|Preceded by||Jane Swift (acting)|
|Suceeded by||Deval Patrick|
|Born||March 12, 1947 (1947-03-12)
|Birth Name||Willard Mitt Romney|
|Alma Mater||Brigham Young University
|Religon||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)|
Ann Romney (m. 1969)
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 Romney was elected 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.
Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is the son of former Michigan Governor, American Motors chairman and 1968 presidential candidate George W. Romney, and 1970 Michigan U.S. Senatorial candidate Lenore Romney. He was named "Willard" after hotel magnate J. Willard Marriott, his father's best friend. Mitt, his middle name, was the nickname of his father's cousin Milton Romney, who played quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1925 to 1929 Mitt Romney has three older siblings: Lynn Romney Keenan; Jane Romney Robinson; and G. Scott Romney. Romney graduated from the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1965. 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. Subsequently, 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. In 1975, Romney graduated from a 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.
After graduation, Romney remained in Massachusetts and went to work for the Boston Consulting Group, where he had interned during the summer of 1974. From 1978 to 1984, Romney was a 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. During the 14 years he headed the company, Bain Capital's average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent,making money primarily through leveraged buyouts. He invested in or bought many well-known companies such as Staples, Brookstone, Domino's, Sealy Corporation and Sports Authority. 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. Romney left Bain Capital in 1998 to head the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee. He and his wife have a net worth of between 250 and 500 million USD,not including Romney's blind trust in the name of their children, which is valued at about $100 million.
Turning around the 2002 Winter OlympicsEdit
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 in order to compensate for the fiscal crisis. 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. On February 11, 1999, Romney was hired as the new president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Romney revamped the organization's leadership and policies, 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. 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 contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and donated the $825,000 salary he earned as President and CEO to charity. He wrote a book about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games. Massachusetts political campaigns
2008 Presidential RaceEdit
Since the 2004 Republican National Convention, Romney had been discussed as a potential 2008 presidential candidate. 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 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%. A few days later, Romney won the Wyoming Republican Caucuses. Romney finished in second place behind John McCain in the New Hampshire primary on January 8, 2008. In the January 15 Michigan primary, Romney won with 39% of the vote, followed by McCain (30%), Huckabee (16%), and others. 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. 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%). McCain led in 12 states and was 21 points ahead of Romney in national polls.
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. Following the results of the 2008 Super Tuesday primaries, Romney suspended his campaign for the presidential nomination on February 7, 2008. 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. Romney won 11 states primaries and caucuses, 4.2 million votes and 291 delegates, although he would have likely won more had he not ended his campaign early. 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.
Romney endorsed McCain for President at a press conference in Boston, Massachusetts on February 14, 2008, one week after suspending his campaign. 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.“There’s nobody who represents me better today than Mitt Romney," said John McCain of his former rival's efforts to promote his candidacy. 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, supports local, state and federal candidates including Senator John McCain, Senator Elizabeth Dole(R-NC), Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI). Romney was reported to be under consideration on the McCain ticket as a vice-presidential nominee.] 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." 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 Palinwould 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." Several newspapers have reported that Romney is paving the way for a 2012 Presidential campaign by hiring campaign staff and raising money for future political campaigns. However, Romney himself recently said that it was "unlikely" he would run for President again.
2012 presidential campaignEdit
On April 11, 2011, Romney announced in a video taped outdoors at the University of New Hampshire that he had formed an exploratory committee for a run for the Republican presidential nomination. A Quinnipiac University political science professor stated, "We all knew that he was going to run. He's really been running for president ever since the day after the 2008 election."
Romney stood to gain from the Republican electorate's tendency to nominate candidates who had previously run for president and appeared to be "next in line" to be chosen. The early stages of the race found him as the apparent front-runner in a weak field, especially in terms of fundraising prowess and organization. Perhaps his greatest hurdle in gaining the Republican nomination was party opposition to the Massachusetts health care reform law that he had shepherded five years earlier. As many potential Republican candidates decided not to run (including Mike Pence, John Thune, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Mitch Daniels), Republican party figures searched for plausible alternatives to Romney.
