Mitt Romney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mitt Romney

70th Governor of Massachusetts
Term of office:
January 2, 2003 – present–January 4, 2007
Lieutenant Governor: Kerry Healey
Born: March 12, 1947
Detroit, Michigan
Political party: Republican
Profession: Businessman
Spouse: Ann Romney
Religion: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is the 70th and current Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Romney's term in office concludes January 4, 2007; he did not seek re-election in 2006.[1] He is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He also serves as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and honorary chairman of the Commonwealth Political Action Committee.[2]

Romney led an unsuccessful 1994 campaign against Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and achieved prominence as CEO and organizer of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Romney and his wife Ann with his parents George W. Romney and Lenore Romney in the West Wing Cabinet Room while his father served in President Nixon's cabinet as Housing and Urban Development secretary (1969–1973).
Romney and his wife Ann with his parents George W. Romney and Lenore Romney in the West Wing Cabinet Room while his father served in President Nixon's cabinet as Housing and Urban Development secretary (1969–1973).

Mitt Romney was born March 12, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He is the son of Lenore Romney and former Michigan governor, Housing and Urban Development Secretary and presidential candidate George W. Romney. Romney has three siblings: Lynn, Jane, and G. Scott.

Romney has been married to his wife, Ann Romney, since 1969. They have five sons (Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig) and nine grandchildren. Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.[3]


Romney graduated from the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills (now Cranbrook Kingswood School). He met his future wife, Ann Davies, when she was at the Kingswood School.

After attending Stanford University for two quarters, Romney served for 30 months as a Mormon missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France.[4] Upon returning from France he transferred to Brigham Young University, where he was valedictorian, earning his B.A. with Highest Honors in 1971. In 1975, Romney was awarded an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was named a Baker Scholar. In 1975 he also received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. He is also an Eagle Scout.


After graduation from Harvard Business School, Romney went to work for the Boston Consulting Group, where he had been a summer intern in 1974. At BCG Romney worked with recent MIT graduate and future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[5]

From 1978 to 1984, Romney was a Vice President of Bain & Company, Inc., a Boston-based management consulting firm. Later, as the company's CEO, he led it through a highly successful turnaround[6]. Today, Bain & Company has 33 offices in 21 countries and 2,400 consultants[7]

In 1984, Romney co-founded Bain Capital, one of the nation's most successful private equity investment firms. Among the first companies it invested in was Staples, an office-supply store. Under Romney's leadership, Bain Capital founded, acquired or invested in hundreds of companies including Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Brookstone, Domino's, Sealy and The Sports Authority[8]

CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee

Mitt Romney presents a copy of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games torch to United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage at the State Department.
Mitt Romney presents a copy of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games torch to United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage at the State Department.

Romney first gained national attention when he served as president and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games held in Salt Lake City. In 1999 the event was running $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. Plans were being made to scale back the games in order to compensate for the fiscal crisis. "There are contingency plans in place already in case we could not meet our revenue goals that we would scale back the budget accordingly and keep these Games on budget," said United States Olympic Committee Executive Director Dick Schultz at the time. The Games were also rocked by scandal as damaging allegations of bribery were made against top officials, including then Salt Lake Olympic Committee (SLOC) President and CEO Frank Joklik. Joklik and SLOC vice president Dave Johnson were forced to resign.[9]

The 2002 Winter Games were on the verge of becoming a national disaster and a global embarrassment. The event needed new leadership, and the SLOC launched a search for a new Olympic chief. "The candidate I'm looking for," SLOC chairman Bob Garff said at the time, "is the white knight who is universally loved."[10]

On February 11, 1999 the committee named Romney the new president and CEO of the Salt Lake City Games. He was charged with restoring faith in the beleaguered event, and rescuing the Olympics from failure.[10] Romney revamped the organization's leadership and policies, reduced budgets and boosted fundraising. He also worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by coordinating a $300 million security budget.[11] Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up clearing a profit of $100 million.

"Romney and his group here, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, did one of the great organizing jobs of all time," said NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol.[12] Following the conclusion of the Games, then-US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta congratulated the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, "who under Mitt Romney's leadership, hosted perhaps the best Winter Olympic Games ever."[13] President George Bush also praised Romney's management of the Games. "Mitt, you did a fabulous job," said the President at a White House ceremony recognizing the Salt Lake City Olympics.[14]

Romney contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and donated all three years of the salary he earned as President and CEO ($275,000 per year) to charity.[15] He wrote a book about his experience called Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games.

Political campaigns

1994 campaign for United States Senate

In 1994, Romney won the Massachusetts Republican Party's nomination for U.S. Senate after defeating businessman John Lakian in the primary.[16] Some polls showed Romney only slightly behind Senator Ted Kennedy. One Boston Herald/WCVB-TV poll taken after the September 20, 1994 primary showed Romney ahead 44 percent to 42 percent, within the poll's sampling margin of error.[17] According to figures in the 1996 Almanac of American Politics,[citation needed] which relies on official campaign finance reports, Romney spent over $7 million, with Kennedy spending over $10 million, mostly in the last weeks of the campaign. (This was the second-most expensive race of the 1994 election cycle, after the Dianne Feinstein vs. Michael Huffington Senate race in California.) Kennedy won the election decisively with 58 percent of the vote to Romney's 41 percent. The 17-percentage point winning margin was the smallest in Kennedy's long career as Senator.[18]

2002 campaign for Governor

In 2002, Republican Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift was expected to campaign for the governor's office. Swift had served as acting governor after Republican Governor Paul Cellucci resigned upon being appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Swift was viewed as an unpopular executive, and her administration was plagued by political missteps and personal scandals.[19] Many Republicans viewed her as a liability and considered her unable to win a general election against a Democrat.[20] Prominent GOP activists campaigned to persuade Romney to run for governor.[21] One poll taken at this time showed that Republicans favored Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points.[22] With growing speculation that Romney would challenge Swift in a bruising primary battle, Swift decided not to seek her party's nomination.

Massachusetts Democratic Party officals claimed that Romney was ineligible to run for governor, citing residency issues. The Massachusetts Constitution requires seven consecutive years of residency prior to a run for office. Romney claimed residency in Utah from 1999 to 2002, during his time as president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. In 1999 he listed himself as a part-time Massachusetts resident.[23] The Massachusetts Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission, which eventually ruled that Romney was eligible to run for office. The Party decided not to challenge the ruling in court.[24]

During the general election Romney ran on a reform platform; a major issue in the election was a state budget crisis. Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, as that of one who would be able to bring in a new era of efficiency into Massachusetts politics.[25] Romney contributed $6.3 million to his own campaign during the election, at the time a state record. [26] Romney was elected Governor in November 2002 with 50 percent of the vote over Democratic candidate Shannon O'Brien, who received 45 percent.[27]

[edit] Possible presidential run in 2008

Since 2004, Romney has been discussed as a potential 2008 presidential candidate.[28] Romney has said that he will announce his intent to run in January 2007 after he leaves the governor's office on January 4. He has spent a considerable amount of time giving political speeches in key primary battleground states. While he did not run for reelection as governor, Romney set up a federal political action committee (PAC) called the Commonwealth PAC,[29] which has raised over $9 million. He has also signed up well-known political operatives to lay the groundwork for a campaign.[30].


Governor Romney addresses a send-off ceremony for the 685th Finance Detachment of the Massachusetts National Guard.

Romney was sworn in as the 70th governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003, along with Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey. In 2005, Romney was selected to head the Republican Governors Association.

Romney announced in 2005 that he will not seek re-election for a second term as governor, fueling speculation about a run for the White House in 2008.[1] Healey became the Republican nominee for the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial race; Healey subsequently lost to Democrat Deval Patrick.

Health care

On April 12, 2006, Governor Romney signed legislation to provide health insurance to virtually all citizens of Massachusetts without raising taxes.[31] Working with conservative groups, such as the Heritage Foundation, as well as Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature, Romney developed a plan that stresses personal responsibility in paying for coverage and provides funding for low-income residents. Starting in July 2007, health insurance will be mandatory for all state residents, provided a plan is available to the individual that is deemed affordable according to state standards. Lower income individuals will be eligible for subsidies to purchase health insurance.

As of March 2006 there were approximately 500,000 uninsured citizens in Massachusetts. Those who are uninsured commonly use emergency rooms as a source of primary care because of their lack of health insurance coverage.[2] Massachusetts hospitals are required to provide care even if a patient cannot pay for it. As a result, hospitals have been left with unpaid bills and mounting expenses to care for the uninsured. "People who don't have insurance nonetheless receive health care," said Romney. "And it's expensive."[3]

In Massachusetts, a roughly $800 million fund known as the "uncompensated care pool" is used to partially reimburse hospitals for these expenses. The fund's revenue comes from an annual assessment on employers, insurance providers and hospitals, plus contributions of state and federal tax dollars. Governor Romney's plan redirects money from this fund to subsidize health care costs for low-income residents of Massachusetts. The Romney Administration consulted with MIT professor Jonathan Gruber to study the state's population and health care needs. They determined that there was enough money in the "free care pool" to implement the Governor's plans without additional funding or taxes.[4] A separate study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts found that universal coverage would require substantial additional state spending. [5]

The legislature amended Romney's plan, adding a Medicaid expansion for children and imposing an assessment on firms with 11 or more workers who do not offer health coverage. The assessment is intended to equalize the contributions to the free care pool from employers that offer and do not offer coverage. The General Court also rejected Romney's provision allowing high-deductible health plans.

The new Massachusetts health care legislation establishes a system to provide citizens with private, affordable, market based insurance. The state will work to enroll all residents eligible for Medicaid and subsidize private insurance policies for low income individuals[6]. A sliding scale based on income is used to determine the amount of money a person contributes to their policy. The higher the income, the higher the premium. Individuals who can afford health coverage but chose not to purchase a policy will now be required by law to acquire insurance. Failure to purchase health insurance if an affordable policy is available would result in tax penalties.[7]

The legislation also establishes a device developed by the Heritage Foundation known as the "Connector." The Connector allows Massachusetts citizens to "purchase health insurance with pretax dollars, even if their employer makes no contribution. The connector enables pretax payments, simplifies payroll deduction, permits prorated employer contributions for part-time employees, reduces insurer marketing costs, and makes it efficient for policies to be entirely portable. Because small businesses may use the connector, it gives them even greater bargaining power than large companies."[8]

Romney vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a $295 per person fee on businesses with 11 employees or more that do not provide health insurance.[9][10] Romney also vetoed provisions providing dental and eyeglass benefits to poor residents on the Medicaid program, and providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid.[11][12] However, the state legislature overrode all of the vetoes.[13]

Further information: Chapter 58

Education initiatives

In 2004, Governor Romney established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship to the state's public universities or colleges. He has also drafted other education reforms, including the recruitment of 1,000 skilled math and science instructors, bonuses of as much as $15,000 a year for top-performing teachers, and new intervention programs for failing schools.[14]

Additionally, Romney began advocating for a nationwide focus on education through the recruitment of and better pay for math and science teachers, and allowing state governments to take control of underperforming schools after three years instead of the six-year period that is now in place.[15]

Romney has also address the achievement gap in public education saying, "I really believe that the failure of our urban schools and, in some cases our suburban schools, to help minority students achieve the levels that are necessary for success in the workplace is the civil rights issue of our time."[16]

Governor Romney with Nicholas Negroponte unveiling the $100 laptop.
Governor Romney with Nicholas Negroponte unveiling the $100 laptop.

In an effort to duplicate a successful program in nearby Maine, in September 2005, Romney submitted a bill to the legislature to deliver $100 laptops to all children in Massachusetts. This project would cost $54 million. During his 2006 State of the Commonwealth address Romney said; "I want every middle and high school student to have a laptop computer. Our kids won’t keep pace with the world of tomorrow if they learn with the technology of yesterday."[17]

During Romney's tenure as Governor, Massachusetts per capita funding for public higher education has decreased from $158 to $137, although in national rank, per capita state expenditures changed from 48th to 47th.[18][19] In July 2005, Romney proposed $200 million in funding for University of Massachusetts capital projects. The Governor's capital budget included $50 million earmarked to repair the crumbling parking garage and foundation of the UMass Boston campus.[20] The Massachusetts legislature ignored Romney's plan and declined to vote on the bond bill needed to fund the projects.[21][22] Governor Romney also vetoed a retroactive pay raise for unionized employees of state and community colleges. Romney has voiced his opposition to retroactive pay increases for public employees although the raises had previously been agreed to, and then vetoed by his predecessor.[23][24]

In 1994 Romney, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, pledged to vote to establish a means-tested school voucher program to allow students to attend the public or private school of their choice. He also supported abolishing the federal Department of Education and favored keeping control of educational reform at the lowest level, closest to parents, teachers, and the community (Boston Globe review of 1994 campaign issues Mar 21, 2002).

Romney believes that superintendents and principals should be given the authority to hire teachers and fire underperforming educators. He believes that teacher performance and not tenure should determine job security, saying that "seniority cannot trump the needs of our children."

Romney also favors standardized testing as a high school graduation requirement and alternative education options for parents and students. He supports charter schools, school vouchers and home schooling.

As Governor, Romney has proposed mandatory parental preparation courses. He also supports English immersion classes for students that cannot speak English and opposes bilingual education.[25]

Fiscal policy

Upon entering office, Romney faced a $3 billion deficit. Facing an immediate fiscal crisis, the Governor asked the state legislature for emergency powers to make "9C" cuts to the fiscal year 2003 budget. Refusing to raise taxes, Romney cut spending and restructured state government.[26]. An unexpected windfall in capital gains taxes reduced the deficit by $1.3 billion, and Romney raised an extra $500 million in revenue by increasing hundreds of fees (such as driver's license and marriage license fees) and by closing tax "loopholes."[32] The state also cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns.[27] In response, cities and towns became more reliant on local revenue to pay for municipal services and schools.

Massachusetts finished 2004 with a $700 million surplus and 2005 with a $500 million surplus.[28] [29].

With the help of a reviving economy, Romney and the state legislature were able to balance the state budget and replenish the state's "rainy day fund" through government consolidation and reform. As a result of the fiscal turnaround, Romney has repeatedly pushed the state legislature to roll back the state income tax from 5.3% to 5.0% (Massachusetts has a flat income tax).

