Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, launched his second campaign for the White House on Thursday, June 2, in Stratham, N.H., the state where the first presidential primary is held.
“I refuse to believe that America is just another place on the map with a flag. We stand for freedom and opportunity and hope,” Romney proclaimed in announcing his bid for the GOP nomination.
“These last two years have not been the best of times. But while we've lost a couple of years, we have not lost our way. The principles that made us a great nation and leader of the world have not lost their meaning. They never will. We know we can bring this country back.”
After graduating with degrees in law and business administration from Harvard in 1975, Romney began working at Bain and Co., a Boston-based consulting firm. In 1984, when founder Bill Bain decided to spin off a related private equity firm, he tapped Romney to serve as CEO and co-founder.
Through his work at Bain Capital, Romney made much of his fortune, now estimated between $190 million and $250 million. In 1990, Romney returned to struggling Bain and Co. as CEO and was able to get the company back on track.
In 1998, Romney was tapped to run the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics after scandal left the games on the brink of disaster. The challenge of the games was confounded after the events of 9/11 complicated security precautions. But Romney and his team re-evaluated budgets, attracted new donors and pulled off a successful Winter Games, as documented in his 2004 book, "Turnaround."
Romney, 64, positions himself as a Washington outsider and trumpets his success in the private sector as being the perfect background for pulling the United States out of its current economic problems. He and his wife Ann have five children.
- Birthplace: Detroit.
- Family: Ann Romney (wife); Children: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig
- Religion: Mormon
- Job before candidacy: Keynote speeches, GOP fundraising.
- Political experience: Presidential candidate, 2008; governor of Massachusetts, 2003-2007; candidate for U.S. Senate in 1994.
- Most recent book written: "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" (2010)
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Pros: Strong name identification. Experienced campaign team with proven fundraising ability. Success as a businessman.
Cons: The Massachusetts health care law that was enacted during his tenure as governor, especially the controversial measure of individual mandates. His religion (Mormon) is still seen by many as an impediment to greater appeal among socially-conservative evangelical Christian primary voters.
Romney on the Web: