Former Massachussetts governor
Mitt Romney launched his 2012 presidential bid
by casting himself as the candidate most capable of solving
America’s economic problems. 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 Romney can broaden his appeal and capture
the enthusiasm of the surging, anti-establishment tea-party
activists as he runs again in 2012.
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
ON THE ISSUES
Mitt Romney on the Economy
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.
Romney has praised the federal No Child Left Behind law for its
focus on standardized testing and teacher evaluations. He is a
critic of teachers unions. He would like state and local governments
to assume more power over education policy.
Mitt Romney on Energy
In “No Apology,” Romney 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
Romney has said U.S. forces should remain in Afghanistan until
U.S. commanders say the job is done. But he has contradicted himself
on the war at times, saying that the United States should not fight
another nation’s battle for freedom while insisting that America
should nurture democracy. He supported military action in Libya, but
says Obama acted too slowly and appeared “weak.”
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.
Romney opposes in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants,
would crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants
and would build a fence along the nation’s southern border. It’s
unclear what he would do with the illegal immigrants who are already
in the country.
Mitt Romney on Medicare Reform
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 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.
Romney has said he would work to save Social Security. For future
generations, he would raise the retirement age and slow the growth
of benefits for higher-income retirees, partly changing the formula
for cost-of-living adjustments. He supports allowing personal
Mitt Romney on Tax Code
Romney says taxes must be lowered to grow the economy. He recommends
making the George W. Bush-era tax cuts permanent, lowering corporate
tax rates; eliminating taxes on interest, dividends and capital
gains for people who earn less than $200,000 a year; and getting rid
of estate taxes.
Mitt Romney’s Favorite Things
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card
“Crying” by Roy Orbison
“The Mentalist” (a “process” drama)
“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” by Joel and Ethan Coen
Over the Moon chocolate milk (low-fat and nutritionally virtuous)
“The pursuit of the difficult makes men strong,” said by George
Romney to his sons