Who Is Who in US Presidential Race: Republican Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney, 65, is the Republican party's nomination for 45th President of the US.
He is best known by being a Mormon and a multimillionaire, owning an estimated USD 190 -250 M, making him one of the wealthiest people in America. He has been attacked for having money in offshore zones and concealing taxes.
Romney is a fifth generation Mormon and after high school has worked as a Mormon missionary in France for over two years, and later as a Bishop in Boston.
He grew up in Detroit, the son of Michigan Governor, George Romney (1963 – 1969), who also worked for President, Richard Nixon.
In 1994, the now-presidential-challenger ran for the Massachusetts Senate as a moderate Republican, but lost to Democrat, Edward Kennedy. Eight years later, he was elected Governor of Massachusetts, where he introduced a State healthcare reform. It was used as a model for rival Obama's Affordable Care Act, which Romney now vows to repeal should he be elected president.
With making a turn towards the hardline right, he also changed his view on abortion rights, and currently says "My presidency will be a pro-life presidency." He supported these rights when running for governor of Massachusetts.
In 1999, Romney became famous for chairing the committee for the organization of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, which he led to successful conclusion, despite earlier overspending scandals.
He met wife Ann at a dance party in high school and married her while still in college. They have 5 children and 18 grandchildren.
The presidential hopeful has a degree in English from a Mormon University and a Law and Business Administration degree from Harvard and speaks fluent French.
He joined the consulting firm Bain & Company in 1977. Climbing the corporate ladder, in 1984 he founded in partnership the private equity investment firm Bain Capital, which turned highly profitable.
In 2008, Romney lost the Republican nomination to Senator John McCain.
He supports traditional Republican views on reducing taxes, federal regulations, State spending, and increased defense funding, adding an estimated USD 100 B to the Pentagon's budget.
In the tax policy, he would make permanent all Bush-era tax cuts, lower individual income tax rates, eliminate taxes on investment income, revoke the estate tax, and reduce the corporate income tax rate. According to the independent Tax Policy Center, cited by BBC, taxpayers at high income levels would see the greatest benefit. To him, all this would stimulate economic growth, without increasing the deficit.
Romney also pledges to create 12 million new jobs.
He supports the development of America's own energy resources to lead to energy independence, better education and skills, boosting small businesses, restructuring retirement programs and improving health care for the elderly.
In the energy sector in particular, he plans to ease regulations impeding coal-burning power plants, oil exploration and nuclear power plant construction; would encourage drilling for oil in the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves and promises to build the Keystone pipeline
Romney opposes the auto industry bailout. He supports overturning the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion and allowing states to decide whether abortion should be legal; would strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood women's health clinics.
The Republican is criticized for having little experience in foreign policy and making a number of gaffes when touring Great Britain, Israel and Poland in August, 2012. He calls Russia the number one geopolitical enemy of America, and sees the halt of Iran's nuclear plans as the top priority of Washington, stressing military action "remains on the table."
Has stated his "goal" would be "a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014," but pledges to review withdrawal plans and base them "on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders."