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Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2008

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Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2008



In office
January 2, 2003 – January 4, 2007


Lieutenant(s) Kerry Healey


Preceded by Jane M. Swift (acting)


Succeeded by Deval Patrick


Born March 12, 1947
Detroit, Michigan
Political party Republican


Spouse Ann Romney


Profession Businessman


Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign began on January 3, 2007, via the campaign committee press release announcing the establishment of an exploratory committee, Romney made it clear that is it a mere formality to announce a run for president, and such an announcement merely entails changing the name of the existing reporting entity, from "Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc." to "Romney for President Committee, Inc." and that money raised by the exploratory committee is the same account and entity as the the money raised after any announcement, and of no consequence to the Federal Elections Commission.[1]

Campaign development Edit

Since 2004, Romney has been discussed as a potential 2008 presidential candidate.[2] Romney has spent a considerable amount of time giving political speeches in key primary battleground states. Romney also traveled the country during the 2006 election cycle to campaign for gubernatorial candidates as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, spending over 200 days outside Massachusetts.[3] While he did not run for reelection as governor, in 2004 Romney set up a federal political action committee (PAC) called the Commonwealth PAC,[4] which raised $2.71 million during the 2006 election cycle.[5][6]

On January 3, 2007, his next to last day in office as governor of Massachusetts, Romney filed to form a presidential exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission.[7]

On January 9, Romney held his first fundraiser for his presidential run, bringing in $6.5 million over a one day drive. This figure "dwarfed" the amounts raised by other contenders for the Republican Party nomination; John McCain and Rudy Giuliani were reported to have raised $2 million and $1 million respectively.[8] In Romney's 2002 run in the Massachussetts election, Mitt Romney contributed 65% of $9,456,557 raised for the Governor's race.[9]

On February 13, 2007, Romney formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Romney made his announcement at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.[10] The National Democratic Jewish Council criticized the choice of venue because of Henry Ford's association with Nazis[11] and Antisemitism. [12][13][14]


Romney has received endorsements from Missouri Governor Matt Blunt;[15] former Colorado Governor Bill Owens;[16] Senators Bob Bennett of Utah,[17] Larry Craig of Idaho,[18] and Jim DeMint of South Carolina;[19] former Missouri Senator Jim Talent;[20] former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert;[21] and more than twenty members of the U.S. House of Representatives. A majority of the Republican members of the Massachusetts Senate declined to support Romney. Three of the five Republican State Senators in Massachusetts(Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (Wakefield), Bruce E. Tarr (Gloucester) and Michael R. Knapik (Westfield) say they plan to endorse someone else.[22]

See List of Notable Supporters, below, for a somewhat more comprehensive list.

Political positions Edit

Many of Mitt Romney's past and present political positions are visible through his actions, proposals, and statements made during his Massachusetts political campaigns and as governor of Massachusets, 2003-2007. During the later years of his term, he revised some of his previously espoused positions.[23]

Pre-Natal LifeEdit

During his run for president, Romney has declared that he thinks abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is threatened.[24] He also criticized the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.[24] Romney's spokesperson has also indicated that were he the governor of South Dakota, he would sign into law the controversial abortion ban, but include exceptions for cases of incest or rape, which the South Dakota law excludes.[25]

Romney has stated his views on abortion were drastically altered on November 9, 2004 after discussing stem cell research with Douglas Melton, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute was planning research that would have involved therapeutic cloning.[2] According to Romney, Melton declared that the research "is not a moral issue because we kill the embryos at 14 days." "I looked over at Beth Myers, my chief of staff, and we both had exactly the same reaction, which is it just hit us hard," recalled Romney. "And as they walked out, I said, ‘Beth, we have cheapened the sanctity of life by virtue of the Roe v. Wade mentality.’"[3] Melton disputes Romney's account of the meeting, declaring "Governor Romney has mischaracterized my position; we didn't discuss killing or anything related to it ... I explained my work to him, told him about my deeply held respect for life, and explained that my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases."[26]

In a 1994 debate with Senator Edward Kennedy, Romney said that abortion should be legal, declaring that "regardless of one's beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal." "Many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion," Romney said. "It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that." [4]

When he was considering a run for office in Utah, Romney told a newspaper in Salt Lake City that he did not want to be classified as a "pro-choice" politician.[24]

