole shareholder of the firm, publications also referred to him as managing director or CEO.[78][79][80]

Initially, 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.[56] The firm's first significant success was a 1986 investment to help start Staples Inc., after founder Thomas G. Stemberg convinced Romney of the market size for office supplies and Romney convinced others; Bain Capital eventually reaped a nearly sevenfold return on its investment, and Romney sat on the Staples board of directors for over a decade.[56][74][81]

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.[56][66] Bain Capital lost money in many of its early leveraged buyouts, but then found deals that made large returns.[56] 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.[56][66][82] 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).[84] Instead, he focused on analyzing the merits of possible deals that others brought forward and on recruiting investors to participate in them once approved.[84] Within Bain Capital, Romney spread profits from deals widely within the firm to keep people motivated, often keeping less than ten percent for himself.[85] Data-driven, Romney often played the role of a devil's advocate during exhaustive analysis of whether to go forward with a deal.[56][81] He wanted to drop a Bain Capital hedge fund that initially lost money, but other partners disagreed with him and it eventually made billions.[56] He opted out of the Artisan Entertainment deal, not wanting to profit from a studio that produced R-rated films.[56] 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).[56] In some cases, Romney had little involvement with a company once Bain Capital acquired it.[74]

Bain Capital's leveraged buyouts sometimes led to layoffs, either soon after acquisition or later after the firm had concluded its role.[62][73][74] 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.[86][87][88] Maximizing the value of acquired companies and the return to Bain's investors, not job creation, was the firm's primary investment goal.[74][89] 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.[56][81][89] 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).[86] 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 strong."[73]

In 1990, facing financial collapse, Bain & Company asked Romney to return.[72] Announced as its new CEO in January 1991,[76][77] he drew a symbolic salary of one dollar[72] (remaining managing general partner of Bain Capital during this time).[76][77] 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.[56][59][72] 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.[90] Within about a year, he had led Bain & Company to a return to profitability.[59] He turned Bain & Company over to new leadership and returned to Bain Capital in December 1992.[56][91][92]

Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital from November 1993 to November 1994 to run for the U.S. Senate.[47][93] 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.[94][95]

By 1999, Bain Capital was on its way towards becoming one of the foremost private equity firms in the nation,[73] having increased its number of partners from 5 to 18, with 115 employees and $4 billion under management.[66][74] The firm's average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent[59][96] and its average yearly return to investors was around 50–80 percent on their investments.[83]

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 Olympic Games Organizing Committee.[97][98] Billed in some public statements as keeping a part-time role,[97][99] 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.[97][100] 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.[97][100] He retained his position on several boards of directors during this time and regularly returned to Massachusetts to attend meetings.[101]

In August 2001, Romney announced that he would not return to Bain Capital.[102] His separation from the firm concluded in early 2002;[97] 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.[2][85] The private equity business continued to thrive, earning him millions of dollars in annual income.[85]

Personal wealth As a result of his business career, Romney and his wife had a net worth of between $190 and $250 million,[2][103] including their retirement account, worth between $20 and $100 million.[104] Most of that wealth has been held in blind trusts since 2003, some of it offshore.[2][105][106] An additional blind trust, valued at $100 million in 2012, exists in the name of their children.[107][108] 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.[109] For the years 1990–2010, their effective federal tax rates were above 13 percent with an average rate of about 20 percent.[110]

Romney has tithed to the LDS Church regularly, and donated generously to LDS Church-owned BYU.[11][12][111] In 2010, for example, he and his wife gave $1.5 million to the Church.[109] The Romney family's Tyler Charitable Foundation gave out about $650,000 in that year, some of which went to organizations that fight diseases.[112]

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.[113] He served as bishop of the ward (ecclesiastical and administrative head of his congregation) at Belmont, Massachusetts, from 1981 to 1986.[114][115] As such, in addition to home teaching, he also formulated Sunday services and classes using LDS scriptures to guide the congregation.[116] 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.[115][117]

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.[67][116][118] 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.[115][117] An unpaid position, his local church leadership often took 30 or more hours a week of his time,[116] and he became known for his considerable energy in the role.[67] He also earned a reputation for avoiding any overnight travel that might interfere with his church responsibilities.[116]

