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Mitt Romney: 2012 Republican Nominee for President Profile


Mitt Romney Campaigns Across The Country Four Days Before The Election
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

How Romney Became the GOP Nominee:

Mitt Romney is a former business leader, governor of Massachusetts, and president/CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Willard "Mitt" Romney officially earned enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination for president on May 29, 2012 after winning the Texas primary. He now faces President Obama in the battle to win enough votes in the Electoral College. In 2008, Romney was John McCain's closest rival for the nomination, but fell short as the more well-known candidate had the backing of the Republican establishment and higher name recognition. Romney's competitiveness in 2008 did however make him the early front-runner. A well-organized campaign structure, decent fundraising totals, and a generally weak field kept Romney as the frontrunner for the entire campaign.

Business Experience:

Mitt Romney has one of the most distinguished private enterprise careers of any politician to run for president. He spent more than two decades in the private sector, first at Bain & Company in 1977 and then as co-founder of Bain Capital in 1984. Romney's first major success was an investment to start Staples Inc., the major office supply chain. Today, Staples has more than 2,200 locations worldwide, over 90,000 employees, and $20 billion in revenue per year. Other top investments included Domino's and The Sports Authority.

At Bain Capital, Romney worked to both help start new business as well as turn around existing struggling business by restructuring their business practices. Romney's work at Bain was the target of Republicans in the 2012 primary and is expected to be a target of President Obama. However, shortly after Romney won the GOP nomination, former president Bill Clinton referred to Romney's business career at Bain as "sterling," which was not a welcome statement from fellow Democrats looking to target the investment firm.

Public Life Experience:

Mitt Romney served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007, but had to deal with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. As Governor, Romney was able to create surpluses in his final two years by enacting a combination of spending cuts and raising fees for certain licenses. However, his signature legislation was his reform of health care in the state. The law, which has similarities to Obamacare, was the major problem for conservatives with Romney's presidential run. At the time, Romney's plan had the backing of the Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative group. Unlike President Obama's health legislation, Romney's plan was generally well accepted by the public and adopted overwhelmingly by the legislature.

Presidential Platform Highlights:

Mitt Romney is running a campaign that focuses on the economy and jobs. He has promised to begin repealing Obamacare on the first day, while reducing the burden on businesses. Romney has proposed keeping taxes low to spur economic growth and eliminate the hostile pro-labor, anti-right-to-work attitude of the Obama administration. Additionally, Romney has proposed cutting back on wasteful spending and eliminate a number of subsidies for ethanol, sugar, and defunding organizations such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR. Romney has not focused on social issue as a centerpiece of his campaign, but he is running a pro-life, pro-marriage, freedom-based campaign.

Advantages Against President Obama:

Romney's major advantage in 2012 is that he is facing an increasingly unpopular president who has failed to deliver on the promises of his 2008 campaign. The economy has failed to recover at acceptable rates and Romney's pro-business approach appears to be an asset. Unlike many career-politician-candidates before him, Romney sounds like he has a clear understanding of the economy when he speaks. Unlike in 2008, Romney also has the ability to match, or even exceed, Obama in fundraising. The huge disparity in 2008 had the McCain campaign running on empty and unable to be competitive in a number of states. Additionally, the rise of the tea party, with a truckload of wins from 2009-2012, is determined to oust Obama and repeal Obamacare. This, combined with Romney's more moderate appeal, could prove to be a lethal, and winning, electoral combination.

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