Main article: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2002In 2002, Republican Acting Governor Jane Swift's administration was plagued by political missteps and personal scandals. Many Republicans viewed her as a liability and considered her unable to win a general election. Prominent GOP activists campaigned to persuade Romney to run for governor. One poll taken at that time showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points. In March 2002, Swift decided not to seek her party's nomination, and so Romney was unopposed in the Republican party primary.Massachusetts Democratic Party officials contested Romney's eligibility to run for governor, citing residency issues involving Romney's time in Utah as president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. In June 2002, the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission unanimously ruled that Romney was eligible to run.Romney ran as a political outsider again, saying he was "not a partisan Republican" but rather a "moderate" with "progressive" views (although John W. Sears and several other state Republicans would later say Romney was from the more conservative side of the Massachusetts party). Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, as the record of someone who would be able to bring a new era of efficiency into Massachusetts politics. The campaign was the first to use microtargeting techniques, in which fine-grained groups of voters were reached with narrowly tailored messaging. Romney contributed over $6 million to his own campaign during the election, a state record at the time. Romney was elected Governor in November 2002 with 50 percent of the vote over his Democratic opponent, Massachusetts State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien, who received 45 percent.Tenure, 2003–2007Main article: Governorship of Mitt RomneyRomney was sworn in as the 70th governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003. Both houses of the Massachusetts state legislature held large Democratic majorities. He picked his cabinet and advisors more on managerial abilities than partisan affiliation. Upon entering office in the middle of a fiscal year, Romney faced an immediate $650 million shortfall and a projected $3 billion deficit for the next year. Unexpected revenue of $1.0–1.3 billion from a previously enacted capital gains tax increase and $500 million in unanticipated federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2–1.5 billion. Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes, by 2006 the state had a $600–700 million surplus.
Official Massachusetts State House portrait of Governor Mitt Romney, by artist Richard WhitneyRomney supported raising various fees by more than $300 million, including those for driver's licenses, marriage licenses, and gun licenses. He increased a special gasoline retailer fee by two cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue. (Opponents said the reliance on fees sometimes imposed a hardship on those who could least afford them.) Romney also closed tax loopholes that brought in another $181 million from businesses over the next two years and over $300 million for his term. These initial loophole actions, fueled by Romney's sense of rectitude and in the face of conservative and corporate critics that considered them tax increases, won plaudits from legislators as an example of political courage.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. 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 percent over four years. Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as Massachusetts governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget, but all of them were overridden by the Democratic-dominated legislature.The cuts in state spending put added pressure on local property taxes; the share of town and city revenues coming from property taxes rose from 49 percent to 53 percent.The combined state and local tax burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship but still was below the national average. According to the Tax Foundation, that per capita burden was 9.8 percent in 2002 (below the national average of 10.3 percent), and 10.5 percent in 2006 (below the national average of 10.8 percent).Romney was at the forefront of a movement to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state, after Staples founder Stemberg told him at the start of his term that doing so would be the best way he could help people and after the federal government, due 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. Despite not having campaigned on the idea of universal health insurance, 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.After positing that any measure adopted not raise taxes and not resemble the previous decade's failed "Hillarycare" proposal, Romney formed a team of consultants from different political backgrounds that beginning in late 2004 came up with a set of innovative proposals 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. In particular, Romney successfully pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level. Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal heath coverage his life's work and who, over time, had developed a warm relationship with Romney, gave Romney's plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to cooperate. The effort eventually gained the support of all major stakeholders within the state, and Romney helped break a logjam between rival Democratic leaders in the legislature.