During the 2002 governor's race, Romney's platform stated, "As Governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change. The choice to have an abortion is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the government's."[27] Romney promised to "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose" and declared "I will not change any provisions in Massachusetts' pro-choice laws".[28][29]

On his campaign Web site, Romney, in effect, calls for a repeal of Roe vs. Wade, saying that the " the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate." [30]

Campaign financeEdit

Although Romney once supported strong campaign-finance regulation, in 2007 he began strongly criticizing campaign-finance regulations.[31]

In his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney proposed taxing private political contributions in order to finance publicly funded campaigns.[31]

In his 1994 Senate campaign, Romney advocated spending limits on congressional campaigns and suggested abolishing political action committees.[31]


Gay rightsEdit

In 1994, Romney sent a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans saying that he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than Senator Edward M. Kennedy, his then-opponent, in a Senate race. His letter included the phrase "We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern." [32]

Conservative activists such as Paul Weyrich have gone on the record as being disturbed at Romney's supposed inconsistency. Weyrich said "Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite. And if he totally repudiates this, you have to ask, on what grounds?"[32]

Domestic partnerships and same-sex marriageEdit

In his presidential campaign, Romney has announced that he opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, but believes that domestic partnership benefits should be available for same-sex couples.Template:Fact

Romney announced his support of the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2006.[33][34]

In 2002, Romney declared his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[35] At the same time, Romney opposed a Massachusetts constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships because the amendment, which was supported by the Democratic leadership, would have prohibited domestic partership benefits for gays and lesbians: "I see Tom Finneran and the Democratic leadership as having opposed the application of domestic partnership benefits to gay and lesbian couples and I will support and endorse efforts to provide those domestic partnership benefits to gay and lesbian couples."[36] When campaigning in 2002, Romney's stated position was that "All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship."[37]

Employment Non-Discrimination ActEdit

During his 1994, Romney announced his support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a proposed federal law that would have banned job discrimination based on sexual orientation.Template:Fact During his presidential campaign, Romney renounced is earlier position and declared that he opposes ENDA.Template:Fact

Gun controlEdit

In January 2007. Romney in past campaigns has described himself as a proponent of gun control. for Romney' s 1994 US Senate campaign, he supported the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on particular assault weapons. In a 2002 debate during Romney's campaign for governor of Massachusetts, Romney said: "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them. I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety." As governor, Romney signed a 2004 measure instituting a permanent Massachusetts ban on assault weapons, to take the place of a federal assault weapons ban, which was then about to expire. The bill made Massachusetts the first state to enact its own such ban, and Romney supported the law with the comment: "These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people." Just before declaring his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, Romney joined the National Rifle Association and has recently denounced gun control. [38][39][40]

Health careEdit


In his last month as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed an order which would allow thirty state police officers to be trained in determining if someone is an illegal alien and to allow those police officers the power to arrest illegal aliens. The incoming Governor of Masssachusetts, Democrat Deval Patrick, rescinded the order.[5] Governor Romney: "We need to make America more attractive for legal immigrants -- for citizens -- and less attractive for illegal immigrants. I want to see more immigration in our country, but more legal immigration and less illegal immigration." (AP, June 23, 2006)[6] Romney declined to take a stance on the Senate immigration bill of 2006. While he claims not to support amnesty, he also was quoted as saying "I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country," he said. (AP, March 29, 2006). He would like to see illegal immigrants register with the government, pay taxes and apply for citizenship.[7]

Iraq warEdit

In Romney's speech announcing that he would run for president he said, "so long as there is a reasonable prospect of success, our wisest course is to seek stability in Iraq, with additional troops endeavoring to secure the civilian population." [41] He argued that instability in Iraq could lead to civil war and that "Iraq's Sunni region could become a base for Al Qaeda; that its Shia region could be seized by Iran; that Kurd tension could destabilize Turkey; and even that the broader Middle East could be drawn into conflict." [41] He says that this "could mean a future with far more military involvement and far more loss of American life." [41]


Mitt Romney has criticized the welfare policies of the "liberals" in the 60s and 70s, but as governor of Massachussetts oversaw a $3 billion budget reduction without cutting any services to the needy.[42]

Stem cell researchEdit

Mitt Romney supports research using human embryos created during fertility treatments.[43] He opposes research using cloned embryos created by implanting human DNA into donated eggs.[43]