In 2006, the Massachusetts legislature approved a budget that required spending $450 million from the rainy day fund. Even though the state had collected a record-breaking amount of tax revenue in the fiscal year, the funds were needed to cover the increased spending. [30] Romney vetoed the transfer of funds from the contingency account and used his emergency “9C” cuts to balance the state budget. "One of the primary responsibilities of government is keeping the books balanced," said Romney "The problem here is not revenues; the problem is overspending. The level of spending which we're looking at would put us on the same road to financial crisis and ruin that our commonwealth has been down before."[31]

Same-sex marriage

Romney has strongly opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions. He has continually stressed the need to protect the institution of marriage while denouncing discrimination against gays and lesbians. "Like me, the great majority of Americans wish both to preserve the traditional definition of marriage and to oppose bias and intolerance directed towards gays and lesbians," said Romney in a 2004 interview.[32]

On June 2, 2006, Romney sent a letter to each member of the U.S. Senate urging them to vote in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment (entire letter can be viewed at this link [33]) In the letter, Romney stated that the debate over same-sex unions is not a discussion about "tolerance," but rather a "debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage." Romney wrote that "Attaching the word marriage to the association of same-sex individuals mistakenly presumes that marriage is principally a matter of adult benefits and adult rights. In fact, marriage is principally about the nurturing and development of children. And the successful development of children is critical to the preservation and success of our nation."

Romney's letter was his second attempt to persuade the U.S. Senate to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment. On June 22, 2004 he testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, urging its members to protect the traditional definition of marriage. "Marriage is not an evolving paradigm," said Romney, "but is a fundamental and universal social institution that bears a real and substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of all of the people of Massachusetts."[34]

Romney was heavily involved in attempts to block implementation of the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. Romney criticized the decision as harming the rights of children:

Mitt Romney
They viewed marriage as an institution principally designed for adults. Adults are who they saw. Adults stood before them in the courtroom. And so they thought of adult rights, equal rights for adults ... Marriage is also for children. In fact, marriage is principally for the nurturing and development of children. The children of America have the right to have a father and a mother."[35]
In 2004, the Massachusetts General Court attempted to address the issue of gay marriage before the implementation of the Goodridge decision. During a constitutional convention, the heavily Democratic legislature approved an amendment that would have banned gay marriage, but established civil unions. An initial amendment offered by House Speaker Thomas Finnernan that would have simply banned gay marriage without a provision for civil unions was narrowly defeated [36].The compromise amendment needed to be approved in a second constitutional convention to be held a year later before it would have appeared on a state election ballot. The amendment was voted down in the subsequent convention and never made it before the voters of Massachusetts.[37]

Romney reluctantly backed the compromise amendment, viewing it as the only feasible way to ban gay marriage in Massachusetts. "If the question is, 'Do you support gay marriage or civil unions?' I'd say neither," Romney said of the amendment. "If they said you have to have one or the other, that Massachusetts is going to have one or the other, then I'd rather have civil unions than gay marriage. But I'd rather have neither."[38]

In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support for the compromise amendment, claiming that the amendment confused voters who oppose both gay marriage and civil unions. The amendment was defeated in the General Court in 2005 when both supporters of same-sex marriage and opponents of civil unions voted against it. In June 2005, Romney endorsed a petition effort by the Coalition for Marriage & Family that would ban gay marriage and make no provisions for civil unions. [39]

The Romney Administration resurrected the "1913 law," which prohibits non-residents from marrying in Massachusetts if the marriage would be void in their home state; the law had not been enforced for several decades. While some legal experts have argued that the original purpose of the legislation was to block interracial marriages and have noted that the law was enacted at the height of public scandal over black heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson's interracial marriages[40][41], Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly has stated that the law had nothing to do with race.[42] In March of 2006 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared the statute legal under the state's constitution.[43] Romney applauded the decision, saying that the "ruling is an important victory for traditional marriage." He also stated that "It would have been wrong for the Supreme Judicial Court to impose its mistaken view of marriage on the rest of the country. The continuing threat of the judicial redefinition of marriage, here and in several other states, is why I believe that the best and most reliable way to preserve the institution of marriage is to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution." [44]

When he ran for governor in 2002, Romney declared his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[45] "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union," said Romney in an October 2002 gubernatorial debate. He also voiced support for basic domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. Romney told the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts (a Republican gay-rights group) that he did not support same-sex marriage or civil unions, but would fight discrimination against gays and lesbians.[46] He also opposed an amendment, then before the General Court, that would have banned same-sex marriage and outlawed all domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. As a result, the Log Cabin Club endorsed Romney in the gubernatorial election. [47]. When campaigning in 2002, Romney's stated position was that "all citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation" and that "homosexuals should have the right to a domestic partnership status that affords them the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship." [48]

During his 1994 campaign against Senator Edward Kennedy, Romney said that same-sex marriage "is not appropriate at this time"[33] but supported Federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against homosexuals.[34]

For more details on this topic, see Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

Death penalty

In December 2004, Romney announced plans to file a death penalty bill in early 2005.

The bill, filed April 28, 2005, sought to reinstate the death penalty in cases that include terrorism, the assassination of law enforcement officials and multiple killings. Romney's legislation required the presence of scientific evidence such as DNA to sentence someone to death and a tougher standard of "no doubt" of guilt for juries to sentence defendants. This differs from the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used in traditional criminal cases. The legislation called for a pool of certified capital case lawyers to ensure proper representation for the accused and allowed jurors who do not personally support the death penalty to serve in the guilt phase of the trial. [49]

The Massachusetts House of Representatives defeated the bill 99-53.

Drunk driving: Melanie's Bill

In May of 2005 Governor Romney presented a proposal to the Massachusetts General Court to crack down on repeat drunk drivers. Massachusetts had some of the weakest drunk driving laws of any state in the country.[50] The state was losing $9 million annually from its highway budget because existing laws were not in compliance with federal standards.[51] Romney dubbed the legislation "Melanie's Bill" in honor of 13-year-old Melanie Powell. Melanie was killed in 2003 by a repeat drunk driver while walking to the beach with friends. The bill included provisions that gave prosecutors greater power to go after repeat offenders with stiffer penalties. It also increased license suspensions, raised sentencing guidelines and required repeat drunk drivers to install ignition-interlock devices in their vehicles. Governor Romney urged Massachusetts residents to contact their representatives and ask them to adopt the tough new laws. The state House Judiciary Committee stripped many of the tough new provisions of Melanie's Law and sent a watered-down version to an eventual conference committee.[52] Five of the six members of this conference committee were themselves trial lawyers who defended drunk drivers.[53] The scaled back version of the legislation that reached the Governor's desk bore little resemblance to Romney's original plan. In response, the Governor filed amendments to restore some of the key provisions that had been omitted by the legislature. Appearing with families of drunk driving victims at State House press conferences, Romney rallied public support for Melanie's Bill.[54] A massive outcry in favor of the Governor's plan forced the state legislature to consider Romney's amendments.[55] Pressured by angry constituents and negative media coverage, the House and the Senate restored many of the tough provisions included in the original legislation. In October of 2005 Romney signed Melanie's Bill into law, creating the toughest drunk driving regulations in Massachusetts history.[56]


Romney has identified himself as a pro-life politician. He does not support abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is threatened.[57] The Governor has been a vocal opponent of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, criticizing the "one size fits all" statute created by the ruling.[58] Romney has indicated that if he were governor of South Dakota he would sign a bill recently passed in the state that would outlaw abortion. He also stated that he would make sure the legislation would include exceptions for cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk (the South Dakota bill only included an omission for life of the mother).[59] According to Romney's spokesperson, "If Gov. Romney were the Governor of South Dakota he would sign it. The Governor believes that states should have the right to be pro-life if that is the will of the people."[60]