Romney receiving the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award on behalf of the Commonwealth of MassachusettsOn April 12, 2006, Romney signed the resulting Massachusetts health reform law, 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. 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. He vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a controversial $295-per-employee assessment on businesses that do not offer health insurance and provisions guaranteeing dental benefits to Medicaid recipients. The legislature overrode all eight vetoes; Romney's communications director Eric Fehrnstrom responded by saying, "These differences with the Legislature are not essential to the goal of getting everyone covered with insurance." Romney said of the measure overall, "There really wasn't Republican or Democrat in this. People ask me if this is conservative or liberal, and my answer is yes. It's liberal in the sense that we're getting our citizens health insurance. It's conservative in that we're not getting a government takeover." The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney's term in office.[nb 9]At the beginning of his governorship, Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions, but advocated tolerance and supported some domestic partnership benefits. 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. 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, 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. In 2004 and 2006, he urged the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment.In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving from an "unequivocal" pro-choice position expressed during his 2002 campaign to a pro-life one where he opposed Roe v. Wade. He vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that would expand access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies (the veto was overridden by the legislature).Romney generally used the bully pulpit approach towards promoting his agenda, staging well-organized media events to appeal directly to the public rather than pushing his proposals in behind-doors sessions with the state legislature. Romney was especially effective in dealing with a crisis of confidence in Boston's Big Dig project following a fatal ceiling collapse in 2006, wresting control of the project from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and helping ensure that it would eventually complete.During 2004, Romney spent considerable effort trying to bolster the state Republican Party, but it failed to gain any seats in the state legislative elections that year. Given a prime-time appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Romney was already being discussed as a potential 2008 presidential candidate. Midway through his term, Romney decided that he wanted to stage a full-time run for president, and on December 14, 2005, Romney announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term as governor. As chair of the Republican Governors Association, Romney traveled around the country, meeting prominent Republicans and building a national political network; he spent part or all of more than 200 days out of state during 2006, preparing for his run. Romney's frequent out-of-state travel contributed towards his approval rating declining in public polls towards the end of his term. He conceded that 2006 would be a difficult year for Republicans and that they would likely lose gubernatorial seats, including possibly his own. The weak condition of the Republican state party was one of several factors that led to Democrat Deval Patrick's lopsided win over Republican Kerry Healey in the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.Romney filed to register a presidential campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission on his penultimate day in office as governor. Romney's term ended January 4, 2007.2008 presidential campaignMain article: Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2008See also: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2008
Romney holding an "Ask Mitt Anything" session in Ames, Iowa, in May 2007
Romneys on Mackinac Island at the 2007 Republican Convention
Romney at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, in mid-January 2008Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president on February 13, 2007, at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. In his speech, Romney frequently invoked his father and his own family and stressed experiences in the private, public, and voluntary sectors that had brought him to this point. He said, "Throughout my life, I have pursued innovation and transformation," and casting himself as a political outsider, said, "I do not believe Washington can be transformed from within by a lifelong politician."The assets that Romney's campaign began with included his résumé of success in the business world and his rescuing of the Salt Lake Olympics, which matched the commonly held notion that American industry had star players who could straighten out what was wrong in the nation's capital. Romney also had solid political experience as governor together with a political pedigree courtesy of his father, a strong work ethic and energy level, and a large, wholesome-looking family that seemed so perfect as to be off-putting to some voters. Ann Romney, who had become an outspoken advocate for those with multiple sclerosis, was in remission and would be an active participant in his campaign, helping to soften his political personality. Moreover, with his square jaw, handsome face, and ample hair graying at the temples, Mitt Romney matched one of the common images of what a president should look like. Romney's liabilities included having run for senator and served as governor in one of the nation's most liberal states, having taken some positions there that were opposed by the party's conservative base, and subsequently shifting those positions. His religion was also viewed with suspicion and skepticism by some in the Evangelical portion of the party.Romney assembled for his campaign a veteran group of Republican staffers, consultants, and pollsters. He was little-known nationally, though, and stayed around the ten percent range in Republican preference polls for the first half of 2007. Romney's strategy was to win the first two big contests, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, and carry the momentum and visibility gained through the big Super Tuesday primaries and on to the nomination. He proved the most effective fundraiser of any of the Republican candidates; his Olympics ties helped him with fundraising from Utahns and from sponsors and