|Birth Day:||March 12, 1947|
|Birth Place:||Detroit, United States|
|#2||George W. Romney||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||88||Politician|
|#3||William Ryder Romney||Grandchildren||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#4||David Mitt Romney||Grandchildren||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#5||Harold A. Lafount||Grandfather||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Miles Park Romney||Great-grandfather||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#16||Tagg Romney||Son||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||50||Celebrity Family Member|
|#17||Ann Romney||Spouse||$50 Million||N/A||71||Political Wife|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He worked as a management consultant for Boston Consulting Group, and served as the CEO of Bain & Company for a salary of one dollar in 1991.
Willard Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, one of four children born to automobile executive George W. Romney (1907–1995) and homemaker Lenore Romney (née LaFount; 1908–1998). His mother was a native of Logan, Utah, and his father was born to American parents in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico. Of primarily English descent, he also has Scottish and German ancestry. A fifth-generation member of the LDS Church, he is a great-grandson of Miles Park Romney and a great-great-grandson of Miles Romney, who converted to the faith in its first decade. Another great-great-grandfather, Parley P. Pratt, helped lead the early church.
Romney has three older siblings, Margo, Jane, and Scott. Mitt was the youngest by nearly six years. His parents named him after a family friend, businessman J. Willard Marriott, and his father's cousin, Milton "Mitt" Romney, a former quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Romney was referred to as "Billy" until kindergarten, when he expressed a preference for "Mitt". In 1953, the family moved from Detroit to the affluent suburb of Bloomfield Hills and his father became the chairman and CEO of American Motors the following year and helped the company avoid bankruptcy and return to profitability. By 1959, his father had become a nationally known figure in print and on television, and Mitt idolized him.
At Cranbrook, Romney helped manage the ice hockey team, and he joined the pep squad. During his senior year, he joined the cross country running team. He belonged to eleven school organizations and school clubs overall, including the Blue Key Club, a booster group that he had started. During his final year there, his academic record improved but fell short of excellence. Romney was involved in several pranks while attending Cranbrook. He has since apologized for them, stating that some of the pranks may have gone too far. In March of his senior year, he began dating Ann Davies; she attended the private Kingswood School, the sister school to Cranbrook. The two became informally engaged around the time of his high school graduation in June 1965.
In July 1966, he began a thirty-month stint in France as a Mormon missionary, a traditional rite of passage in his family. He arrived in Le Havre, where he shared cramped quarters under meager conditions. Rules against drinking, smoking, and dating were strictly enforced. On average, individual Mormon missionaries do not gain many converts and Romney was no exception: he later estimated ten to twenty for his entire mission. He initially became demoralized and later recalled it as the only time when "most of what I was trying to do was rejected." He soon gained recognition within the mission for the many homes he called on and the repeat visits he was granted. He became a zone leader in Bordeaux in early 1968, and soon thereafter became an assistant to the mission president in Paris. Residing at the Mission Home for several months, he enjoyed a mansion far more comfortable than the accommodations he had had elsewhere in the country. When the French expressed opposition to the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, Romney debated them. Those who yelled at him and slammed their doors in his face merely reinforced his resolve.
In June 1968, he was in southern France and driving an automobile that was hit by another vehicle, which seriously injured him and killed one of his passengers, the wife of the mission president. Romney then became co-president of a mission that had become demoralized and disorganized after the May 1968 general strike and student uprisings and the car accident. With Romney rallying the others, the mission met its goal of 200 baptisms for the year, the most in a decade. By the end of his stint in December 1968, he was overseeing the work of 175 others. As a result of his experience there, Romney developed a lifelong affection for France and its people and has also remained fluent in French.
At their first meeting following his return, Romney and Ann Davies reconnected and decided to get married. Before their wedding, Romney moved to Utah and enrolled at Brigham Young University, where Ann had been studying. The couple married on March 21, 1969, in a civil ceremony in Bloomfield Hills and on the following day, they flew to Utah for a Mormon wedding ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple; Ann had converted to the faith while he was away.
The Romneys' first son, Taggart, was born in 1970 while they were undergraduates at BYU and living in a basement apartment. Ann subsequently gave birth to Matthew (1971) and Joshua (1975). Benjamin (1978) and Craig (1981) were born after Romney had begun his career.