Prior to his run for governor, Romney told a newspaper in Salt Lake City, Utah that he did not want to be classified as a "pro-choice" politician.[61]

During the 2002 governor's race, Romney voiced his personal opposition to abortion, but promised to maintain the Massachusetts abortion laws if elected. 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."[62] Although he told voters that he was personally opposed to abortion, Romney said that he would respect the will of the pro-choice majority in Massachusetts. Referencing the established abortion laws in Massachusetts, Romney said that he would "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose...I will not change any provisions in Massachusetts' pro-choice laws."[63]

Romney has said that his views on abortion have "evolved" and "changed" since 2002 such that he now considers himself a "pro-life governor" who wishes "the laws of our nation could reflect that view."[64][65]

Romney says that his views on abortion were drastically altered after discussing stem cell research with a pair of experts from Harvard University. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute was planning research that would have involved therapeutic cloning.[66] The Governor was appalled when one of the scientists 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.’"[67]

In 1994, Romney also said that he was personally opposed to abortion. He also said that he became committed to legalized abortion after the death of a family friend in an illegal abortion made him see "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 in a televised debate opposite Senator Edward Kennedy. "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." The person Romney was referring to was a teenage girl engaged to marry a member of Romney's extended family. Romney's sister Jane has said that the girl's death changed the family's perspective on the legality of abortion.[68]

Romney has said he has kept his campaign promises. Romney vetoed an emergency contraception bill in July 2005, claiming that allowing it to pass into law would violate his "moratorium" on changes to the abortion laws.[69].

In 2005, Romney's top political strategist, Michael Murphy, told the National Review that the Governor had "been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."[70] Murphy later explained that he "was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use."[71]

Stem cell research

Although Romney has stated that he supports the use of surplus embryos from fertility clinics for stem-cell research, he vetoed a Massachusetts bill to fund stem-cell research because the legislation allowed the cloning of human embryos. "I am not in favor of creating new human embryos through cloning," said Romney, calling the practice "a matter of profound moral and ethical consequence." Romney also opposed the legislation because of its assertion that life does not begin until an embryo is implanted in a uterus. "It is very conceivable that scientific advances will allow an embryo to be grown for a substantial period of time outside the uterus," Romney said in an interview with the Boston Globe. "To say that it is not life at one month or two months or four months or full term, just because it had never been in a uterus, would be absurd." [72][73] The state legislature overrode Romney's veto, with many legislators feeling that stem-cell research will be important in the future to the state's biotech industry.[74].

Military and Veterans benefits

On September 23 2004, Governor Romney signed legislation prohibiting employment discrimination against members of the military, including those serving in the National Guard and Reserve. The bill also created a “Commission on Veterans’ Employment Opportunities” [35].

In October of 2005, Romney filed legislation to increase benefits for Massachusetts National Guardsman.[75] Working with the state legislature, Romney developed the “Welcome Home Bill” which provides guardsman with reduced life-insurance premiums and free tuition and fees at Massachusetts universities and community colleges. The bill also increases daily state active-duty pay rate from $75 to $100, and increases the death benefit paid to families of Guard members killed in the line of duty from $5,000 to $100,000.[76] Additionally, the “Welcome Home Bill” creates a $1,000 bonus for Guardsman called to active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001 and a $500 bonus for those who were activated for duty elsewhere. The legislation provides a $2,000 benefit for Gold Star spouses and increases the Gold Star parents’ benefit from $1,500 to $2,000. High school diplomas will also be granted to veterans who dropped out to enlist in World War II, Korea or Vietnam wars. Romney signed the bill into law on Veterans Day 2005. [77]

In November, 2006 the account that funds the insurance benefits created in the “Welcome Home Bill” faced a deficit. The Massachusetts Legislature was out of session at the time of the shortfall and did not provide sufficient funds to maintain the reimbursements. Romney transferred money from his own governor’s office budget to replenish the fund. [78]

Working with the legislature, Romney developed legislation to provide tax exemptions to disabled veterans and benefits to families of fallen and missing soldiers. The Governor signed The Massachusetts Military Enhanced Relief Individual Tax (MERIT) Plan into law on August 14, 2006. The bill increases property tax exemptions for disabled veterans and grants spouses of veterans killed or missing in action since September 11, 2001 full property tax exemptions for five years. After 5 years the spouses receive an annual $2,500 exemption under the legislation.[79]

Romney was also the first governor in Massachusetts history to appoint a secretary of veteran’s affairs to his cabinet. [36].

Governor Romney’s efforts to assist Massachusetts servicemen were recognized by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, which presented him with the Pro Patria Award[80] and the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Award. [81]

 In-state tuition bill

Romney vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates at state colleges if they graduated from a Massachusetts high school after attending it for at least three years and signed an affidavit affirming that they intended to seek citizenship. Romney vowed to veto the bill again if it ever made it to his desk, arguing that the bill would cost the state government $15 million and that the state should not reward illegal immigration[82] despite a finding by the Massachusetts Taxpayer Association that forecast a net gain of over $5 million to the state if the bill passed.[83] In 2005, the bill was reintroduced to the House, backed by Representative Marie St. Fleur. The in-state immigrant tuition bill was brought to another vote on January 11, 2006 and was overwhelmingly defeated by a total of 96-57 [84]. Romney applauded the decision.[85]


Romney supports regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through voluntary measures[86] He issued a 72-point Climate Protection Plan. His staffers spent more than $500,000 negotiating the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI--pronounced "Reggie"), which Romney praised in November 2005, saying "I'm convinced it is good business."[37][38] As plan details were being worked out, Romney pushed for a cap on fees charged to businesses who exceed emission limits citing concerns of increased consumer energy costs. He stated: "New England has the highest energy rates in the country, and RGGI would cost us more." This ongoing disagreement eventually led Romney, in December, 2005, to pull out of the RGGI. [39]

In 2003, Romney appointed environmental advocate Douglas I. Foy (former president of the Conservation Law Foundation) to head the state development office.[87]. Foy resigned in February of 2006. [88]

In November 2006, Romney cut $7 million from the budget for maintaining the state's neglected parklands, which are the sixth largest state park system in the country. Romney also cut $154,590 for environmental law enforcement, $288,900 for cleaner water in communities, and $181,886 for hazardous waste cleanup.[40]

Romney opposes the controversial Cape Wind offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. Romney has stated that the proposed Cape Wind project would depress property values and damage the local economy, which depends on tourism; he has described the area as pristine and a "national treasure".[41] Cape Wind supporters have accused Romney and federal lawmakers of "back-door deal-making" in an attempt to kill the project.[42] Conversely, elected leaders in Massachusetts have accused Cape Wind developers of receiving a "back-room deal" for the 24 square miles of state controlled property to be used in the proposed project.[89] However, Romney has voiced support for wind projects in Princeton, Hull and other Massachusetts towns.[43]

Romney cites achieving energy independence as one of his key issues; he supports expanding alternative energy solutions including biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, and coal gasification, and is in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the outer continental shelf to find more domestic sources of oil.[44] Romney's energy plan, unveiled just five months before he leaves office, on August 11, 2006, calls for improved energy-efficiency requirements for state buildings, increased use of biofuels in the state automobile fleet, the creation of a prize-rewards lottery for consumers who buy energy-efficient equipment, and proposals for wind and biomass power-generation for state facilities.[43]

