Run For President
Mitt Romney announced his candidacy for president on Feb. 13, 2007. Almost a year later, on Feb. 7, 2008, he announced the suspension of his campaign for the Republican nomination in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington. " ... I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country," he said in the speech.
Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Turnaround Artist -- Olympic Heights
Supporters of Mitt Romney pointed to his success in turning around the Winter Olympics of 2002, which had been tarnished by scandal, when he was head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. It is the same skills he used for two decades as a management consultant to turn around many companies -- and why they thought he could turn around the nation.
His critics saw him as a turnaround artist of a different sort -- somebody who, as a candidate running for president, expressed views on social issues different from those he had while a candidate for senator and governor of Massachusetts. And, for the first time in almost half a century, a presidential candidate's religion seemed to have become a factor in the campaign.
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Mitt Romney, 60, businessman, one-term governor, fifth-generation member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, ran for president (as he wrote in "Turnaround"), because "we are under attack" -- literally, economically, and in our "values and ideals ... and my experience in bringing change to businesses, to the Olympics, and to Massachusetts would enable me to keep America prosperous and secure."
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Made In Detroit
Willard Mitt Romney was born March 12, 1947, in Detroit. His father, George, was the head of American Motors; here is Mitt at age 11 in one of his father's Ramblers. George had been born in Mexico; his grandparents had moved to Mexico when the United States Supreme Court upheld laws banning polygamy. The Romneys returned to the U.S. after the Mexican Revolution.
Credit: AP Photo/Courtesy of Romney Family
Like Father ...
It is easy to see that the major influence in Mitt Romney's life was his father. Wildly successful as an automobile executive, he became the governor of Michigan, and a candidate for U.S. president. Upper left, George with his newly-born son in 1947; right, in their Detroit home in 1957; bottom, looking out over the Chrysler exhibit at the New York World's Fair grounds in 1964.
Credit: Romney Family
In 1962, George Romney announced what would be a successful candidacy for governor of Michigan with his wife, Lenore, and Mitt, the youngest of their four children. Six years later, he would be forced to drop out of the presidential race because he said he had had "the greatest brainwashing" into supporting the Vietnam War. In 1970, Lenore lost her race for U.S. senator from Michigan.
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When he was 18, Romney had met Ann Davies and fallen in love; here they are in 1965 posing before his senior high school prom. Romney served as a missionary in France for two years after that (receiving a draft deferment in order to do that), while his father oversaw Ann's conversion. (She had been Episcopalian.) In 1969 (photo inset), they got married.
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... And Kids
Mitt and Ann Romney would have five sons. Here they are in 1982. Romney was the only one of the leading GOP candidates for 2008 who had never been divorced. Years ago, a supporter of one of his political rivals said, "He looks like a candidate ... And his wife looks like Barbie, and they have five sons that are gorgeous ... "
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... And Grandkids
Their five sons grew up, got married and had children of their own. Here is the extended Romney family at their vacation home on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H., in July 2007. In 1998, Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
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Brigham Young, Harvard Law And Business
Romney delivered the commencement address at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he graduated in 1971. His father wanted him to go to law school. He wanted to attend business school. He did both, spending the next five years simultaneously earning both a law degree from Harvard Law School and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Credit: AP Photo/Courtesy of Romney family
Money Coming Out Of His Ears
After school, Romney became a management consultant, and in 1984 was asked to lead a spin-off called Bain Capital, a private equity firm that bought up companies. Here he poses front and center with his partners, 10 and 20 dollar bills coming out of their ears -- or at least their mouths, collars and pockets. Romney reportedly made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Credit: Bain Capital/Boston Globe
Candidate For Senate
Romney announced his candidacy as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, in Boston on Feb. 2, 1994, accompanied by his wife and his mother and father, who had moved to Massachusetts to help him campaign.
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Kennedy vs. Romney
Romney tried to promote his business acumen, which had rescued many companies, and helped new and innovative ones, such as Staples and Domino's Pizza. But Kennedy attacked him for laying off workers from companies that Bain took over, among other attacks. Romney lost. Video excerpts of their debates have become popular online, largely because of Romney's then-moderate positions on many social issues.
Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Cleaning Up The Olympics
Romney was chosen to head the Olympics when it was mired in a bribery scandal, facing financial ruin, and fearing a repeat of a Sept. 11-like attack. ("He loves emergencies and catastrophes," his wife, pictured at left, told reporters.) Romney restored the event's reputation, left it with a $50 million surplus, and got to hang out with Muhammad Ali.
Fresh from his success with the Olympics, he was encouraged to run for governor of Utah, but was lured back to Massachusetts by the state Republican Party to run for governor there instead. He won as a Republican even though his fellow party members comprised only 13 percent of the state's registered voters.
Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne
As governor, Romney assumed oversight of the "Big Dig" tunnel, mastering "complicated engineering details" according to the Boston Globe. He also turned a state budget deficit into a surplus, provided full scholarships to top-performing high school students, and pushed through a universal health care plan for the state "without a government takeover and without a massive tax increase."
Credit: AP Photo/David L Ryan
In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from getting married. Gov. Romney had opposed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but he said the court decision changed his mind, and he actively lobbied for it.
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"I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country," the senatorial candidate said in 1994. "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated honoring my word in that regard," the gubernatorial candidate said in 2002. The presidential candidate (seen at left in S.C., right in Iowa) wants to see "Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states to put in place pro-life legislation."
Thumbs Up Vs. Finger In The Wind
Whether Romney is speaking against "sanctuary cities" or for increasing the size of the military, his campaign reflects a line in his book: "... like Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, I am optimistic about America." Clockwise from upper left, at Nova Southeastern University in Florida; George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas; Town Hall in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.