At culturally conservative BYU, Romney remained separated from much of the upheaval of that era. He became president of the Cougar Club booster organization and showed a new-found discipline in his studies. During his senior year, he took a leave of absence to work as driver and advance man for the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of his mother, Lenore Romney; together, they visited all 83 Michigan counties. Romney graduated from BYU in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a 3.97 GPA. Romney would give commencement addresses to both the College of Humanities and to the whole of BYU.
Romney wanted to pursue a business career, but his father advised him that a law degree would be valuable to his career even if he never practiced law. As a result, he enrolled in the recently created four-year joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He readily adapted to the business school's pragmatic, data-driven case study method of teaching. Living in a Belmont, Massachusetts house with Ann and their two children, his social experience differed from most of his classmates'. He was nonideological and did not involve himself in the political issues of the day. He graduated in 1975 cum laude from the law school, in the top third of that class, and was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top five percent of his business school class.
Recruited by several firms in 1975, Romney joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reasoning that working as a management consultant for a variety of companies would better prepare him for a future position as a chief executive. Part of a 1970s wave of top graduates who chose to go into consulting rather than join a large company directly, he found his legal and business education useful in his job. He applied BCG principles such as the growth-share matrix, and executives viewed him as having a bright future there. At the Boston Consulting Group, he was a colleague of Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he formed a friendship that has lasted for more than forty years.
In 1977, he was hired by Bain & Company, a management consulting firm in Boston formed a few years earlier by Bill Bain and several other ex-BCG employees. Bain himself would later say of the thirty-year-old Romney, "He had the appearance of confidence of a guy who was maybe ten years older." Unlike other consulting firms, which issued recommendations and then departed, Bain & Company immersed itself in a clients' businesses and worked with them until changes were implemented. Romney became a vice-president of the firm in 1978, working with such clients as the Monsanto Company, Outboard Marine Corporation, Burlington Industries, and Corning Incorporated. Within a few years, the firm considered him one of its best consultants. In fact, clients sometimes preferred to use him rather than more-senior partners.
In 1977, he became a counselor to the president of the Boston Stake. He served as bishop of the ward at Belmont, Massachusetts, from 1981 to 1986. As such, in addition to home teaching, he also formulated Sunday services and classes using LDS scriptures to guide the congregation. After the destruction of the Belmont meetinghouse by a fire of suspicious origins in 1984, he forged links with other religious institutions, allowing the congregation to rotate its meetings to other houses of worship during the reconstruction of the Belmont building.
Two family incidents during this time later surfaced during Romney's political campaigns. A state park ranger in 1981 told Romney his motorboat had an insufficiently visible license number and that he would face a $50 fine if he took the boat onto the lake. Disagreeing about the license and wanting to continue a family outing, Romney took it out anyway, saying he would pay the fine. The ranger arrested him for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped several days later. In 1983, on a twelve-hour family road trip, he placed the family's dog in a windshield-equipped carrier on the roof of their car, and then washed the car and carrier after the dog suffered a bout of diarrhea. The dog incident in particular later became fodder for Romney's critics and political opponents.
In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to co-found and lead the spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital. He had initially refrained from accepting Bill Bain's offer to head the new venture, until Bain rearranged the terms in a complicated partnership structure so that there was no financial or professional risk to Romney. Bain and Romney raised the $37 million in funds needed to start the new operation, which had seven employees. Romney held the titles of president and managing general partner. Though he was the sole shareholder of the firm, publications also referred to him as managing director or CEO.
From 1986 to 1994, Romney was president of the Boston Stake, which included more than a dozen wards in eastern Massachusetts and almost 4,000 church members. He organized a team to handle financial and management issues, sought to counter anti-Mormon sentiments, and tried to solve social problems among poor Southeast Asian converts. An unpaid position, his local church leadership often took 30 or more hours a week of his time, and he became known for his considerable energy in the role. He also earned a reputation for avoiding any overnight travel that might interfere with his church responsibilities.
In 1990, facing financial collapse, Bain & Company asked Romney to return. Announced as its new CEO in January 1991, he drew a symbolic salary of one dollar (remaining managing general partner of Bain Capital during this time). He oversaw an effort to restructure Bain & Company's employee stock-ownership plan and real-estate deals, while rallying the firm's one thousand employees, imposing a new governing structure that excluded Bain and the other founding partners from control, and increasing fiscal transparency. He got Bain and other initial owners who had removed excessive amounts of money from the firm to return substantial amounts, and persuaded creditors, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to accept less than full payment. Within about a year, he had led Bain & Company to a return to profitability. He turned Bain & Company over to new leadership and returned to Bain Capital in December 1992.