Other issues

  • The "Big Dig": During his campaign for governor, Romney proposed merging the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, the government agency that manages the Big Dig, with the Massachusetts Highway Department[90]. Under Massachusetts law the Turnpike Authority is an independent agency that does not report to the governor [91]. After being elected Governor, Romney called for the merger in 2003 and 2004 [92]. The Massachusetts legislature rejected Romney's call for consolidation. Following the discovery of leaks in the I-93 tunnel the Governor called for the resignation of Matthew Amorello, the Chairman and CEO of the Turnpike Authority [93]. Amorello refused to resign and in June of 2005, Romney asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to grant him the authority to fire Amorello. Romney was once again rebuffed as the court declined to hear his case[94]. In July of 2006 a woman was killed when a section of the I-90 roof collapsed on her car. Citing continued mismanagement of the project, Romney once again called for Amorello's dismissal and initiated legal proceedings to oust the embattled chairman. Despite calls from Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, Senate President Robert Travaglini, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, the chairman of both the house and senate transportation committees and the editorial boards of the Boston Globe and Herald, Amorello once again refused to step aside[95][96]. The Governor responded by filing emergency legislation to wrest control of the inspection of the Big Dig tunnel system from the Turnpike Authority [97]. The Massachusetts State Legislature overwhelmingly approved the legislation, which Romney signed on July 14 [98]. Romney's Department of Transportation began immediate inspections of the I-90 tunnel and pleged a "stem to stern" review of the entire Big Dig Tunnel System. Meanwhile, Romney continued his effort to fire Amorello. He scheduled a termination hearing for the Chairman for July 27th, 2006. Facing increasing pressure from associates and colleagues, Amorello resigned, effective August 16, 2006, 1 1/2 hours before the hearing was to take place. "A new era of reform and accountability at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has begun," said Romney after receiving the resignation. "Patronage will be replaced by professionalism, and secrecy will be replaced by openness." The Governor has plegeded a "nationwide" search for a replacement to lead the Turnpike Authority and the Big Dig. Since the collapse, the Securities and Exchange Commission has informally investigated whether Massachusetts Turnpike Authority bonds misled investors [99]. The SEC has requested documents relating to the Big Dig from the Turnpike Authority, the state Treasurer's office, the highway department and the Governor's executive transportation office.[100]
  • Gun control: According to his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney "is a supporter of the federal assault weapons ban. Mitt also believes in the rights of those who hunt to responsibly own and use firearms."[101] July 1st, 2002 Mitt Romney signed a permanent ban on Assault Weapons. "Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts," Romney said, at a bill signing ceremony with legislators, sportsmen's groups and gun safety advocates. "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."
  • Crime: According to statistics released by the Department of Justice the overall crime rate in Massachusetts has decreased 9% between 2002 (the year before Romney was elected) and 2005. Rates of violent crime, crimes against property, rape, aggravated assault, larceny and vehicle theft have all dropped during the same period while the murder rate has remained the same.[102] According to a review of data from the Department of Justice conducted by the Boston Phoenix, arrest rates for violent crimes have plummeted during Romney's tenure. The arrest rates for rape for the three years before Romney took office was 26%. This has fallen to 14% since then. During the same years, the arrest rate also declined sharply for the other three categories of major violent crime: the arrest rate for murder dropped from 48 percent to 26 percent; robbery, from 23 percent to 11 percent; and aggravated assault, from 48 percent to 29 percent.[103]. In July 2006 Romney offered the assistance of his state police force to municipalities dealing with increased crime rates. Romney's offers were rejected by local officials. Officials from Boston Police unions complained that "if state aid hadn't been cut in recent years, then the city's police force might be staffed adequately to handle the crime surge." [104]
  • Minimum wage: As a candidate for governor in 2002, Romney proposed indexing the minimum wage to inflation and raising the hourly pay for the state's lowest-paid workers from $6.75 an hour to $6.96 an hour starting January 2004, saying, "I do not believe that indexing the minimum wage will cost us jobs. I believe it will help us retain jobs." [105] In July 2006, the legislature passed a bill increasing the minimum wage to $8.00 an hour, and he vetoed it. "I have spent hours reading a wide array of reviews on the minimum wage and its impact on the economy, and there's no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs, and the loss of jobs is at the entry level," said Romney when he vetoed the bill.[106] He proposed an increase to $7.00/hour (which represented a 25 cents an hour increase over the existing rate.) The legislature finally voted unanimously on July 31, 2006 to override his veto.
  • William Bulger: Romney successfully pressured William Bulger to resign as President of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) on September 1, 2003. Bulger said that his resignation was the result of "a calculated political assault" on him, largely by the governor. [107] William Bulger came under pressure from Romney and others to resign after he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify when he was subpoenaed by a Congressional committee to testify about his brother, James J. Bulger, aka Whitey Bulger, one of the FBI's ten most wanted fugitives. Romney, who had called for Bulger's resignation and the elimination of the UMass presidency as a cost-cutting move, denied that he had been personally targeting the former state senate president. "The decision was not a political calculation or a personal one," Romney said in February 2003, after unveiling his plan to eliminate the president's job.[108] The Governor's aides stressed that he had not been personally targeting Bulger, saying such interpretations of Romney's actions were cynical. "I think everybody should be taken at their word," spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said. [45]
  • May 2006 flooding: In May 2006, heavy rains produced flooding in Massachusetts.[46] Romney declared a state of emergency[109], mobilized the Massachusetts National Guard,[110], called for volunteers and charitable donations to help residents,[111] and asked President Bush to declare the flooded area a major disaster area.[112]. Romney was criticized by local politicians when he vetoed $5.7 million in state funding for flood control in Peabody six months after the town was flooded April 2004.[113][114] After Peabody again suffered flooding in May of 2006, Romney announced that he now supports spending $2 million of state money on flood control for the town.[115]
  • Khatami controversy: On September 5, 2006 Governor Romney denounced Harvard University of Cambridge, Massachusetts for inviting former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to speak at the school. Khatami has been accused of being responsible for the torture of political dissidents, the continuation of the development of Iran's nuclear program and the sponsoring of Hezbollah. Romney ordered all state agencies to boycott the visit by refusing to provide state police escorts and other service typically given to former heads of state. "State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel," said Romney. Khatami was invited to speak about "Ethics of Tolerance in the Age of Violence" on September 10 - one day before the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.[116] "The U.S. State Department listed Khatami's Iran as the number one state sponsor of terrorism. Within his own country, Khatami oversaw the torture and murder of dissidents who spoke out for freedom and democracy. For him to lecture Americans about tolerance and violence is propaganda, pure and simple," said Romney, "It's very important to engage with moderate, modern Muslims, but former President Khatami is a wolf in sheep's clothing," he said.[117][118] While speaking in America, Khatami struck a moderate tone, denouncing suicide bombers and stating his belief that Israel has a right to exist. However these views sharply contrasted to comments made during his tenure as President. "In the Qur'an, God commanded to kill the wicked and those who do not see the rights of the oppressed," said Khatami in a 2000 interview on Iranian TV, "If we abide by human laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic World for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime. If we abide by the Qur'an, all of use should mobilize to kill." [119]
  • "Tar Baby": On 29 July 2006, while addressing a crowd in Iowa, Romney referred to the political risk involved with his efforts to oversee the "Big Dig" as a "tar baby." Romney was answering an audience question about whether his new responsibility for the project's safety following the death of a woman in the I-90 tunnel carried political risk. "The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can," said Romney, "But I got elected as governor of Massachusetts. It's part of my job to do what I think is the right thing." [120] "I'll get the blame for anything that goes wrong," he said. "But I'm sure tired of people who are nothing but talk. I'm willing to take action." [121] "Tar baby," a term derived from an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris, is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself."[122] The term has also been used as a derogatory term for a black person. Some Black leaders were offended by the governor's word choice. Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the governor was describing "a sticky situation." "He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he's sorry if anyone's offended," Fehrnstrom said.[123][124]
  • Housing: Romney has advocated affordable housing as a way to help the economy [47][48]. Romney has often advocated smart growth, and criticized sprawl[49]. Romney advocated increasing the number of houses in the state as a way to fight homelessness[50]. He also blamed a housing shortage as a barrier to “business growth and job creation”[51]. Romney used federal, state, and private funds to increase the number of houses within Massachusetts[52][53][54][55][56][57][58]. Romney also used his position as governor to ask towns and cities to build more houses.[59]
  • Taxes: Once elected Governor Mitt Romney informed the legislatures of his plan to balance the budget without raising taxes, saying: “I find it unbelievable to hear people in the State House talking about tax increases as an option to closing the budget gap. Raising taxes at a time of rising unemployment will hurt working families, drive companies out of Massachusetts and push our economy into an even deeper rut. Higher taxes are simply not an option for my administration, for working families or for the hundreds of businesses who are struggling. It is time for reform.”[60]. Romney also gathered those who agreed that taxes should not be raised to help pressure the legislature so as not to raise taxes, saying “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They provide jobs for our half of our workforce and stimulate our economy. Raising taxes will force them to cut jobs and will drive them out of Massachusetts to a more business-friendly state.” [61]. In June 2005 Governor Mitt Romney filed a bill to “Fix Capital Gains Error” [62] also called a “retroactive taxation” by Romney[63]. In December of 2005 he signed the bill saying: “By making this important correction we will keep faith with the taxpayers and prevent thousands of families from enduring any financial hardship from an unfair retroactive tax. I commend the Legislature for approving a solution that fixes this problem once and for all.” [64] Romney has favored gaming as a way to help balance the Massachusetts deficit saying, “During the difficult financial times we face in Massachusetts, we need to think of innovative ways how we can balance our state budget without raising taxes. If gaming operators in other states aren’t willing to reward Massachusetts for staying out of their business, we will create new competition for them right here in the Bay State[65].” Some would dispute Romney's claim that, “We have successfully closed the largest deficit in our state’s history without raising taxes”, insisting that usage fees have gone up. Romney has advocated a “New Market Tax Credit”[66], an “Investment Tax Credit”[67], a “tax-free shopping day”[68], property tax relief for Seniors [69], the manufacturing tax credit, and a reduction of the state income tax to 5 percent from 5.3 percent.[70]