trustees of the games. He also partly financed his campaign with his own personal fortune. These resources, combined with his August 2007 win in the Iowa Straw Poll and the mid-year near-collapse of nominal front-runner John McCain's campaign, made Romney a threat to win the nomination and the focus of the other candidates' attacks. Romney's staff suffered from internal strife and the candidate himself was indecisive at times, constantly asking for more data before making a decision.During all of his political campaigns, Romney has generally avoided speaking publicly about specific Mormon doctrines, referring to the U.S. Constitution prohibition of religious tests for public office. But persistent questions about the role of religion in Romney's life in this race, as well as Southern Baptist minister and former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee's rise in the polls based upon an explicitly Christian-themed campaign, led to the December 6, 2007, "Faith in America" speech. Introduced by former President George H. W. Bush, Romney discussed the role of religion in American society and politics. Romney said he should neither be elected nor rejected based upon his religion, and echoed Senator John F. Kennedy's famous speech during his 1960 presidential campaign in saying "I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law." Instead of discussing the specific tenets of his faith, he said that he would be informed by it and that, "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." Academics would later study the role religion had played in the campaign.[nb 10]In the January 3, 2008, Iowa Republican caucuses, the first contest of the primary season, Romney received 25 percent of the vote and placed second to the vastly outspent Huckabee, who received 34 percent. Of the 60 percent of caucus-goers who were evangelical Christians, Huckabee was supported by about half of them while Romney by only a fifth. A couple of days later, Romney won the lightly contested Wyoming Republican caucuses.At a Saint Anselm College debate, Huckabee and McCain pounded away at Romney's image as a flip flopper. Indeed, this label would stick to Romney through the campaign (but was one that Romney rejected as unfair and inaccurate, except for his acknowledged change of mind on abortion). Romney seemed to approach the campaign as a management consulting exercise, and showed a lack of personal warmth and political feel; journalist Evan Thomas wrote that Romney "came off as a phony, even when he was perfectly sincere." Romney's staff would conclude that competing as a candidate of social conservatism and ideological purity rather than of pragmatic competence had been a mistake.Romney finished in second place by five percentage points to the resurgent McCain in the next-door-to-his-home-state New Hampshire primary on January 8. Romney rebounded to win the January 15 Michigan primary over McCain by a solid margin, capitalizing on his childhood ties to the state and his vow to bring back lost automotive industry jobs which was seen by several commentators as unrealistic.[nb 11] On January 19, Romney won the lightly contested Nevada caucuses, but placed fourth in the intense South Carolina primary, where he had effectively ceded the contest to his rivals. McCain gained further momentum with his win in South Carolina, leading to a showdown between him and Romney in the Florida primary.For ten days, Romney campaigned intensively on economic issues and the burgeoning subprime mortgage crisis, while McCain repeatedly, and inaccurately, asserted that Romney favored a premature withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.[nb 12] McCain won key last-minute endorsements from Florida Senator Mel Martinez and Governor Charlie Crist, which helped push him to a five percentage point victory on January 29. Although many Republican officials were now lining up behind McCain, Romney persisted through the nationwide Super Tuesday contests on February 5. There he won primaries or caucuses in several states, including Massachusetts, Alaska, Minnesota, Colorado and Utah, but McCain won more, including large states such as California and New York. Trailing McCain in delegates by a more than two-to-one margin, Romney announced the end of his campaign on February 7 during a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.Altogether, Romney had won 11 primaries and caucuses, received about 4.7 million total votes, and garnered about 280 delegates. Romney spent $110 million during the campaign, including $45 million of his own money.Romney endorsed McCain for president a week later. He soon founded the Free and Strong America PAC, a political action committee whose stated mission was to raise money for other Republican candidates and to promote Republican policies. Romney 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. His efforts earned McCain's respect and the two developed a warmer relationship; he was on the nominee's short list for the vice presidential running mate slot, where his economic expertise would have balanced one of McCain's weaknesses. McCain, behind in the polls, opted instead for a high-risk, high-reward "game changer" and selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Romney continued to work for McCain's eventually unsuccessful general election campaign.Activism between presidential campaigns
Both Mitt Romney and his wife Ann (pictured) spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011Following 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 and to build a political infrastructure for what might become a $1 billion campaign three years hence. He also had a network of former staff and supporters around the nation who were eager for him to run again. He continued to give speeches and raise campaign funds on behalf of fellow Republicans, but turned down many potential media appearances so as not to become overexposed. He earned over $374,000 in fees for speeches before business, educational, and motivational groups. He served on the board of directors of Marriott International in 2010, earning over $113,000, then stepped down from it in early 2011.The Romneys sold their main home in Belmont and their ski house in Utah, leaving them an estate along Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and an oceanfront home in the La Jolla district of San Diego, California, which they had bought the year before. Both locations were near some of the Romneys' grandchildren, who by 2011 numbered sixteen. The San Diego location was also ideal for Ann Romney's multiple sclerosis therapies and for recovering from her late 2008 diagnosis and lumpectomy for mammary ductal carcinoma in situ. Romney maintained his voting registration in Massachusetts, however, and bought a smaller condominium in Belmont during 2010. Following the August 2009 death of his past rival and sometime ally Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Romney declared that he had no interest in running in the special January 2010 election to replace him. Romney was an early supporter of Scott Brown, the successful Republican candidate in that race. Some of Romney's former aides were used by Brown's campaign and Romney raised funds for Brown. In February 2010, Romney had a minor altercation with LMFAO musical group member Skyler Gordy, known as Sky Blu, on an airplane flight.