Biography of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is running against Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Read up on his background and qualifications as you're deciding for whom to vote.
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Updated on: January 29, 2008
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Political career & elections

Political Career

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney created a scholarship program that rewards the top 25% of Massachusetts high school students with a tuition-free education at any Massachusetts public college or university. He also proposed and signed legislation that requires all Massachusetts residents to have health care.

Romney's early support gave way to criticism over the explosive gay marriage issue in Massachusetts. He opposes same-sex marriages and civil unions, yet he backed a proposed state constitutional amendment in 2004 that would have allowed civil unions and banned gay marriage (the amendment failed to pass). He then withdrew his support of this amendment in favor of a 2005 petition that banned both. (In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that barring gays and lesbians from marrying violates the state constitution.)

2008 Presidential Election

After his term as Massachusetts governor ended in January 2007, Romney formally announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. While Romney wasn't the first politician from Massachusetts to run for president, he did break the mold of Massachusetts liberal. He was considered a top-tier candidate despite low name recognition and questions about his Mormon faith.

After a neck-and-neck race with John McCain throughout the primaries, Romney finished second to McCain in Florida, resulting in McCain earning the status of "frontrunner" going into Super Tuesday. Romney formally announced the end of his campaign after McCain posted strong gains in the Super Tuesday primary. He went on to endorse McCain a week later.

2012 Presidential Election

Romney is hoping his stint as governor, and his success in business and managing the 2002 Olympic Games has demonstrated innate leadership ability. His fundraising abilities have proved crucial to his 2012 presidential run. In May, Romney surpassed Obama in funds raised, and he continues to ramp up his fundraising events with wealthy headliners such as Donald Trump.

His campaign is aimed at the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and is based on conservative principles, including small government, lower taxes, heightened national security, and defending the traditional family.

Romney's main campaign agenda revolves around the U.S economy and job creation. And although Romney initiated legislation in Massachusetts for universal health care during his term as governor, he staunchly opposes "Obamacare," another central issue in this presidential race.

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