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.[114][115][116] A number of local church members later credited him with turning their lives around or helping them through difficult times.[115][116][117] Others, rankled by his leadership style, desired a more consensus-based approach.[115] 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.[67] 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.[67] 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.[67] 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.[119]

1994 U.S. Senatorial campaign Main article: United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1994 Man smiling at right with sign in background and parents holding toddler at left Campaigning for U.S. Senate in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1994 For much of his business career, Romney did not take public, political stances.[120][121] He had kept abreast of national politics since college,[33] though, and the circumstances of his father's presidential campaign loss had irked him for decades.[23] He registered as an Independent[47] and voted in the 1992 presidential primaries for the Democratic former senator from Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas.[120][122]

By 1993, Romney had begun thinking about entering politics, partly based upon Ann's urging and partly to follow in his father's footsteps.[47] 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.[123][124][125] Romney changed his affiliation to Republican in October 1993 and formally announced his candidacy in February 1994.[47] In addition to his leave from Bain Capital, Romney als stepped down from his church leadership role in 1994.[116]

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.[126][127] He won 68 percent of the vote at the May 1994 Massachusetts Republican Party convention; businessman John Lakian finished a distant second, eliminating Jeghelian.[128] Romney defeated Lakian in the September 1994 primary with more than 80 percent of the vote.[15][129]

In the general election, Kennedy faced the first serious re-election challenge of his career.[123] 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.[123][130] 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."[131] Romney stated, "Ultimately, this is a campaign about change."[132]

Romney's campaign was effective in portraying Kennedy as soft on crime, but had trouble establishing its own consistent positions.[133] By mid-September 1994, polls showed the race to be about even.[123][134][135] Kennedy responded with a series of ads that focused on Romney's seemingly shifting political views on issues such as abortion;[136] Romney responded by stating, "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country."[137] Other Kennedy ads centered on layoffs of workers at the Ampad plant owned by Romney's Bain Capital.[123][138] The latter was effective in blunting Romney's momentum.[81] 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.[139] Romney spent $3 million of his own money in the race and more than $7 million overall.[140][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,[56] the smallest margin in any of Kennedy's re-election campaigns for the Senate.[143]

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."[47][144] When his father died in 1995, Mitt donated his inheritance to BYU's George W. Romney Institute of Public Management.[55] He also became vice-chair of the Board of the Points of Light Foundation,[102] 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.[47][144] Although no longer in a local leadership position in his church, he still taught Sunday School.[114] 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.[115] He thus kept to a limited, behind-the-scenes role in attempts to ease tensions between the church and local residents.[114][115][117]

2002 Winter Olympics For more details on this topic, see 2002 Winter Olympics. In 1998, 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.[47] 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.[145] When her husband received a job offer to take over the troubled organization responsible for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in 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.[144][146][147] 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.[148]

Photograph of Romney standing with microphone in middle of curling lanes 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.[148] 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.[149] 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.[150] 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.[147][151] The appointment faced some initial criticism from both non-Mormons and Mormons that it represented cronyism and made the Games seem too Mormon-dominated.[39] 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.[152]

Romney restructured the organization's leadership and policies. He reduced budgets and boosted fundraising, alleviating the concerns of corporate sponsors while recruiting new ones.[144][147] Romney worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by coordinating a $300 million security budget.[146] He oversaw a $1.32 billion total budget, 700 employees, and 26,000 volunteers.[148] The federal government provided approximately $400 million[147][153][154] to $600 million[155][156] of that budget, much of it a result of Romney's having aggressively lobbied Congress and federal agencies.[156][157] It was a record level of federal funding for the staging of a U.S. Olympics.[154][157] An additional $1.1 billion of indirect federal funding came to the state in the form of highway and transit projects.[158]