The Romney Cabinet
Governor Mitt Romney 2003–2007
Lt. Governor Kerry Healey 2003–2007
Commonwealth Development Andrew Gottlieb 2006–
Transportation* John Cogliano 2005–
Housing & Community Development* Jane Wallis Gumble 1996–
Environmental Affairs* Robert W. Golledge, Jr. 2006–
Economic Development Ranch C. Kimball
Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation** Janice S. Tatarka 2006–
Business & Technology** Deborah Shufrin 2006–
Workforce Development** Jane C. Edmonds
Health and Human Services Timothy R. Murphy 2005–
Elder Affairs Jennifer Davis Carey
Labor Gayl Mileszko 2006–
Administration & Finance Thomas Trimarco 2005–
Veterans' Services Thomas G. Kelley 2003–
Public Safety & Homeland Security Robert Haas 2006–

* reports to Commonwealth Development
** reports to Economic Development

Electoral history

  • 2002 Race for Governor, Massachusetts
  • 1994 Race for U.S. Senate, Massachusetts
    • Edward Kennedy (D) (inc.), 58%
    • Mitt Romney (R), 41%
    • Lauraleigh Dozier (L), 0.7%
    • William Ferguson (Larouche was Right), 0.2%


  1. ^ Phillips, Frank and Helman, Scott. "It's 1 term for Romney; he says 'future is open'" Boston Globe, December 15, 2005), retrieved October 28, 2006.
  2. ^ "Meet Mitt Romney," Commonwealth Political Action Committee, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  3. ^ "The woman behind the man in charge of the Salt Lake Games" Cable News Network Interview transcript of February 11, 2002 08:04; retrieved October 28, 2006.
  4. ^ Miller, John J. "Matinee Mitt." National Review, June 20 2005.
  5. ^ Lewis,Raphael and Helman, Scott. "Romney Cultivating Jewish Ties" Boston Globe, November 8, 2005, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  6. ^ Pappu, Sridhar. "The Holy Cow! Candidate", The Atlantic Monthly, September 2005, retrieved October 28, 2006
  7. ^ "About Bain". Bain & Company, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  8. ^ "Mitt Romney". The official website of the Governor of Massachusetts, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  9. ^ "Salt Lake Olympics rocked by resignations, evidence of payments", January 8, 1999, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  10. ^ a b Call, Jeff "'The Fire Within" BYU Magazine, Winter 2002, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  11. ^ Rice, Lewis. "Games Saver" Harvard Law Bulletin, Sping 2002, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  12. ^ Pierce, Scott D. "NBC chairman Ebersol sings Romney's praises" Deseret News February 25, 2002, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  13. ^ Mineta, Norman "Remarks for the Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary of Transportation, Winter Olypic and Paralympic Games, Press Conference Opening Statment" U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, March 14, 2002, retrieved October 28, 2006
  14. ^ Bush, George W. "President Congratulates Olympic and Paralympic Athletes: Remarks by the President to the Olympians and Paralympians", Office of the Press Secretary, April 23, 2002, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  15. ^ Eastland, Terry "In 2008, Will It Be Mormon in America?" The Weekly Standard June 6, 2005, retrieved October 28, 2006.
  16. ^ Gizzi, John "Romney and Rebellion" Human Events Publishing, May 17, 2004; retrieved October 29, 2004
  17. ^ Gordon, Al. "Kennedy in Fight Of His Political Life" Newsday (Nassau and Suffolk edition), pg. A04, October 2, 1994; retrieved October 29, 2006.
  18. ^ Taranto, James. "Latter-day President?: A Mitt Romney candidacy would test the religious right" The Wall Street Journal Saturday, December 31, 2005; retrieved October 29, 2006.
  19. ^ Associated Press. "Massachusetts' first female governor takes office, under heavy statewide scrutiny" The Daily Texan, April 11, 2001; retrieved October 29, 2006.
  20. ^ Frank, Mitch. "Jane Swift Takes One For the Team:The Massachusetts GOP took a risk by choosing Mitt Romney over the more progressive Swift. Will their decision come back to haunt them?" Time Magazine, Mar. 21, 2002; retrieved Octover 29, 2006.
  21. ^ Berwick Jr, Bob and Roch, Lisa Riley. "Boston GOP beseeching Mitt: But hero of S.L. Games is coy about his future" Deseret News, February 22, 2002; retrieved November 1, 2006.
  22. ^ "Swift exits, Romney joins Mass. governor's race" Cable News Network, March 19, 2002; retrieved October 30, 2006.
  23. ^ Mcelhenny, John (Associated Press) "Romney defends right to run for governor" Portsmouth Herald", Tuesday, June 18, 2002, retrieved November 1, 2006.
  24. ^ Belluck, Pam. "Massachusetts Ballot Panel Allows Race By Republican" New York Times (Abstract) (Page A-17, Col. 4), June 26, 2002, retrieved Nombermber 1, 2006.
  25. ^ "Vote 2002: Massachusetts Governor's Race" PBS Online News Hour (No Date); retrieved November 1, 2006.
  26. ^ "Gabrieli surpasses spending record" Brian C. Mooney Boston Globe; August 22, 2006, Retreived November 20, 2006.
  27. ^ "2002 Election Results, Govornor" '; retrieved November 1, 2006.
  28. ^ Bradley, Nina "Is Romney ready for the big time?: Mass. Gov. gets plum prime-time speaking spot during convention MSNBC, Aug 29, 2004; retrieved October 29, 2006
  29. ^ Commonwealth Political Action Committee
  30. ^ Bedard, Paul. "There's More Than Buzz About Mitt" U.S. News and World Report, October 17, 2006; retrieved October 30, 2006.
  31. ^ Crook, Clive. "The Massachusetts Experiment", The Atlantic, 2006-06-27. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  32. ^ Romney often casts himself as budget hero; But speeches omit some important detail. Greenberger, Scott S. (Boston Globe). Retrieved on October 28, 2006.
  33. ^ Lehigh, Scot. "Kennedy, Romney battle for the middle." Boston Globe, October 10, 1994.
  34. ^ Rimer, Sara. "Perfect Anti-Kennedy' Opposes the Senator." The New York Times, October 25, 1994.
  35. ^ "ROMNEY SIGNS LAW PROTECTING ARMED SERVICE MEMBERS; Prevents employers from discriminating against members of Guard and Reserve" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of September 23, 2004; retrieved November 13, 2006
  36. ^ "ROMNEY APPOINTS STATE’S 1ST SECRETARY OF VETERANS’ SERVICES; commissioner Kelley’s elevation to cabinet honors veterans and their contributions" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of August 28, 2003; retrieved November 13, 2006
  37. ^ Little, Amanda Griscom. "Mitt Romney's mistake: Bowing to big business, the GOP governor and presidential hopeful flip-flops on clean air for New England.", Jan. 28, 2006.
  38. ^ Daley, Beth. "States to move on cutting emissions: reluctant Mass may be left behind," Boston Globe, December 2, 2005.