[nb 13]Romney's book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, was released on March 2, 2010; an 18-state book tour was undertaken. The book, which debuted atop The New York Times Best Seller list, avoided anecdotes about Romney's personal or political life and focused on a presentation of his economic and geopolitical views. Earnings from the book were donated to charity.Polls of various kinds showed Romney remaining in the forefront of possible 2012 presidential contenders. In nationwide opinion polling for the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries, he led polls or placed in the top three with Palin and Huckabee. He finished first in the CPAC straw poll in 2009 and second in 2010 and 2011 behind Ron Paul, won the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll in 2010, and won the New Hampshire Straw Poll in 2011. A January 2010, National Journal poll of political insiders found that a majority of Republican insiders, and a plurality of Democratic insiders, predicted Romney would become the party's 2012 nominee. Pew Research Center and Gallup Poll results showed that during 2009 and 2010, more in the general public were viewing him favorably (36 to 40 percent) than unfavorably (28 to 29 percent); this was a marked improvement from the days of his 2008 presidential campaign, when the reverse had been true.Romney campaigned heavily for Republican candidates around the nation in the 2010 midterm elections, and raised the most funds of any of the prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidates. Appearances during early 2011 found Romney emphasizing how his experience could be applied towards solving the nation's economic problems and presenting a more relaxed visual image.2012 presidential campaignMain article: Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2012See also: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012
Romney making an appearance in Livonia, Michigan, days after his June 2011 formal campaign announcement
Romney giving an interview at a rally in Paradise Valley, Arizona in December 2011
Romney's candidacy being endorsed by 44th Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle in December 2011On April 11, 2011, Romney announced in a video taped outdoors at the University of New Hampshire that he had formed an exploratory committee as a first step for a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination, saying, "It is time that we put America back on a course of greatness, with a growing economy, good jobs and fiscal discipline in Washington." 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 possibly 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. Perhaps his greatest hurdle in gaining the Republican nomination was party opposition to the Massachusetts health care reform law that he had signed five years earlier. The early stages of the race found Romney as the apparent front-runner in a weak field, especially in terms of fundraising prowess and organization. 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, Romney formally announced the start of his campaign. Speaking on a farm in Stratham, New Hampshire, he stressed economic issues and said that the nation was suffering from "President Obama's own misery index". 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, avoiding statements about the ongoing U.S. debt ceiling crisis until the final days, when he said he opposed the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a resolution to the crisis. Michele Bachmann staged a brief surge, then by September 2011, Romney's chief rival in polls was a recent entrant, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and the two 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 due to poor performances in those debates, while Herman Cain staged a long-shot surge until allegations of sexual misconduct derailed him.Romney continued to seek support from a wary Republican electorate, with his poll numbers relatively flat and at a historically low level for a Republican frontrunner at this point in the race. (A Time magazine cover picturing Romney and captioned "Why Don't They Like Me?" exemplified the phenomenon.) For a while, Romney did not face the charges of flip flopping that marked his 2008 campaign, but then such comments by critics and opponents mounted, especially surrounding his views on the certainty of human causes for global warming. In response, 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 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-surging Rick Santorum by eight votes (with an also-surging 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 with 23 percent and Jon Huntsman third with 17 percent.In the run-up to the South Carolina Republican primary, Gingrich launched attack 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 and the implied criticism of free-market capitalism. However, during two debates, Romney fumbled questions about releasing his income tax returns while Gingrich surged with audience-rousing attacks on the debate moderators. Combined with the delayed loss in Iowa, Romney's admitted bad week resulted a previous double-digit lead in polls, and chance to end the race early, turn into a 13-point loss to Gingrich in the primary and a decision afterward to release his returns quickly.The Florida Presidential primary is scheduled for Tuesday, January 31. Polls taken since the South Carolina primary show Romney in second place behind Newt Gingrich. However, approximately 200,000 Floridians have already voted through absentee ballots or early voting, and it is believed that the early voting favors Romney who aggressively campaigned in Florida in early January. There will be two Republican Presidential debates in Florida -- one hosted by NBC on Monday, January 23, and one sponsored by CNN on Thursday, January 26.Political positionsFor more details on specific Romney positions on many issues, see Political positions of Mitt Romney.