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!"[144][147][159] Robert H. Garff, the chair of the organizing committee, later said "It was obvious that he had an agenda larger than just the Olympics,"[144] and that Romney wanted to use the Olympics to propel himself into the national spotlight and a political career.[147][160] Garff believed the initial budget situation was not as bad as Romney portrayed, given there were still three years to reorganize.[147] Utah Senator Bob Bennett said that much of the needed federal money was already in place.[147] An analysis by The Boston Globe later stated that the committee had nearly $1 billion in committed revenues at that time.[147] 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.[160] 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.[144] 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."[147]

Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up with a surplus of $100 million.[161] President George W. Bush praised Romney's efforts and 87 percent of Utahns approved of his performance as Olympics head.[24][162] It solidified his reputation as a "turnaround artist",[147][163][164] and Harvard Business School taught a case study based around his actions.[62] 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".[147] 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 aspirations.[144]

Governor of Massachusetts 2002 Gubernatorial campaign Main article: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002 In 2002, plagued by political missteps and personal scandals, the administration of Republican Acting Governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift appeared vulnerable, and many Republicans viewed her as unable to win a general election.[162][165] Prominent party figures – as well as the White House – wanted Romney to run for governor[166][167] and the opportunity appealed to him for reasons including its national visibility.[168] A poll by the Boston Herald showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points.[169] On March 19, 2002, Swift announced she would not seek her party's nomination, and hours later Romney declared his candidacy,[169] for which he would face no opposition in the primary.[170] 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.[171][172] 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 eligible candidate.[173]

Romney again ran as a political outsider.[162] He played down his party affiliation,[174] saying he was "not a partisan Republican" but rather a "moderate" with "progressive" views.[175] 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".[137][176] He touted his private sector experience as qualifying him for addressing the state's fiscal problems[170] and stressed his ability to obtain federal funds for the state, offering his Olympics record as evidence.[154][157] He proposed to reorganize the state government while eliminating waste, fraud, and mismanagement.[174][177] The campaign innovatively utilized microtargeting techniques, identifying like-minded groups of voters and reaching them with narrowly tailored messaging.[178]

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.[177][179][180] Television ads highlighting the effort, as well as one portraying his family in gushing terms and showing him shirtless,[179] 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.[177][180] 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.[174][180] These were effective in capturing independent voters.[180] 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.[181]

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.[182][183] On November 5, 2002, he won the governorship, earning 50 percent of the vote to O'Brien's 45 percent.[184]

Tenure, 2003–07 Main article: Governorship of Mitt Romney The swearing in of Romney as the 70th governor of Massachusetts took place on January 2, 2003.[185] He faced a Massachusetts state legislature with large Democratic majorities in both houses, and had picked his cabinet and advisors based more on managerial abilities than partisan affiliation.[186][187] He declined a governor's salary of $135,000 during his term.[188] 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.[174] 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.[189][190] Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes,[189] 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]

Mitt Romney resting on a wooden desk, flanked by an American flag, a picture of his wife, a lamp, and a painting of mountains 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.[174][189] He increased a special gasoline retailer fee by two cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue.[174][189] Opponents said the reliance on fees sometimes imposed a hardship on those who could least afford them.[189] 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.[174][195][196] He did so in the face of conservative and corporate critics who viewed these actions as tax increases.[195][196]

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.[197] 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.[174][189] 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 vetoes.[198]

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.[174][189] The combined state and local tax burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship.[174] He did propose a reduction in the state income tax rate that the legislature rejected.[199]

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.[200] 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.[176][201] 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 poor.[200]

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 that incorporated a new payroll tax.[176][187][201] In particular, Romney pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level.[21] 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,[202] gave the plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to cooperate.[176][201] 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 legislature.[176][201]

On April 12, 2006, the governor signed the resulting Massachusetts health reform law, commonly called "Romneycare", which requires nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face escalating tax penalties, such as the loss of their personal income tax exemption.[203] 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.[204][205] 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.[203][206] The legislature overrode all eight vetoes, but the governor's office said the differences were not essential.[206] The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney's term in office.[176][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.[176][208][209] A November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decisi

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Mitt Romney, 70th Governor of Massachusetts's Timeline

March 12, 1947
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, United States
March 21, 1970
Age 23
Provo, Utah County, Utah, United States