Campaign2012

Mitt Romney

Publicly declared candidacy on June 2, 2011

Mitt Romney

Romney's financial expertise gave him unique value to Republicans following his failed 2008 presidential bid as government bailouts, spending and deficits overshadowed social issues like abortion rights and gay marriage.

But it's unclear whether the former Massachusetts governor can broaden his appeal and capture the enthusiasm of the surging, anti-establishment tea-party activists as he runs again in 2012. Romney made it official in June 2011 and is trying to focus on the struggling economy this time around.

But Romney faces a tricky problem with the GOP primary electorate as the face of Massachusetts' 2006 health-care reform when he was governor, which is similar to President Obama's 2010 health-care law in certain key respects. Like the federal law, the state bill requires every individual to carry health insurance and outlaws insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions. It also extends coverage to almost everyone in Massachusetts.

Key Campaign Moments for Romney

Romney on Issues

  • Economic policy  economic-policy icon

    A former businessman and venture capitalist, said TARP was "necessary" to prevent total economic collapse but opposed 2008 auto bailout, calling...

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    Mitt Romney on Economic policy  economic-policy icon

    A former businessman and venture capitalist, said TARP was "necessary" to prevent total economic collapse but opposed 2008 auto bailout, calling Obama's plans to help Detroit "sad" and "tragic." In May 2008, said his plan to save auto companies was Obama's model. Says tax compromise fell short in December 2010.

    In His Own Words

    I know we didn’t all agree on TARP. I believe that it was necessary to prevent a cascade of bank collapses. For free markets to work, there has to be a currency and a functioning financial system.

    Mitt Romney, March 2, 2007
  • Energy policy  energy-policy icon

    In "No Apologies Book," argues climate change is occurring and that human activity is a contributing factor, but after supporting regional cap-and-trade...

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    Mitt Romney on Energy policy  energy-policy icon

    In "No Apologies Book," argues climate change is occurring and that human activity is a contributing factor, but after supporting regional cap-and-trade system as governor, later backed away from it. Supports ethanol subisides and liquid coal to make U.S less dependent on foreign oil sources

    In His Own Words

    I believe we have to be developing more energy sources ourselves, which would include offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR, nuclear power, biodiesel, biofuel, ethanol…probably liquified coal.

    Mitt Romney, April 6, 2007
  • Foreign Policy  foreign-policy icon

    Romney supported increased troop levels in Afghanistan, where he has twice traveled over the last couple of years, and doesn't support shuttering Guantanamo...

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    Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy  foreign-policy icon

    Romney supported increased troop levels in Afghanistan, where he has twice traveled over the last couple of years, and doesn't support shuttering Guantanamo Bay. Called "conflictng" and "confusing" the 18-month timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal. Supported military action in Libya, but says Obama acted too slowly and appeared "weak."

    In His Own Words

    The President has been unable to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy...And without a compass to guide him in our increasingly turbulent world, he’s tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced.

    Mitt Romney, March 21, 2011
  • Health Care  health-care icon

    As governor, approved a plan providing nearly universal health-coverage to all Massachusetts citizens, including requiring everyone to carry insurance...

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    Mitt Romney on Health Care  health-care icon

    As governor, approved a plan providing nearly universal health-coverage to all Massachusetts citizens, including requiring everyone to carry insurance in an individual mandate, in what some say was a model for the Obama 2010 plan. But wants to repeal the federal reform, and argues key differences between the federal and state laws, including that the problem should be left to the states.

    In His Own Words

    I like the things that are similar. I don't like the things that are different. And that's why I vehemently oppose [the Democrat-backed federal initiative].

    Mitt Romney, April 9, 2010
  • Medicare Reform  medicare-reform icon

    Has criticized Obama for failure to offer a Medicare plan, but hadn't offered specifics on his own plan in spring 2011. Says Romney and Ryan plan "...

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    Mitt Romney on Medicare Reform  medicare-reform icon

    Has criticized Obama for failure to offer a Medicare plan, but hadn't offered specifics on his own plan in spring 2011. Says Romney and Ryan plan "on the same page" if not identical. In his "No Apologies" book, imagines reimbursing health-care providers by a fixed amount for same conditions, distributing flat-fees for all enrollees or handing out credits for high-cost plans to retirees.

    In His Own Words

    The Ryan plan and my plan are on the same page, we have the same objectives. My plan is different than his, it’s not identical. But I applaud the fact that he put forward a plan.

    Mitt Romney, May 21, 2011
  • Social Issues  social-issues icon

    In 1994, said he was personally opposed to abortion, but wouldn't seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and described himself as firmly pro-abortion rights. In...

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    Mitt Romney on Social Issues  social-issues icon

    In 1994, said he was personally opposed to abortion, but wouldn't seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and described himself as firmly pro-abortion rights. In 2004, said he had watershed moment after meeting with stem-cell researcher and in 2005, vetoes a contraception bill for rape victims as governor, a decision he later reverses, calling himself "pro-life." Firmly declared himself anti-abortion rights in May 2007. Opposes same-sex marriage.

    In His Own Words

    I understand that my views on laws governing abortion set me in the minority in our Commonwealth. I am prolife…Because Massachusetts is decidedly prochoice, I have respected the state's democratically held view. I have not attempted to impose my own views on the prochoice majority.

    Mitt Romney, July 26, 2005

Romney Coverage

  • I separate quite distinctly matters of personal faith from the leadership one has in a political sense...You don't begin to apply the doctrines of a religion to responsibility for guiding a nation or guiding a state.

    ReutersJune 9, 2011
  • The principles that made us a great nation and leader of the world have not lost their meaning...I believe in America.

    The Washington Post's Fix blogJune 2, 2011
  • From my first day in office my number one job will be to see that America once again is number one in job creation.

    Dallas Morning NewsMay 19, 2011

Romney attacks on bank regulations

Romney attacks on bank regulations

The 2010 Dodd-Frank bill that tightened federal regulations on Wall Street has emerged as a key element of the GOP frontrunner’s evolving stump speech.

Speaking of faith

Speaking of faith

Romney doesn’t speak enough about one of the most formative influences on his leadership: his faith.

Romney’s best leadership trait

Romney’s best leadership trait

In a GOP primary season that has been so entirely centered on Romney as frontrunner, one might think he’d have particularly outsized personality traits.

Mitt Romney’s travails

They are about more than the man himself.

Be America’s Awkward Stepdad, Mitt!

Stop trying to be cool, we beg you.

A GOP hidden gem

A GOP hidden gem

Huntsman: a serious resume and considerable political skills.

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