Profile: Mitt Romney

Updated: Nov 04, 2012, 00:42 AM IST

Preeti Panwar

Willard Mitt Romney, who failed in his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination to Arizona Senator John McCain, has successfully entered the 2012 Republican presidential race as the front-runner to face the incumbent President Barack Obama.

Born on March 12, 1947 in Michigan, aged 65, Romney is a powerful American businessman and he has served as the former one-term and 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. Hailing from a political family, his father, George Romney also ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968.

He studied law and business from Harvard and is married to Ann Davies since 1969 and has five children.

Romney has been trying to establish himself as a powerful political leader since 1994 when he attempted to unseat Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy eventually losing but his profile gained recognition among Republicans.

As the former Governor, he signed into law a complete healthcare overhaul that required all Massachusetts residents to obtain health insurance and provided subsidies to those who could not afford it or who did not receive it from their employers.

In his 2008 campaign, he cast himself as a conservative political outsider and in his speech frequently invoked his father and his family, that had brought him to this point. He has been laying the groundwork for 2012 presidential campaign by using his Free and Strong America political action committee (PAC) to raise money for other Republican candidates and pay his existing political staff`s salaries and consulting fees.

In March 2010, Romney released his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, in which he has written about his belief in American exceptionalism, and presents his economic and geopolitical views.

Romney formally announced his campaign in June 2011, at Stratham, New Hampshire, when he criticized President Obama`s handling of the country’s economy.

After a string of Primary wins, his Republican challengers left the race one by one, giving him the official nomination on 28th August to contest against Barack Obama in November 06 presidential polls.

In an effort to raise his credibility as a world statesman, Romney has visited the UK, Israel, and Poland leaders since July 2012.

He hopes his background in business can motivate Americans to vote in his favour and he can manage to recover the US economy.

Romney stirred up a controversy in mid-September when in a video, he was seen speaking before a group of supporters in which he stated that 47 percent of the nation pays no income tax, are dependent on the federal government, see themselves as victims, and will support President Obama unconditionally.

Later, he confessed by saying, "I said something that`s just completely wrong."

In three of the power-packed presidential election debates, Romney emerged as more energetic than Obama in the first debate. In the next two debates, he maintained an overall edge.

Romney is a proud recipient of five honorary doctorates in business, law, public administration, public service and humanities.

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