For much of his business career, Romney did not take public political stances. He had kept abreast of national politics since college, however, and the circumstances of his father's presidential campaign loss had irked him for decades. He registered as an Independent and voted in the 1992 presidential primaries for the Democratic former senator from Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas.
By 1993, Romney had begun thinking about entering politics, partly based upon Ann's urging and partly to follow in his father's footsteps. He decided to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, who was seeking re-election for the sixth time. Political pundits viewed Kennedy as vulnerable that year – in part because of the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress as a whole, and in part because this was Kennedy's first election since the William Kennedy Smith trial in Florida, in which the senator's reputation had suffered. Romney changed his affiliation to Republican in October 1993 and formally announced his candidacy in February 1994. In addition to his leave from Bain Capital, Romney also stepped down from his church leadership role in 1994.
In an attempt to overcome the image that had damaged him in the 1994 Senate race – that of a wealthy corporate buyout specialist out of touch with the needs of regular people – the campaign staged a series of "work days", in which Romney performed blue-collar jobs such as herding cows and baling hay, unloading a fishing boat, and hauling garbage. Television ads highlighting the effort, as well as one portraying his family in gushing terms and showing him shirtless, received a poor public response and were a factor in his Democratic opponent, Massachusetts State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien, leading in the polls as late as mid-October. He responded with ads that accused O'Brien of being a failed watchdog for state pension fund losses in the stock market and that associated her husband, a former lobbyist, with the Enron scandal. These were effective in capturing independent voters. O'Brien said that Romney's budget plans were unrealistic; the two also differed on capital punishment and bilingual education, with Romney supporting the former and opposing the latter.
Romney labeled Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe", and asserted that preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability should be America's "highest national security priority". Romney stated his strong support for Israel. He planned to formally label China a currency manipulator and take associated counteractions unless that country changed its trade practices. Romney supported the Patriot Act, the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. Romney described same-sex marriage as a "state issue" while running for the Senate in 1994 and he opposed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2002. Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions, although he favored domestic partnership legislation that gives certain legal rights to same-sex couples, such as hospital visitation. In 2011, he signed a pledge promising to seek passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The day after the election, Romney returned to Bain Capital, but the loss had a lasting effect; he told his brother, "I never want to run for something again unless I can win." When his father died in 1995, Mitt donated his inheritance to BYU's George W. Romney Institute of Public Management. He also became vice-chair of the Board of the Points of Light Foundation, which had embraced his father's National Volunteer Center. Romney felt restless as the decade neared a close; the goal of simply making more money held little attraction for him. Although no longer in a local leadership position in his church, he still taught Sunday School. During the long and controversial approval and construction process for the $30 million Mormon temple in Belmont, he feared that, as a political figure who had opposed Kennedy, he would become a focal point for opposition to the structure. He thus kept to a limited, behind-the-scenes role in attempts to ease tensions between the church and local residents.
In 1998, Ann Romney learned that she had multiple sclerosis; Mitt described watching her fail a series of neurological tests as the worst day of his life. After experiencing two years of severe difficulties with the disease, she found – while living in Park City, Utah, where the couple had built a vacation home – a combination of mainstream, alternative, and equestrian therapies that enabled her to lead a lifestyle mostly without limitations. When her husband received a job offer to take over the troubled organization responsible for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Salt Lake City in Utah, she urged him to accept it; eager for a new challenge, as well as another chance to prove himself in public life, he did. On February 11, 1999, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 hired Romney as its president and CEO.
By 1999, Bain Capital was on its way towards becoming one of the foremost private equity firms in the nation, having increased its number of partners from 5 to 18, with 115 employees and $4 billion under management. The firm's average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent and its average yearly return to investors was around 50–80 percent on their investments.
Starting in February 1999, Romney took a paid leave of absence from Bain Capital in order to serve as the president and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee. Billed in some public statements as keeping a part-time role, Romney remained the firm's sole shareholder, managing director, CEO, and president, signing corporate and legal documents, attending to his interests within the firm, and conducting prolonged negotiations for the terms of his departure. He did not involve himself in day-to-day operations of the firm or in the investment decisions of Bain Capital's new private equity funds. He retained his position on several boards of directors during this time and regularly returned to Massachusetts to attend meetings.