On June 2, 2011, he formally announced the start of his campaign. Speaking on a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, he focused on the economy and criticized President Obama's handling of it. He said, "In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to make it – because I have lived it."
Romney raised $56 million during 2011, far more than any of his Republican opponents, and refrained from spending any of his own money on his campaign. He initially ran a low-key, low-profile campaign. Michele Bachmann staged a brief surge in polls, then by September 2011, Romney's chief rival in polls was a recent entrant, Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry and Romney exchanged sharp criticisms of each other during a series of debates among the Republican candidates. The October 2011 decisions of Chris Christie and Sarah Palin not to run finally settled the field. Perry faded after poor performances in those debates, while Herman Cain's long-shot bid gained popularity until allegations of sexual misconduct derailed him.
Romney continued to seek support from a wary Republican electorate; at this point in the race, his poll numbers were relatively flat and at a historically low level for a Republican frontrunner. After the charges of flip-flopping that marked his 2008 campaign began to accumulate again, Romney declared in November 2011 that "I've been as consistent as human beings can be." In the final month before voting began, Newt Gingrich enjoyed a major surge, taking a solid lead in national polls and in most of the early caucus and primary states, before settling back into parity or worse with Romney following a barrage of negative ads from Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney Super PAC.
In the initial 2012 Iowa caucuses of January 3, Romney was announced as the victor on election night with 25 percent of the vote, edging out a late-gaining Rick Santorum by eight votes (with an also-strong Ron Paul finishing third), but sixteen days later, Santorum was certified as the winner by a 34-vote margin. Romney decidedly won the New Hampshire primary the following week with a total of 39 percent; Paul finished second and Jon Huntsman third.
In the run-up to the South Carolina Republican primary, Gingrich launched ads criticizing Romney for causing job losses while at Bain Capital, Perry referred to Romney's role there as "vulture capitalism", and Sarah Palin questioned whether Romney could prove his claim that 100,000 jobs were created during that time. Many conservatives rallied in defense of Romney, rejecting what they inferred as criticism of free-market capitalism. However, during two debates, Romney fumbled questions about releasing his income tax returns, while Gingrich gained support with audience-rousing attacks on the debate moderators. Romney's double-digit lead in state polls evaporated and he lost to Gingrich by 13 points in the January 21 primary. Combined with the delayed loss in Iowa, Romney's admitted bad week represented a lost chance to end the race early, and he decided to release two years of his tax returns quickly. The race turned to the Florida Republican primary, where in debates, appearances, and advertisements, Romney unleashed a concerted, unrelenting attack on Gingrich's past record and associations and current electability. Romney enjoyed a big spending advantage from both his campaign and his aligned Super PAC, and after a record-breaking rate of negative ads from both sides, Romney won Florida on January 31, gaining 46 percent of the vote to Gingrich's 32 percent.
There were several caucuses and primaries during February, and Santorum won three in a single night early in the month, propelling him into the lead in national and some state polls and positioning him as Romney's main rival. Romney won the other five, including a closely fought contest in his home state of Michigan at the end of the month. In the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses of March 6, Romney won six of ten contests, including a narrow victory in Ohio over a greatly outspent Santorum, and although he failed to win decisively enough to end the race, still held a more than two-to-one edge over Santorum in delegates. Romney maintained his delegate margin through subsequent contests, and Santorum suspended his campaign on April 10. Following a sweep of five more contests on April 24, the Republican National Committee put its resources behind Romney as the party's presumptive nominee. Romney clinched a majority of the delegates with a win in the Texas primary on May 29.
Polls have shown a generally tight race for the November general election, with Romney typically a few points behind Obama. The campaign has been dominated by negative ads from both sides, with Obama ads proclaiming that Romney shipped jobs overseas while at Bain Capital and has kept his own money in offshore tax havens and Swiss bank accounts. Romney has faced demands from Democrats to release additional years of his tax returns, an action a number of Republicans also think would be wise, but has been adamant that he will not.
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