Mitt Romney is a former governor of Massachusetts, a successful businessman and a mormon.
As a businessman, he founded an investment firm, Bain Capital, which earned him tens of millions of dollars by launching or reshaping hundreds of companies, including Staples and Domino's Pizza. Romney's time was Bain Capital is the source of much debate at the center of this presidential campaign as outsourcing and bankruptcy are tools used by Bain and similar companies to generate profit.
As a politician, Romney ran unsuccessfully against Senator Ted Kennedy in 1994. After serving as governor of Massachusetts he ran for the Republican presidential nomination. Although he won the Iowa straw poll in 2007, he finished second in the caucuses.
Governor of Massachusetts - 2003 - 2007
His federal political action committee is called Free and Strong America PAC. In 2010, Romney raised more than $7 million, and he contributed a total of $1 million to candidates around the country, including more than $70,000 to Iowa candidates.
By the most recent September 30 reporting date, Romney had raised $186M.
Free and Strong America PAC, Almanac of American Politics, Center for Responsive Politics
Date of Birth:
March 12, 1947
Bachelor's degree in English, 1971, Brigham Young University. Master's of Business Administration and law degrees, 1975, Harvard University.
Wife, Ann. Five adult sons.
Official Web Site: www.MittRomney.com
Romney ran a competitive campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, emphasizing his credentials as a fiscal conservative. He finished second in the Iowa caucuses and second in the New Hampshire primary, having led in the polls in his neighboring state. He won the Michigan primary, but withdrew from the race on Feb. 7.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney in 2006 signed into law landmark legislation expanding health insurance access to almost all state residents. The law mandates purchase of health insurance and subsidizes the cost for low-income individuals and families. The legislation has been viewed as a signature policy achievement, but is viewed with more skepticism heading into the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Its major components bear similarities with the federal health reform passed under President Barack Obama, which most Republicans in Congress opposed.
Also as governor, Romney cut spending, raised fees and closed tax loopholes to eliminate a $1.2 billion budget deficit. He was able to cut taxes by the fourth year of his one four-year term.
He undertook education reforms, including emphasis on math and science instruction, English immersion for foreign-speaking students and establishment of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program, awarding the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with four-year, tuition-free scholarships to any Massachusetts public college.
He was tapped to take over preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and won praise for turning around the once-troubled event.
His political path has followed the footsteps of his famous father, George W. Romney, who was chairman of American Motors, governor of Michigan and a candidate for president in 1968.
Romney is a third-generation Mormon. His membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a cause of concern for some evangelicals, a powerful bloc in the Iowa Republican Party. A month before the Iowa caucuses in 2008, he delivered a speech addressing his religion in which he promised to "serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."