Romney has received a number of honorary doctorates, including in business from the University of Utah in 1999, in law from Bentley College in 2002, in public administration from Suffolk University Law School in 2004, in public service from Hillsdale College in 2007, and in humanities from Liberty University in 2012. He also received one from Southern Virginia University in 2013 and ones in 2015 from Jacksonville University, Utah Valley University, and Saint Anselm College.
In August 2001, Romney announced that he would not return to Bain Capital. His separation from the firm concluded in early 2002; He transferred his ownership to other partners and negotiated an agreement that allowed him to receive a share of the profits as a retired partner in some Bain Capital entities, including buyout and investment funds. The private equity business continued to thrive, earning him millions of dollars in annual income.
In 2002, plagued by political missteps and personal scandals, the administration of Republican Acting Governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift appeared vulnerable, and many Republicans viewed her as unable to win a general election. Prominent party figures – as well as the White House – wanted Romney to run for governor and the opportunity appealed to him for reasons including its national visibility. A poll by the Boston Herald showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points. On March 19, 2002, Swift announced she would not seek her party's nomination, and hours later Romney declared his candidacy, for which he would face no opposition in the primary. In June 2002, the Massachusetts Democratic Party challenged Romney's eligibility to run for governor, noting that state law required seven years' consecutive residence and that Romney had filed his state tax returns as a Utah resident in 1999 and 2000. In response, the bipartisan Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission unanimously ruled that he had maintained sufficient financial and personal ties to Massachusetts and was, therefore, an eligible candidate.
During the election, Romney contributed more than $6 million – a state record at the time – to the nearly $10 million raised for his campaign overall. On November 5, 2002, he won the governorship, earning 50 percent of the vote to O'Brien's 45 percent.
The swearing in of Romney as the 70th governor of Massachusetts took place on January 2, 2003. He faced a Massachusetts state legislature with large Democratic majorities in both houses, and had picked his cabinet and advisors based more on managerial abilities than partisan affiliation. He declined a governor's salary of $135,000 during his term. Upon entering office in the middle of a fiscal year, he 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 new 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, the state achieved surpluses of around $600–700 million during Romney's last two full fiscal years in office, although it began running deficits again after that.
The Governor had a 61 percent job approval rating in public polls after his initial fiscal actions in 2003, although his approval rating subsequently declined, driven in part by his frequent out-of-state travel. Romney's approval rating stood at 34 percent in November 2006, ranking 48th of the 50 U.S. governors. In the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election, Democrat Deval Patrick hailed a 20-point win over Republican Kerry Healey, Romney's lieutenant governor, with the win partially due to dissatisfaction with Romney's administration and the weak condition of the state's Republican party.
Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up with a surplus of $100 million. President George W. Bush praised Romney's efforts and 87 percent of Utahns approved of his performance as Olympics head. It solidified his reputation as a "turnaround artist", and Harvard Business School taught a case study based around his actions. U.S. Olympic Committee head William Hybl credited Romney with an extraordinary effort in overcoming a difficult time for the Olympics, culminating in "the greatest Winter Games I have ever seen". Romney wrote a book about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games, published in 2004. The role gave Romney experience in dealing with federal, state, and local entities, a public persona he had previously lacked, and the chance to relaunch his political aspirations.
Determined that a new Massachusetts health insurance measure not raise taxes or resemble the previous decade's failed "Hillarycare" proposal at the federal level, Romney formed a team of consultants from diverse political backgrounds to apply those principles. Beginning in late 2004, they devised a set of proposals that were 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 pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level. Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal health coverage his life's work and who, over time, had developed a warm relationship with Romney, gave the 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.
At the beginning of his governorship, Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions but advocated tolerance and supported some domestic partnership benefits. A November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision required the state to recognize same-sex marriages (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health). Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment in February 2004 that would have banned those marriages but still allowed civil unions, viewing it as the only feasible way to comply with the court's ruling. In May 2004 and per the court decision, the governor instructed town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, 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, he said no marriage licenses were to be issued to those people not planning to move to Massachusetts. In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support for the compromise amendment, stating that it confused voters who opposed both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Instead, he endorsed a ballot initiative led by the Coalition for Marriage and Family (an alliance of socially conservative organizations) 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.
During 2004, Romney spent considerable effort trying to bolster the state Republican Party, but the party failed to gain any seats in the state legislative elections that year. Given a prime-time appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, political figures began discussing him 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, he 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 more than 200 days out of state during 2006, preparing for his run.