When he ran for governor in 2002, Romney strongly advocated stem-cell research in general terms, and he promised to lobby George W. Bush to embrace such research.[43] During his presidential campaign, however, Romney renounced his 2002 position and said that he now agrees with Bush's decision to ban federal funding for research on excess embryos.[43]

Polls Edit

A February 7, 2007 opinion poll conduced by Rasmussen Reports showed only 35% of the American public viewed Romney favorably, though up from 29% the month before. 34% of respondents had no opinion. These polling numbers suggest that it may be an "uphill battle" for Romney to win the Presidency, but that he is gaining popularity. [44]

Currently less than 10% of those polled would vote for Romney. For a summary of White House 2008: Republican Nomination Polls, see footnote.[45]

Religious beliefs Edit

Romney is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormon). Many of his beliefs supporting marriage between a man and a woman and on the importance of the family in society fall in line with the Church's teachings on the family (See The Family: A Proclamation to the World). A February 8, 2007 National Public Radio article highlights 6 Polls from national news agencies showing Romney's Mormon beliefs could be an issue in 2008. [46][47]

Romney may face fears that a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will take commandments from the president of the church who is regarded as a living prophet. On Fox News Romney said, "America has a political religion, which is to place the oath of office, an oath to abide by a nation of laws and a constitution, above all others. And there's no question that I make that my primary responsibility."[46] Mike Otterson, the spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, "The suggestion that a Mormon leader would dictate policy to a President Romney is absurd, I can't imagine any president that would allow that."[46] During the 1960 presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy, similar allegations were made that a Roman Catholic would take orders from the Pope.

Some commentators have questioned Romney's judgment on the basis that anyone who subscribes to what they consider bizarre teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has faulty judgment.[48] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many vocal opponents, and rumors and legends exist about its supposedly outlandish doctrines[49] (see Criticism of Mormonism and Anti-Mormonism). During a fundraiser in Utah, Romney addressed such concerns by saying: "My guess is as they get to know me better, there will be other faults that they find more troubling." [50]

List of Notable Supporters Edit

Congressional Whip Team Edit

Romney announced a twenty two member "Congressional Whip Team" on February 6, 2007.[51]

Additional Supporters Edit

  • Utah Senator Robert Bennett (Co-Senate Liaison)[54]
  • Idaho Senator Larry Craig (Co-Senate Liaison)[54]
  • South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint [55]
  • Missouri Governor Matt Blunt [56]
  • Former Missouri Senator Jim Talent [57]
  • Former South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards [58]
  • Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens[59]
  • Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld [60]
  • Two of Massachusetts five Republican State Senators (Scott Brown, Robert Hedlund) as well as eighteen of the nineteen Republican Massacusetts State Representatives have endorsed Romney for President [61]
  • Also in Massachusetts, One of two Republican Mayors (Mayor Michael Sullivan, Lawrence), three of four Republican Sheriffs (Sheriff Frank Cousins, Sheriff James Cummings, Sheriff Tom Hodgson), and all three Republican District Attorneys (District Attorney Tim Cruz, District Attorney Michael O'Keefe, District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel) endorse Governor Romney.[61]