Romney speaking in October 2007 before the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.
Romney speaking at CPAC 2011For much of his business career, Romney did not take public political positions. He followed national politics avidly in college, and the circumstances of his father's presidential campaign loss would grate on him for decades, but his early philosophical influences were often non-political, such as in his missionary days when he read and absorbed Napoleon Hill's pioneering self-help tome Think and Grow Rich and encouraged his colleagues to do the same. Until his 1994 U.S. Senate campaign, he was registered as an Independent. In the 1992 Democratic Party presidential primaries, he had voted for the Democratic former senator from the state, Paul Tsongas.In the 1994 Senate race, Romney aligned himself with Republican Massachusetts Governor William Weld, who believed in fiscal conservatism and supported abortion rights and gay rights, saying "I think Bill Weld's fiscal conservatism, his focus on creating jobs and employment and his efforts to fight discrimination and assure civil rights for all is a model that I identify with and aspire to."As a gubernatorial candidate, and then as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney again generally operated in the mold established by Weld and followed by Weld's two other Republican successors, Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift: restrain spending and taxing, be tolerant or permissive on social issues, protect the environment, be tough on crime, try to appear post-partisan.During his time as governor, Romney's position on abortion changed in conjunction with a similar change of position on stem cell research.[nb 14] Also during that time, his position or choice of emphasis on some aspects of gay rights,[nb 15] and some aspects of abstinence-only sex education,[nb 16] evolved in a more conservative direction. The change in 2005 on abortion was the result of what Romney described as an epiphany experienced while investigating stem cell research issues. He later said, "Changing my position was in line with an ongoing struggle that anyone has that is opposed to abortion personally, vehemently opposed to it, and yet says, 'Well, I'll let other people make that decision.' And you say to yourself, but if you believe that you're taking innocent life, it's hard to justify letting other people make that decision."This increased alignment with traditional conservatives on social issues coincided with Romney's becoming a candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for President. He displayed a new-found admiration for the National Rifle Association and portrayed himself as a lifelong hunter.[nb 17] He downplayed the Massachusetts health care law, became a convert on signing an anti-tax pledge, and backed away from further closings of corporate tax loopholes. He also displayed aggressiveness on foreign policy matters such as wanting to double the number of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Skeptics, including some Republicans, charged Romney with opportunism and having a lack of core principles. The fervor with which Romney adopted his new stances and attitudes contributed to the perception of inauthenticity which hampered that campaign.While there have been many biographical parallels between the lives of George Romney and his son Mitt,[nb 18] one particular difference is that while George was willing to defy political trends, Mitt has been much more willing to adapt to them. Mitt Romney has said that learning from experience and changing views accordingly is a virtue, and that, "If you're looking for someone who's never changed any positions on any policies, then I'm not your guy." Romney responded to criticisms of ideological pandering with the explanation that "The older I get, the smarter Ronald Reagan gets."Journalist and author Daniel Gross sees Romney as approaching politics in the same terms as a business competing in markets, in that successful executives do not hold firm to public stances over long periods of time, but rather constantly devise new strategies and plans to deal with new geographical regions and ever-changing market conditions. Political profiler Ryan Lizza sees the same question regarding whether Romney's business skills can be adapted to politics, saying that "while giving customers exactly what they want may be normal in the corporate world, it can be costly in politics". Writer Robert Draper holds a somewhat similar perspective: "The Romney curse was this: His strength lay in his adaptability. In governance, this was a virtue; in a political race, it was an invitation to be called a phony." Writer Benjamin Wallace-Wells sees Romney as a detached problem solver rather than one who approaches political issues from a humanistic or philosophical perspective. Political writer Joe Klein sees Romney as actually more conservative on social issues than he portrayed himself during his Massachusetts campaigns and less conservative on other issues than his presidential campaigns have represented, and concludes that Romney "has always campaigned as something he probably is not."Immediately following the March 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Romney attacked the landmark legislation as "an unconscionable abuse of power" and