  39. ^ Greenberger, Scot S. "7 states sign emissions pact: Mass. legislators urge compliance," Boston Globe, December 21, 2005.
  40. ^ Daley, Beth. ""Estimate to fix state parks system leaps"", Boston Globe, 2006-11-12. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  41. ^ Badkhen, Anna. "Residents upset over Cape Cod wind-farm plan", San Francisco Chronicle, 2004-11-21. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  42. ^ Komp, Catherine. "Cape Cod Wind Farm Could Face Romney Veto", New Standard, 2006-04-21. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  43. ^ a b Johnson, Glen. "Romney outlines energy plan mixing conservation, alternate supply", Boston Globe, 2006-08-11. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  44. ^ Ypesen, David. "Yepsen: So far, Romney's been most impressive Republican", Des Moines Register, 2006-07-11. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  45. ^ Healy, Patrick and Lewis, Raphael. Globe Staff. "Governor Wants `Open' UMASS Hunt - Critics Say His Interest Shows He Was Out To Get Bulger" Boston Globe Aug 8, 2003, Metro/Region: page A1.
  46. ^ Brian MacQuarrie and John R. Ellement, Misery Follows Flood's Havoc, Boston Globe, May 17, 2006.
  47. ^ "ROMNEY ENCOURAGES CITIES AND TOWNS TO BUILD MORE HOUSING" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of 3-11-2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  48. ^ "ROMNEY, MENINO ANNOUNCE NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING Spur Development of the Former Boston State Hospital" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of May 22, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  49. ^ "ROMNEY JOINS ARCHBISHOP O'MALLEY FOR NEW LYNN HOUSING Redevelopment at former St. Jean Baptiste site to result in 38 new affordable homes" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of December 12, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  50. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $58.9 MILLION FOR NEW HOUSING Awards to spur 893 new homes with 178 units affordable to low-income families" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of December 5, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  51. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $8.9 MILLION TO CREATE 825 MORE HOMES" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of October 1, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  52. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $17.6 MILLION TO CREATE MORE HOUSING; Tax credits, grants and low-interest loans to produce over 548 rental apartments" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of August 25, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  53. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $1.5M FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM; Funds promote homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of November 12, 2004; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  54. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $58.9 MILLION FOR NEW HOUSING; Awards to spur 893 new homes with 178 units affordable to low-income families" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of November 12, 2004; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  55. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $8.9 MILLION TO CREATE 825 MORE HOMES" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of October 1, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  56. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $17.6 MILLION TO CREATE MORE HOUSING; Tax credits, grants and low-interest loans to produce over 548 rental apartments" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of August 25, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  57. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES $1.5M FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM; Funds promote homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of November 12, 2004; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  58. ^ "ROMNEY AWARDS $1.4M TO PROMOTE NEW HOUSING ON CAPE COD; Marstons Mills project to offer 30 new home ownership opportunities" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of October 21, 2004; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  59. ^ "ROMNEY ENCOURAGES CITIES AND TOWNS TO BUILD MORE HOUSING; Proposes $50 million in local aid incentives in FY 2005 to spur housing creation" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of March 11, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  60. ^ "ROMNEY TO LEGISLATURE: RESIST URGE TO RAISE TAXES; Lauds Analogic Corporation on record job growth" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of April 28, 2003; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  61. ^ "ROMNEY, SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AGREE: DON’T RAISE TAXES" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of April 22, 2003; retrieved November 5th, 2006.
  62. ^ "ROMNEY FILES LEGISLATION TO “FIX” CAPITAL GAINS ERROR; CITIZENS WILL GET REFUNDS, NOT RETROACTIVE TAX BILLS" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of June 10, 2005; retrieved October 31, 2006.
  63. ^ "ROMNEY PROPOSES TAX FIX TO PREVENT RETROACTIVE TAXATION" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of November 18, 2005; retrieved November 5, 2006.
  64. ^ "ROMNEY SIGNS BILL ABOLISHING RETROACTIVE TAX" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of December 8, 2005; retrieved November 5, 2006.
  65. ^ "ROMNEY UNVEILS $22.858 BILLION FISCAL YEAR 2004 SPENDING PLAN" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of February 26, 2003; retrieved November 6, 2006.
  66. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES NEW JOBS INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND REVITALIZATION" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of July 24, 2003; retrieved November 6, 2006.
  67. ^ "ROMNEY ANNOUNCES EXTENSION OF INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of June 25, 2003; retrieved November 6, 2006.
  68. ^ "ROMNEY PROMOTES TAX-FREE SHOPPING DAY ON SATURDAY" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of August 11, 2004; retrieved November 6, 2006.
  69. ^ "ROMNEY PROPOSES C.H.O.I.C.E. TAX RELIEF PROGRAM FOR SENIORS" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of March 30, 2005; retrieved November 6, 2006.
  70. ^ "ROMNEY CALLS FOR TAX CUT AS REVENUES COME FLOODING IN" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department Press Release transcript of October 3, 2005; retrieved November 6, 2006.