People magazine included Romney in its 50 Most Beautiful People list for 2002, and in 2004, a foundation that promotes the Olympic truce, gave him its inaugural Truce Ideal Award. The Cranbrook School gave him their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. 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. In 2012, Time magazine included Romney in their List of The 100 Most Influential People in the World.
In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving from the abortion rights positions expressed during his 1994 and 2002 campaigns to an anti-abortion one in opposition to Roe v. Wade. Romney attributed his conversion to an interaction with Harvard University biologist Douglas Melton, an expert on embryonic stem cell biology, although Melton vehemently disputed Romney's recollection of their conversation. Romney subsequently vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that expanded access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies (the legislature overrode the veto). He also amended his position on embryonic stem cell research itself.
Several caucuses and primaries took place 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 chief rival. Days later, Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference that he had been a "severely conservative governor" (while during his term in 2005 he had maintained that his positions were moderate and characterized reports that he was shifting to the right to attract conservative votes a media distortion). Romney won the other five February contests, including a closely fought one 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 vastly outspent Santorum. Although his victories were not enough to end the race, they were enough to establish a two-to-one delegate lead over Santorum. 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 to work for Romney as the party's presumptive nominee. Romney clinched a majority of the delegates with a win in the Texas primary on 29 May.
Since 2005, Romney described himself as "pro-life". In that year, he wrote: "I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother." During his 1994 campaign for the senate, Romney had said, "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country," a stance he reiterated during his 2002 campaign for governor. While Romney would prefer to see passage of a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion, he did not believe the public would support such an amendment; as an alternative, he promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who would help overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing each state to decide on the legality of abortion. His earlier pro-abortion rights stance in particular and support for some gay rights and gun restrictions as Governor of Massachusetts earned him the criticism of some conservatives; the conservative magazine, Human Events, labeled him one of the top ten RINOs in 2005.
On April 12, 2006, the governor signed the resulting Massachusetts health reform law, commonly called "Romneycare", 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 established means-tested state subsidies for people who lacked adequate employer insurance and whose income was below a threshold, using funds that had covered 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, but the governor's office said the differences were not essential. The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney's term in office.
Romney used a 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. He dealt with a public crisis of confidence in Boston's Big Dig project – that followed a fatal ceiling collapse in 2006 – by wresting control of the project from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. After two years of negotiating the state's participation in the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that instituted a cap-and-trade arrangement for power plant emissions in the Northeast, Romney pulled Massachusetts out of the initiative shortly before its signing in December 2005, citing a lack of cost limits for industry.
Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president on February 13, 2007, in Dearborn, Michigan. Again casting himself as a political outsider, his speech frequently invoked his father and his family, and stressed experiences in the private, public, and voluntary sectors that had brought him to this point.
Following the 2008 election, Romney laid the groundwork for a likely 2012 presidential campaign by using his Free and Strong America political action committee (PAC) to raise money for other Republican candidates and pay his existing political staff's salaries and consulting fees. A network of former staff and supporters around the nation were eager for him to run again. He continued to give speeches and raise funds for Republicans, but fearing overexposure, turned down many potential media appearances. He also spoke before business, educational, and motivational groups. From 2009 to 2011, he served on the board of directors of Marriott International, founded by his namesake J. Willard Marriott. He had previously served on it from 1993 to 2002.
In 2009, the Romneys sold their primary residence in Belmont and their ski chalet 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 purchased the year before. The La Jolla home proved beneficial in location and climate for Ann Romney's multiple sclerosis therapies and for recovering from her late 2008 diagnosis of mammary ductal carcinoma in situ and subsequent lumpectomy. Both it and the New Hampshire location were near some of their grandchildren. Romney maintained his voting registration in Massachusetts, however, and bought a smaller condominium in Belmont during 2010. In February 2010, Romney had a minor altercation with LMFAO member Skyler Gordy, known as Sky Blu, on an airplane flight.
Romney released his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, in March 2010, and undertook an 18-state book tour to promote the work. In the book, Romney writes of his belief in American exceptionalism, and presents his economic and geopolitical views rather than anecdotes about his personal or political life. It debuted atop The New York Times Best Seller list. Romney donated his earnings from the book to charity.
In nationwide opinion polling for the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, Romney led or placed in the top three with Palin and Huckabee. A January 2010 National Journal survey of political insiders found that a majority of Republican insiders and a plurality of Democratic insiders predicted Romney would be the party's 2012 nominee. Romney campaigned heavily for Republican candidates in the 2010 midterm elections, raising more money than the other prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidates. Beginning in early 2011, Romney presented a more relaxed visual image, including more casual attire.