said the act should be repealed. The hostile attention it held among Republicans created a potential problem for the former governor, since the new federal law was in many ways similar to the Massachusetts health care reform passed during Romney's term; as one Associated Press article stated, "Obamacare ... looks a lot like Romneycare." While acknowledging that his plan was not perfect and still was a work in progress, Romney did not back away from it, and has consistently defended the state-level health insurance mandate that underpins it. He has focused on its having had bipartisan support in the state legislature, while the Obama plan received no Republican support at all in Congress, and upon it being the right answer to Massachusetts' specific problems at the time. A Romney spokesperson has stated: "Mitt Romney has been very clear in all his public statements that he is opposed to a national individual mandate. He believes those decisions should be left to the states." While Romney has not explicitly argued for a federally-imposed mandate, during his 1994 Senate campaign he indicated he would vote for an overall health insurance proposal that contained one, and he suggested during his time as governor and during his 2008 presidential campaign that the Massachusetts plan was a model for the nation and that, over time, mandate plans might be adopted by most or all of the nation.Throughout his business, Olympics, and political career, Romney's instinct has been to apply the "Bain way" towards problems. Romney has said, "There were two key things I learned at Bain. One was a series of concepts for approaching tough problems and a problem-solving methodology; the other was an enormous respect for data, analysis, and debate." He has written, "There are answers in numbers – gold in numbers. Pile the budgets on my desk and let me wallow." Romney believes the Bain approach is not only effective in the business realm but also in running for office and, once there, in solving political conundrums such as proper Pentagon spending levels and the future of Social Security. Former Bain and Olympics colleague Fraser Bullock has said of Romney, "He's not an ideologue. He makes decisions based on researching data more deeply than anyone I know." Romney's technocratic instincts have thus always been with him; in his public appearances during the 2002 gubernatorial campaign he sometimes gave PowerPoint presentations rather than conventional speeches. Upon taking office he became, in the words of The Boston Globe, "the state's first self-styled CEO governor". During his 2008 presidential campaign, he was constantly asking for data, analysis, and opposing arguments, and has been viewed as a potential "CEO president".Awards and honorsRomney has received four honorary doctorates: an Honorary Doctor of Business from the University of Utah in 1999, an Honorary Doctor of Law from Bentley College in 2002, an Honorary Doctor of Public Administration from Suffolk University Law School in 2004, and an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from Hillsdale College in 2007.People magazine included Romney in its 50 Most Beautiful People list for 2002. In 2004, Romney received the inaugural Truce Ideal Award for his role in the 2002 Winter Olympics. In 2006, he received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2008, he shared with his wife Ann the Canterbury Medal from The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, for "refus[ing] to compromise their principles and faith" during the presidential campaign.Writings• With Timothy Robinson (2004). Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games. Washington: Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0-89526-084-0.• No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. New York: St. Martin's Press. 2010. ISBN 0-312-60980-9.See also
• Public image of Mitt Romney• Electoral history of Mitt Romney• Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2012• List of JD/MBAs
1. ^ He was called "Billy" until kindergarten, when he indicated a preference for "Mitt".
2. ^ Mitt's campaigning for his father included working the phone banks and appearing at county fairs; at the latter, he manned a booth and exclaimed over a loudspeaker, "You should vote for my father for Governor. He's a truly great person. You've got to support him. He's going to make things better."
3. ^ Such pranks included sliding down golf courses on large ice cubes, dressing as a police officer and tapping on the car windows of teenage friends who were making out, and staging an elaborate formal dinner on the median of a busy street. The golf course escapade apparently got Romney and Ann Davies arrested, or otherwise detained, by the local police. Romney was also arrested in 1981 while at a family outing at Lake Cochituate in Massachusetts. According to Romney, a ranger from Cochituate State Park told him his motorboat had an insufficiently visible license number and he would face a $50 fine if he took the boat onto the lake. Disagreeing about the license and wanting to continue the outing, Romney took it out anyway, saying he would pay the fine. The angry officer then
arrested him for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped several days later after Romney threatened to sue the officer and the state for false arrest.
