REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE - MITT ROMNEY
Willard Mitt Romney was the 70th Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Elected in 2002, Romney served one term, which ended January 4, 2007. Romney is a former CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and the co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. Prior to Bain, he worked for The Boston Consulting Group. Romney also served as president and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games held in Salt Lake City.
Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is the son of Mexican-born Michigan Governor, Housing and Urban Development Secretary, American Motors chairman, and presidential candidate George W. Romney and 1970 U.S. Senate candidate Lenore Romney. Romney has three siblings: Lynn, Jane, and G. Scott. He was named after hotel magnate J. Willard Marriott, his father's best friend, and Milton "Mitt" Romney, a relative who played football for the Chicago Bears. Mitt Romney graduated from the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills. He met his future wife, Ann Davies, when she was at the Kingswood School. The couple was married in 1969 and have five sons. After attending Stanford University for two quarters, Romney served in France for 30 months as an LDS missionary. Upon returning from France he transferred to Brigham Young University, where he was valedictorian, earning his B.A. summa cum laude in 1971. In 1975, Romney graduated from a joint JD/MBA 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 graduating from Harvard, Romney 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 Boston-based management consulting firm. In 1984, Romney left the company to co-found Bain Capital, which quickly became a highly successful private equity investment firm. 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. Following his year at Bain & Company, Romney returned to 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. During Romney's tenure, the firm founded, acquired or invested in hundreds of companies including Staples, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Brookstone, Domino's, Sealy Corporation and The Sports Authority. Romney now refers to Bain as a venture capital firm, but its main business is conducting leveraged buyouts. It became one of the top five private equity firms in the nation.
Romney left Bain Capital in 1998 to head the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee. In 1999, 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. Romney was then 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 fundraising. 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. Following the conclusion of the Games, President George W. Bush praised Romney's management. Romney contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and donated the $825,000 ($275,000 per annum) salary he earned as President and CEO to charity. He wrote a book about his experience called Turnaround (ISBN 978-1-59698-514-8).
In 1994, Romney won the Massachusetts Republican Party's nomination for U.S. Senate. Some early polls showed Romney close to Senator Ted Kennedy, with one Boston Herald/WCVB-TV poll taken after the September 20, 1994 primary showing Romney ahead 44 percent to 42 percent, within the poll's sampling margin of error. Romney touted his business credentials and his record at creating jobs within his company, but Kennedy won the election with 58 percent of the vote to Romney's 41 percent. The 17-percentage point winning margin was the smallest in Kennedy's nine election contests for the Senate through 2006. In 2002, Prominent GOP activists campaigned to persuade Romney to run for governor. During the general election Romney ran on a reform platform; a major issue in the election was the state budget crisis. Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, as that of one who would be able to bring in a new era of efficiency into Massachusetts politics. Romney was elected Governor in November 2002 with 50 percent of the vote over the Democratic candidate.
Romney was sworn in as the 70th governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003, along with Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey. During his first year in office, Massachusetts' projected 3 billion dollar budget deficit was converted into a real deficit of $1.2 billion, with the help of an unexpected $1.3 billion capital gains tax windfall and $500 million in unanticipated federal grants. During this time he did not raise the State's debt, but closed "loopholes" in the corporate tax structure and substantially raised fees for court filings, professional registrations, firearm licenses and other various types of fees by $500 million. In addition, $277 million was cut from the state's local education aid budget, and $130 million was cut from the higher education budget, placing a higher tax burden on towns and counties. Romney also signed into law the largest tax increase in Massachusetts History in the form of an "Individual Mandate" to purchase health insurance with premiums to be decided by a state committee and assessed according to age and income. The health insurance law was scheduled to go into effect after he left office. He ended his term with a 1 billion dollar surplus, lower taxes and a lower unemployment rate.
MITT ROMNEY QUOTES
"I believe the strength of America lies in the strength of her people. I am running for President because I want to help keep America strong. That means a strong military, strong economy, and strong families. We are facing many challenges, but America has always overcome these challenges in the past, and I am confident that we can do so again."
"Our future depends on our willingness to hold to the principles that have guided and built our nation. It depends on the character and sacrifices of the American people. And it depends on leadership to craft and implement a Strategy for a Stronger America."
"In the previous global wars, there were many ways to lose, and victory was far from guaranteed. In the current conflict, there is only one way to lose, and that is if we as a civilization decide not to lift a finger to defend ourselves, our values, and our way of life."
"The Iranian regime threatens not only Israel, but also every other nation in the region, and ultimately the world. And that threat would take on an entirely new dimension if Iran were allowed to become a nuclear power. And just think of the signal a nuclear Iran would send to other rogue regimes with nuclear ambitions – this could be a tipping point in the development and proliferation of nuclear regimes. . . It is time for the world to plainly speak three truths: One, Iran must be stopped. Two, Iran can be stopped. And three, Iran will be stopped."
"I said no to a tax hike; raising taxes hurts working people and scares away jobs. I also said no to more borrowing; borrowing just shifts our problems to the backs of our kids . . . Instead, I went after waste, inefficiency, duplication, and patronage."
"We need to make America more attractive for legal immigrants -- for citizens -- and less attractive for illegal immigrants. I want to see more immigration in our country, but more legal immigration and less illegal immigration."
"We're using too much oil. We have an answer. We can use alternative sources of energy -- biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear power -- and we can drill for more oil here. We can be more energy independent and we can be far more efficient in the use of that energy."
"America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home."
"What is the culture of this country, what are our underpinnings? We respect hard work ... We are self reliant, we respect human life, we are a religious people... We are a purpose-driven people founded on the family unit. I think every child deserves to have a mother and a father."
"We can't have as a nation 40 million people -- or, in my state, half a million -- saying, 'I don't have insurance, and if I get sick, I want someone else to pay."
going to take teachers, superintendents and parents talking to their
legislators saying yes, we want more money of course ... but we also want
changes in the way our schools are managed. We want our principals to have
the ability to manage their schools."
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