On April 11, 2011, Romney announced, via 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. Quinnipiac University political science professor Scott McLean 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."
On June 2, 2011, Romney 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, more than double the amount raised by any of his Republican opponents, and refrained from spending his own money on the campaign. He initially pursued a low-key, low-profile strategy. Michele Bachmann staged a brief surge in polls, which preceded a poll surge in September 2011 by Rick Perry who had entered the race the month before. 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 effectively settled the field of candidates. Perry faded after poor performances in those debates, while Herman Cain's 'long-shot' bid gained popularity until allegations of sexual misconduct derailed it.
In the October 2019 issue of The Atlantic, Romney revealed that he used a secret Twitter account to keep tabs on the political conversation, saying, "What do they call me, a lurker?" Shortly thereafter, Slate found a Twitter account with the name Pierre Delecto. The account was registered in July 2011, followed about 700 people and had eight followers at the time it was discovered. It had tweeted 10 times in total, and always in reply to other tweets. Romney later confirmed that the account belongs to him.
In July 2012, Romney visited the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland, meeting leaders in an effort to raise his credibility as a world statesman. Comments Romney made about the readiness of the 2012 Summer Olympics were perceived as undiplomatic by the British press. Israeli Prime Minister (and former BCG colleague) Benjamin Netanyahu, embraced Romney, though some Palestinians criticized him for suggesting that Israel's culture led to their greater economic success.
On August 11, 2012, the Romney campaign announced the selection of Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running mate. On August 28, 2012, the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, officially nominated Romney as their candidate for the presidency. Romney became the first LDS Church member to be a major-party presidential nominee.
During the first year following the election defeat, Romney generally kept a low profile, with his ordinary daily activities around San Diego being captured via social media glimpses. In December 2012, he joined the board of Marriott International for a third stint as a director. In March 2013, Romney gave a reflective interview on Fox News Sunday, stating, "It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done." He again expressed regret at the "47 percent" remark, saying "There's no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign." (He was still echoing both of these sentiments a year later.) Romney began working as executive partner group chairman for Solamere Capital, a private capital firm in Boston owned by his son Tagg. He was also involved in supporting several charitable causes.
By early 2014, the lack of a clear mainstream Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election led some supporters, donors, and pollsters to suggest Romney stage a third run. Regarding such a possibility, Romney at first responded, "Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no." Nevertheless, speculation continued: the declining popularity of President Obama led to remorse among some voters; the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine made Romney's "number one geopolitical foe" remark look prescient; and an August 2014 poll of Iowan Republicans showed Romney with a large lead there over other potential 2016 candidates. A poll conducted in July 2014 by CNN showed Romney with a 53 to 44 lead over Obama in a hypothetical election "redo." By early 2015, Romney was actively considering the idea and contacting his network of supporters. In doing so he was positioning himself in the invisible primary – the preliminary jockeying for the backing of party leaders, donors, and political operatives – against former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who had already set a likely campaign in motion and would be a rival to Romney for establishment Republican support. Despite support in some quarters for a third bid for the presidency, there was a backlash against him from conservatives who wanted a fresher face without a history of presidential losses, and many of Romney's past donors were not willing to commit to him again. Romney announced on January 30, 2015 that he would not run for president in 2016, saying that while he thought he could win the nomination, "one of our next generation of Republican leaders" would be better positioned to win the general election.
As the Republican presidential nomination race went into the primaries season, Romney had not endorsed anyone but was one of the Republican establishment figures who were becoming increasingly concerned about the front-runner status of New York businessman Donald Trump. Romney publicly criticized Trump for not releasing his taxes, saying there might be a "bombshell" in them. Trump responded by calling Romney "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics." Then Romney gave a speech on March 3, 2016, at the Hinckley Institute of Politics, that represented a scathing attack on Trump's personal behavior, business performance, and domestic and foreign policy stances. He said Trump was "a phony, a fraud ... He's playing members of the American public for suckers" and that "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished." In response Trump dismissed Romney as a "choke artist". Romney's speech represented an unprecedented attack by a major U.S. party's most recent presidential nominee against the party's current front-runner for the nomination. Romney encouraged Republicans to engage in tactical voting, by supporting whichever of the remaining rivals had the best chance to beat Trump in any given state, and as such Romney announced he was voting for, although not endorsing, Ted Cruz for president prior to March 22 Utah caucus. As the race went on, there was some evidence of tactical voting occurring, and some partial arrangements were formed among candidates, but by May 3, Trump had defeated all his opponents and became the party's presumptive nominee. Romney then announced that he would not support Trump in the general election, saying, "I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices".
