Discuss this article or ask questions at the LDS.net Forums.
Born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, he attended an all-boys' school and then Stanford before serving as a Mormon missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France. After his mission he attended Brigham Young University where he was valedictorian of his class in 1971. He then went on to receive his MBA from Harvard and was named a Baker Scholar. He also received his JD (law degree) from Harvard Law School.
In 1969, while attending BYU, Mitt Romney married his wife Ann, whom he met in high school. They are still happily married. They have raised five sons together and have ten grandchildren, with more on the way.
After finishing school, Mitt Romney was "a co-founder and managing partner of Bain Capital, a Boston Private Equity firm; the 1994 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts… and from 1999 to 2002 the CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in charge of planning the 2002 Winter Olympics, taking charge after the bribery scandal. He also sat on the board of office supply giant Staples."
In November 2002, Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts as a Republican. Mitt Romney ran on a reform platform, since the state budget was in serious 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." His opponents claimed that his lack of previous government experience made him unequal to the task but voters disagreed.
Mitt Romney worked to reduce spending through government consolidation and reform and did not increase taxes. Through his efforts and helped by a reviving economy he turned the $3 billion dollar deficit into a $700 million surplus by 2004.
Opponents of Mitt Romney claim that he supports big business over the average man and has been more interested in traveling to promote his political career than in being governor of the state.
Mitt Romney was a candidate for the 2008 Presidential Elections. After the February 5, 2008, "Super Tuesday" primaries, he had won 4 million votes to John McCain's 4.7 million. However, John McCain had garnered over half the votes needed to win the Republican nomination to Romney's one-sixth. Romney had promised to take the election all the way to the convention, refusing to bow out. However, he gave a stirring speech shortly after the primaries, declaring that for the good of the party, he was suspending his campaign. Conservatives had barely caught his vision and were just beginning to rally around him. His final address was given at an assembly of the Conservative Political Action Committee "describing challenges to our national security, to the economy, and to the culture." It was a fearless call for conservative cultural values to be upheld, and a warning that America stands on the brink of losing its greatness, if conservative values are abandoned. (For the text of Romney's final speech, click here.)
Mitt Romney's greatest obstacle, as well as his greatest asset, is his membership in the Mormon Church. Because of the conservative beliefs of the Mormon Church, he appeals to the conservative Christians of the nation. For the same reason many Christians would not vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon, and the Mormon religion is considered by many to be outside mainstream Christianity.
Many evangelical leaders felt that they could support Mitt Romney, despite religious differences, as a presidential candidate depending on who was running and where each candidate stood. "Romney's appeal to evangelicals might slacken if a competent evangelical or Catholic with social views similar to Romney's were in the race; on the other hand, Romney's stock with evangelicals might go up if he were pitted against candidates holding more liberal social views, regardless of their religion." The entrance of Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, into the presidential race galvanized evangelicals. Though he failed to garner as many delegates as Romney, he remained in the race when Romney dropped out. Huckabee won delegates in states with large populations of evangelical Christians.
Commentaries on Romney's decision to abandon the 2008 race for the presidency commented that conservative support came too late to catapult him to the forefront of the race. His name recognition increased remarkably during the early months of the campaign, and conservative figures were just beginning to rally around him when he dropped out. Commentators have speculated that Romney has established himself well enough to create a base for a future run for the Presidency.
Will the United States see it's first Mormon President in Mitt Romney? Only time will tell.
An article in the Deseret News on May 27, 2011, discussed Mitt Romney's plans to formally announce his candidacy for the U.S. Presidency for 2012.  The announcement was planned for June 2nd in New Hampshire, where Romney was already leading in the polls, where he owns a house, and where his performance as governor of Massachusetts was well-known. Romney planned to spend the following day campaigning in Iowa, where he began his candidacy in 2008 and where he then lost to Mike Huckabee, the evangelicals' favorite.
By summer 2011, Romney was the frontrunner in the GOP pack of candidates.
Romney struggled to show his personal side during the campaign and was at his best when talking business. He lost the presidential election to incumbent Barak Obama by a slim margin but ample electoral votes.
An article in the Washington Post appearing after the election, titled "A Good Man, the Right Fight" showed how Romney succeeded against huge odds in every way but the win:
- He bested the competition in debates, and though he was behind almost every candidate in the GOP primary at one time or the other, he won the nomination and came very close to winning the presidency.
- He raised more money for the Republican Party than the party did. He trounced Barack Obama in debate. He defended the free-enterprise system and, more than any figure in recent history, drew attention to the moral case for free enterprise and conservative economics.
- Romney brought the fight to the Democrats and made the rational, persuasive case for entitlement reform that conservatives have so desperately needed. It’s safe to say that the entitlement discussion will never be the same.
- On Nov. 6, Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income. That means he carried the majority of middle-class voters. While John McCain lost white voters younger than 30 by 10 points, Romney won those voters by seven points, a 17-point shift. Obama received 4½ million fewer voters in 2012 than 2008, and Romney got more votes than McCain.
- In the debates and in sweeping rallies across the country, Romney captured the imagination of millions of Americans. He spoke for those who felt disconnected from the Obama vision of America. He handled the unequaled pressures of a campaign with a natural grace and good humor that contrasted sharply with the angry bitterness of his critics.
Mormons throughout the world took a deep breath and wondered whether the "Mormon Moment" might be over. Mormonism made great strides in helping people see the fruits of the religion, even if they did not manage to grasp its tenets or beliefs. Romney, charitable and service-oriented, a true family man with high ideals he has never broken, was an inextinguishable light on the hill for the LDS Church.
After the Election
After his failed bid for the White House, Romney kept a low profile for a period of time. In 2012, Time included Romney in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, on March 15, 2013. His speech was considered to be an effort to pass the torch of leadership in the Republican Party to a new generation of conservatives. He also hosted a Republican Party retreat at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, during the summer of 2013. He joined Solamere Capital as chairman, the Boston-based equity firm that his son Tagg started with Spencer Zwick five years earlier.
On January 24, 2014, Netflix premiered a 92-minute documentary that Greg Whiteley made by spending six years following Romney’s two presidential campaigns. The documentary is praised for its in-depth look at his campaigns as well as the pressure of campaigns in general. It also met with some criticisms for its primary focus on his interactions with his family rather than on the behind-the-scenes strategies.
In early 2014, Romney had several high-profile public appearances, fueling speculation that he would run again in the 2016 presidential election. He announced that he would not run, indicating that he had made that clear the morning after his 2012 loss.
At the end of February 2014, Romney attended a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association meeting in Boston this week to show support for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as he fights to weather the fallout from the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal.
"No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list.
To read about Mitt Romney's book, No Apology, released in 2010, click here.
- Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
- Eastland, Terry. "In 2008, Will It Be Mormon in America?" 06/06/2005, Volume 010, Issue 36
Other interesting articles about Mitt Romney:
- Video:The Impact of Religion on Mitt Romney's campaign 
- Romney accepts "Canterbury Medal for Religious Freedom"
- Address "Freedom requires religion" delivered at Metropolitan Club NYC May 8, 2008
- Mitt Romney is early GOP frontrunner for 2012 presidential election
- June, 2010, Romney: We Need a Leader, Not a Politician
- Why evangelicals should vote for a Mormon for president - May, 2011