4. ^ a b On June 16, 1968, Romney was driving fellow missionaries on dangerous roads in southern France. As they drove through the village of Bernos-Beaulac, a Mercedes that was passing a truck missed a curve and suddenly swerved into the opposite lane and hit the Citroën DS Romney was driving in a head-on collision. Trapped between the steering wheel and door, the unconscious and seriously injured Romney had to be pried from the car; a French police officer mistakenly wrote Il est mort in his passport. The wife of the mission president was killed and other passengers were seriously injured as well. George Romney relied on his friend Sargent Shriver, the U.S. Ambassador to France, to go to the local hospital and discover that Mitt had survived. Romney, who was not at fault in the accident, had suffered broken ribs, a fractured arm, a concussion, and facial injuries, but recovered quickly without needing surgery. The French police say that they have no records of the incident because such records are routinely destroyed after 10 years.
5. ^ Romney later recounted that he had planned to attend BYU to convince Anny to marry him, then the couple planned to transfer together back to Stanford, but in the end, they enjoyed BYU and decided to stay.
6. ^ Some sources incorrectly report that Romney graduated BYU as valedictorian. Romney himself has corrected this notion, saying that he was not. While he believes he did have the highest grade point average for his BYU years in the College of Humanities, he did not if his Stanford year was factored in, and
he did not among the graduating class university-wide.7. ^ Romney sat for the bar exam in his home state of Michigan but never worked as a lawyer or seriously considered it as a career.
8. ^ One study of 68 deals that Bain Capital made during Romney's time there found that the firm lost money or broke even on 33 of them. Another study that looked at the eight-year period following 77 deals during Romney's time found that in 17 cases the company went bankrupt or out of business, and in 6 cases Bain Capital lost all its investment. But 10 deals were very successful and represented 70 percent of the total profits.
9. ^ Within four years, the Massachusetts law had achieved its primary goal of expanding coverage: in 2010, 98.1 percent of state residents had coverage, compared to a national average of 83.3 percent. Among children and seniors the 2010 coverage rate was even higher, 99.8 percent and 99.6 percent respectively. Approximately two-thirds of residents received coverage through employers; one-sixth each received it through Medicare or public plans.
10. ^ Regarding the role of Romney's religion in the 2008 campaign, one academic study, based upon research conducted throughout the 2008 primaries, showed that a negative perception of Mormonism was widespread during the election, and that perception was often resistant to factual information that would correct mistaken notions about the religion or Romney's relationship to it. The authors concluded that, "For Romney ... religion is the central story." Another study, analyzing a survey conducted during January 2008 (when an African American, a woman, and a Mormon all had realistic chances of becoming the first president from that group), found that voters had internally accepted the notion of black equality, paving the way for Barack Obama's election; had partially established but not fully internalized the notion of gender equality, making Hillary Rodham Clinton's task somewhat more difficult; but had only selectively internalized the notion of religious equality, and in particular not extended it to Mormons, thus making Romney's run significantly more difficult. Those authors concluded that, "for a Mormon candidate, the road to the presidency remains very rough ... The bias against a Mormon candidate is substantial."
11. ^ Romney proposed a $20 billion "workout, not a bailout" of the U.S. auto industry. It was termed unrealistic or "pandering" by several news reports.
12. ^ Previously, Romney had proposed a private timetable for gradually reducing U.S. forces. McCain's statements regarding this were termed dishonest or misleading by several news reports.
13. ^ After having attended the 2010 Winter Olympics, Romney and wife were on board an Air Canada plane waiting to take off on a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles when he got into a physical altercation with Sky Blu, sitting in front of him, over Sky Blu's seat not being in the upright position. Romney said that Sky Blu became physically violent and that he did not retaliate, while Sky Blu said that Romney gave him a "Vulcan grip" first and that he responded physically to that. Sky Blu was escorted off the aircraft by Canadian police but Romney did not press charges and Sky Blu was released.
14. ^ During his 2002 campaign, Romney expressed support for embryonic stem cell research, and said he would lobby President Bush (who had banned most federal funding for such research) to support it. In early 2005, Romney announced his position on therapeutic cloning, saying he was against it – and vetoing a funding bill for stem cell research because it allowed it – but still in favor of research on unused embryos from fertility treatments. In early 2007, Romney said he was now against expanded federal funding for such excess embryo research (but still thought private funding for such research was ethical, to the dismay of some conservative Republicans).
15. ^ As described. While Romney has consistently rejected same-sex marriage throughout his political career, there was a rhetorical shift in emphasis during his time as governor. The shift culminated in Romney avoiding discussions about the protection of gays from bias and instead characterizing himself as a conservative stalwart in the battle against same-sex marriage and in support of heterosexual families. The shift is even greater if compared to Romney's pledges from his 1994 senatorial campaign.
16. ^ During his 2002 campaign, Romney said he backed age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education in public schools. In 2005, he accepted federal funding to a faith-based organization to teach abstinence-only education in public schools. Romney said such programs would supplement rather than replace existing ones, while opponents feared that funding pressure would lead to schools dropping comprehensive programs for the freely available abstinence-only ones.
17. ^ Romney joined the National Rifle Association as a life member in August 2006. In December 2007, he cited a past endorsement from them, which he later said was unofficial support. In April 2007, he said, "I've been a hunter pretty much all my life," but then said he had only gone hunting twice and did not own guns, and "I'm not a big-game hunter. I've made that very clear. I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times."
18. ^ Biographical parallels between George and Mitt Romney include: Both served as Mormon missionaries in Europe and considered the experiences formative. Both pursued high school sweethearts singlemindedly until the women agreed to marry them several years later, then had families with four or five children. Both had very successful careers in business and became known for turning around failing companies or organizations. Both presided over a stake in the LDS Church. Both achieved their first elected position at age 55, as Republican governor of a Democratic-leaning state. The two bear a close physical resemblance at similar ages and both have been said to "look like a president". Both staged their first presidential run in the year they turned 60. Both were considered suspect by ideological conservatives within the Republican Party. There are also obvious differences in their paths, including that George had a hardscrabble upbringing while Mitt's was affluent, and that Mitt far exceeded George's accomplishments in formal education.
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• Balz, Dan; Johnson, Haynes (2009). The Battle for America, 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election. New York: Viking Penguin. ISBN 0-670-02111-3.
• Barone, Michael; Cohen, Richard E. (2004) (paperback). The Almanac of American Politics 2004. Washington: National Journal Group. ISBN 0-89234-106-8.
• Barone, Michael; Cohen, Richard E. (2006). The Almanac of American Politics 2006. Washington: National Journal Group. ISBN 0-89234-111-4.
• Barone, Michael; Cohen, Richard E. (2008) (paperback). The Almanac of American Politics 2008. Washington: National Journal Group. ISBN 9780-89234-116-0.
• Canellos, Peter S. (ed.) and The Team at The Boston Globe (2009). The Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4391-3817-6.
• Clymer, Adam (1999). Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography. New York: Wm. Morrow & Company. ISBN 0-688-14285-0.
• Foster, Craig (2008). A Different God?: Mitt Romney, the Religious Right, and the Mormon Question. Draper, Utah: Greg Kofford Books. ISBN 1-58958-117-2.
• Heilemann, John; Halperin, Mark (2010). Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-173363-6.
• Hersh, Burton (1997). The Shadow President: Ted Kennedy in Opposition. South Royalton, Vermont: Steerforth Press. ISBN 1-883642-30-2.
• Hewitt, Hugh (2007). A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know About Mitt Romney. Washington: Regnery Publishing. ISBN 1-59698-502-X.
• Thomas, Evan (2009). "A Long Time Coming": The Inspiring, Combative 2008 Campaign and the Historic Election of Barack Obama. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 1-58648-607-1.
• Turner, Lisa Ray; Field, Kimberly (2007). Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values, and His Vision. Silverton, Idaho: Mapletree Publishing. ISBN 1-60065-109-7.
• Wolffe, Richard (2009). Renegade: The Making of a President. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-307-46312-5.
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