After Trump won the election, Romney congratulated him via phone call and on Twitter. On November 19, Romney met with the President-elect at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, reportedly to discuss the position of Secretary of State, a position which ultimately went to Rex Tillerson. In February 2017, Romney stated that Trump is "off to a very strong start" in fulfilling his campaign promises, although he has "no regrets" about his anti-Trump speech. The following year, Trump endorsed Romney's 2018 senate campaign.
Romney was treated for prostate cancer in summer 2017.
He considered voting for the Libertarian ticket of former Republican Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (the latter, like Romney, also a former Governor of Massachusetts), saying that he would "get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he's someone who I could end up voting for", adding that "if Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president." In September he called for Johnson to be included in the presidential debates and in October it emerged that Independent candidate Evan McMullin was using an email list of 2.5 million Romney supporters to raise money. McMullin's chief strategist said that it was purchased from Romney for President and that "we'll let other folks discuss what that may mean and certainly never speak for [Romney]". A spokeswoman for Romney said that the list had been "rented by several political candidates in the presidential primary, and by countless other political and commercial users in the time since the 2012 campaign" and Romney made no public comment on McMullin's candidacy. Romney and his wife cast early ballots in Utah, but he declined to say who he voted for. In May 2018, Romney revealed that he had cast a write-in vote for his wife Ann.
In September and October 2017 press reports said that should U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch retire, Romney would run in Utah for that seat in 2018. On January 2, 2018, after Hatch announced that he would retire, Romney changed his Twitter location from Massachusetts to Holladay, Utah, contributing to speculation that he was considering a run for Hatch's Senate seat. On February 16, 2018, Romney formally launched his campaign through a video message posted on Facebook and Twitter.
At the state Republican nominating convention held on April 21, 2018, Romney received 1,585 delegate votes (49.12%), finishing narrowly second to state Rep. Mike Kennedy, who secured 1,642 delegate votes (50.88%). Since neither Romney nor Kennedy garnered the necessary 60% of delegate votes to claim the convention endorsement, the two candidates competed in a June 26 primary election. In the primary, Romney defeated Kennedy by a margin of 71.7%–28.3%.
Romney was elected U.S. Senator from Utah on November 6, 2018, winning 62.6% to 30.9% over Democrat Jenny Wilson. The other 6.5% of the vote went to candidates from the Constitution, Libertarian, and Independent American parties.
On February 5, 2020, after Romney read a prepared text on the Senate floor decrying "corrupting an election to keep oneself in office" as "perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine", he broke ranks with the Republican majority as the sole Republican senator to vote to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial, thereby becoming, according to press reports, the first U.S. senator in United States history to vote to convict a president with shared membership in the same political party. Romney voted in favor of the first of the two articles of impeachment, which had charged Trump with abuse of power but he voted against convicting him on obstruction of Congress. He was the only Republican in the Senate to vote yea to any of the articles.
On June 7, 2020, in response to the killing of George Floyd and the worldwide protests against police brutality, Romney became the first Republican senator to participate in a protest alongside Black Lives Matter. Romney said, "We need many voices against racism and against brutality, and we need to make sure that people understand that Black Lives Matter." This act drew praise and admiration from the left and right, with some Republicans questioning why other congressional Republicans weren't showing support for the movement. On Twitter, fellow Senator Kamala Harris praised Romney's actions saying, "We need more of this". President Donald Trump attacked Romney, stating, "Tremendous sincerity, what a guy. Hard to believe, with this kind of political talent, his numbers would 'tank' so badly in Utah!"
Romney declared his support for the Black Lives Matter international human rights movement by attending the rally, and then joining the Faith Works march, on June 7, 2020, from southeast Washington, past the Trump International Hotel, and Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, over the killing of George Floyd.
In July 2020, Romney, along with Pat Toomey, was one of two Republican U.S. Senators who condemned Trump's decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone, which Romney described as “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”
Currently, Mitt Romney is 74 years, 7 months and 13 days old. Mitt Romney will celebrate 75th birthday on a Saturday 12th of March 2022.
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