Questions Asked of Mitt Romney Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Governor Mitt Romney Forms Presidential Exploratory Committee Press Release. Wednesday, Jan 03, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  2. Bradley, Nina "Is Romney ready for the big time?: Mass. Gov. gets plum prime-time speaking spot during convention MSNBC, August 29, 2004; retrieved October 29, 2006
  3. Mooney, Brian C. "Romney left Mass. on 212 days in '06" Boston Globe, Dec. 24, 2006
  4. Commonwealth Political Action Committee
  5. Commonwealth PAC Report, 2006 PAC Summary Data, Center for Responsive Politics. Retreived February 5, 2007.
  6. Commonwealth PAC Report, 2004 PAC Summary Data Center for Responsive Politics. Retreived February 5, 2007.
  7. Romney Takes Step Toward an ’08 Run New York Times, January 4, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2007.
  8. Romney Kicks off Fundraising Campaign ABC, Jan. 9, 2007
  9. Mitt Romney contributes 65% of total contributions for Governor RaceFollow the Money Retrieved February 8, 2006.
  10. Romney formally announces run for president Boston Globe, February 13, 2007
  11. Ford and the Führer: New Documents Reveal the Close Ties Between Dearborn and the Nazis "The Nation" January 6, 2000
  12. NJDC Decries Mitt Romney's Embrace of Henry Ford February 12, 2007
  13. Romney criticized by Jewish group for honoring Henry Ford Joan Lowy, Associated Press, Feb 12 2007
  14. Mitt Romney, blood libel, and that old time Jew hate "Haaretz" February 19, 2007
  16. Owens Endorses Romney
  19. U.S. Sen. DeMint of South Carolina endorses Romney for president Boston Herald, January 10, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2007
  20. Talent backs Romney for President, February 02, 2007
  21. Hastert Endorses Romney, January 23, 2007
  22. Ross, Casey. Mitt’s ’08 bid fails to win Mass. praise Boston Herald, February 14, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  23. See Governorship of Mitt Romney for further detail.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Template:Cite news
  25. Template:Cite news
  26. Template:Cite news
  27. Template:Cite news
  28. [1]
  29. Romney on Abortion - 2002 Guvernorial Debate, 2002
  30. Template:Cite news
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Template:Cite news
  32. 32.0 32.1 Template:Cite news
  33. Template:Cite news
  34. Template:Cite news
  35. McElhenny, John. “Shannon O'Brien supports gay marriage” Daily Collegian October 16, 2002. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
  36. [Don't dismiss Romney, gay Republicans say] Bay Windows Laura Kiritsy, October 24, 2002
  37. "Mitt Romney on the Issues" Romney for Governor 2002. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  38. Scott Helman. Romney, appealing to core GOP voters, toughens pro-gun rhetoric The Boston Globe. January 14, 2007
  39. Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer. Romney retreats on gun control: Ex-governor woos Republican votes The Boston Globe, January 14, 2007
  40. David Abel Romney joined NRA in August: Was advocate of gun control The Boston Globe. February 19, 2007
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 , February 13, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 Template:Cite news
  44. Romney Enters White House Race, Trails All Democrats Rasmussen Reports, February 7, 2007. Retrieved Feburary 7, 2007.
  45. Summary of White House 2008: Republican Nomination Polls Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 Faith Could Be Hurdle in Romney's White House Bid National Public Radio, February 8, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  47. Mormon Candidate Braces for Religion as Issue The New York Times, February 8, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  48. Mormon President? No Way Slate, December 20, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  49. The Right Man New York Magazine, February 19, 2007. Retrieved Febuary 14, 2007
  50. Mitt's a hit with Utahns: Legislators, key GOP donors greet the adopted son Salt Lake Tribune Linda Fantin, February 21, 2007
  51. 51.00 51.01 51.02 51.03 51.04 51.05 51.06 51.07 51.08 51.09 51.10 51.11 51.12 51.13 51.14 51.15 51.16 51.17 51.18 51.19 51.20 51.21 51.22 Governor Mitt Romney Announces Congressional Whip Team Press Release. February 06, 2007. Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. Retrieved February 07, 2007
  52. Governor Mitt Romney Announces Support of Former Speaker Dennis Hastert Press Release. January 23, 2007. Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. Retrieved February 5, 2007
  53. Governor Mitt Romney Announces Support of Congressman Robert Aderholt Press Release. February 8, 2007. Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. Retrieved February 8, 2007
  54. 54.0 54.1 Governor Mitt Romney Announces Co-Senate Liaisons Press Release. February 8, 2007. Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. Retrieved February 9, 2007
  55. Pindell, James. Romney picks up key endorsement The Boston Globe, January 9, 2007. Retrieved Feburuary 5, 2007.
  56. Governor backs Romney campaign Springfield News-Leader, February 11, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  57. Associated Press. Talent backs Romney for President Kansas City Star, February 02, 2007. Retrieved February 5, 2007.
  58. Charleston Area Leaders Support Governor Mitt Romney Press Release. January 29, 2007. Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  59. Marshall, Christa. Owens to join Romney presidential team Denver Post, January 5, 2007. Retrieved February 5, 2007.
  60. Mooney, Brian. Weld backs Romney for Oval Office: He bypasses friend and potential candidate Giuliani "Boston Globe," January 9,2007. Retrieved February 14,2007.
  61. 61.0 61.1 Massachusetts Leaders Endorse Governor Mitt Romney Press Release. February 15, 2007. Romney for President, Inc. Retrieved February 15, 2007.

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