Speeches: Multimedia and transcripts


Articles about Mitt Romney

Financial Information

Romney Sites - National

Romney Sites - By State

Romney Sites - By Organization


Political Offices
  Massachusetts Republican Party gubernatorial candidate
2002 (won)
  Governor of Massachusetts
January 2, 2003 - present
Current governors of states and territories of the United States
AK: Frank Murkowski
AL: Bob Riley
AR: Mike Huckabee
AZ: Janet Napolitano
CA: Arnold Schwarzenegger
CO: Bill Owens
CT: Jodi Rell
DE: Ruth Ann Minner
FL: Jeb Bush
GA: Sonny Perdue
HI: Linda Lingle
IA: Tom Vilsack
ID: Jim Risch
IL: Rod Blagojevich
IN: Mitch Daniels
KS: Kathleen Sebelius
KY: Ernie Fletcher
LA: Kathleen Blanco
MA: Mitt Romney
MD: Robert Ehrlich
ME: John Baldacci
MI: Jennifer Granholm
MN: Tim Pawlenty
MO: Matt Blunt
MS: Haley Barbour
MT: Brian Schweitzer
NC: Mike Easley
ND: John Hoeven
NE: Dave Heineman
NH: John Lynch
NJ: Jon Corzine
NM: Bill Richardson
NV: Kenny Guinn
NY: George Pataki
OH: Bob Taft
OK: Brad Henry
OR: Ted Kulongoski
PA: Ed Rendell
RI: Donald Carcieri
SC: Mark Sanford
SD: Mike Rounds
TN: Phil Bredesen
TX: Rick Perry
UT: Jon Huntsman
VA: Tim Kaine
VT: Jim Douglas
WA: Chris Gregoire
WI: Jim Doyle
WV: Joe Manchin
WY: Dave Freudenthal

AS: Togiola Tulafono
DC: Anthony A. Williams (Mayor)
GU: Felix Camacho
MP: Benigno Fitial
PR: Aníbal Acevedo Vilá
VI: Charles Turnbull


Mitt Romney Thinks He's The Greatest

While we're on the subject of conservative wack-jobs, we've just read over this article detailing soon-to-be ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's vow to win, hearts of America's GOPpers. His main competition? Why, Senator John McCain and Rudy Guiliani, of course.

Playing the political game like a pro (because, quite frankly, he is), Romney conceded that Guiliani has potential. As for McCain? Well, not so much...

Romney was less charitable to McCain, who on Sunday told ABC News: “I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states.” McCain also said, “I believe that gay marriage should not be legal.”

Romney seized on the remarks.

“That’s his position, and in my opinion, it’s disingenuous,” he said. “Look, if somebody says they’re in favor of gay marriage, I respect that view. If someone says — like I do — that I oppose same–sex marriage, I respect that view. But those who try and pretend to have it both ways, I find it to be disingenuous.”

We agree - that ain't nothing but political double-speak. But, of course, Romney's not immune to such demogoguery. Consider this snippet from a Bay Windows article penned by Susan Ryan-Vollmar on good ol' Mitt's faggotry flip-flop.

When Romney ran...for the Senate in 1994, he wrote a letter to the Mass Log Cabin Club in which he pledged: “[A]s we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.” During the same campaign, when he was accused of having once described gay people as “perverse” during a religious meeting of Mormons, Romney’s campaign issued a forceful statement decrying the accusation as false and reiterating that Romney respected “all people regardless of their race, creed, or sexual orientation.”

During his 2001 run for governor, his campaign distributed bright pink flyers at the June Pride parade declaring “Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend!” During his inaugural speech, he said it was important to defend civil rights “regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race.” He appointed eight openly gay and lesbian people to high profile positions in his administration. And before he decided to run for president — that is to say, before he needed to establish some strong anti-gay bonafides — Romney doubled the budget line item for the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.

Of course, now that he's got an eye on the White House, Romney's singing a different tune, evidenced by his repeated attacks on gay marriage and nauseatingly anti-gay budget cuts.

Romney plans campaign base in North End

Governor Mitt Romney, erasing any doubt that he intends to make a White House bid in 2008, is laying plans to run his presidential campaign from a three-story waterfront building at the edge of Boston's North End, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the proposed deal.

Romney's decision to base his campaign in Boston would end speculation that the governor, who often pokes fun at Massachusetts' liberal reputation before out-of-state Republican audiences, was looking to put his headquarters in his native Michigan, a more politically moderate state where his father was a three-term governor.

Developers plan to eventually demolish the vacant, gray-and-tan building at 585 Commercial St. to make room for an eight-story, 62-unit, luxury condominium tower. But that project is still in the early stages, and Romney is expected to base his campaign operations in the existing building in the meantime, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the governor's bid for the site.

Romney's campaign team has not finalized a deal for the space yet, the sources said, but an agreement is expected soon. Romney has said he intends to make an official announcement after the first of the year about whether he will run for president in 2008.

Jared Young, a spokesman for Romney's political action committee, the Commonwealth PAC, refused to comment on whether Romney plans to rent space at the Commercial Street property. He said the governor had not made up his mind about 2008.

"The governor hasn't made any decision yet and has said that he won't until after the holidays and he talks with his family," Young said. "All of this is predicated on what decision he makes."

But Romney has made many moves in recent months signaling that he is likely to run for president, including an announcement Monday that Warren Tompkins, a veteran Republican operative in South Carolina, has joined his political team as a top adviser for the Southeast. Tompkins, who worked for President Bush when Bush first ran in 2000, helped engineer attacks against US Senator John McCain of Arizona that helped end McCain's candidacy. McCain, along with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, has already set up an exploratory committee to test the waters for 2008 and could emerge as Romney's chief rival in the primaries.

Today, the PAC plans to announce other political advisers who will be joining Romney's team.

Romney will be in Miami today for the annual conference of the Republican Governors Association, the organization he has led over the past year. Romney, who made stops yesterday at political events in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Jackson, Miss., will hand over the chairmanship to Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia at the session and is also expected to hold private meetings about his presidential plans.

The Republican Governors Association conference, held this year at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, occurs less than a month after Republicans lost six governorships to the Democrats in the midterm elections. Though the real politicking at such conferences happens behind closed doors, public events this year include an address by outgoing Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman and a speech by Google's chief executive officer Eric Schmidt.

But the presence of Romney, his potential 2008 rival Mike Huckabee, governor of Arkansas , and Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, who is viewed by some as a potential vice presidential pick, promises to add some political intrigue.

The Commercial Street building was built by the federal government in the 1960s and housed the US Food and Drug Administration. More recently, the building has been home to the Boston law firm Prince Lobel Glovsky & Tye and high-end home furnisher Roche-Bobois.

The condominium tower proposed for the site would, according to plans on file with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, feature one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units and 135 parking spaces in an underground garage. The ground floor would have a restaurant and bar, a spa, fitness center, lap pool, and inn.

But the project has drawn opposition in the North End, with some residents arguing that it would accelerate gentrification in their neighborhood. Romney, whose PAC currently leases space in the Old City Hall on School Street, would be able to base his political operation there while the developers contend with the residents' opposition and go through state and local permitting.

Documents on file with the secretary of state's office list CrossHarbor Capital Partners, a Boston real estate investment firm, as part of the development team for 585 Commercial St. William H. Kremer, a managing partner at the company, declined to comment yesterday.

Scott Helman can be reached at

Romney reaches for Reagan touch

The day after the midterm elections, Governor Mitt Romney, reflecting on the GOP's punishing losses, issued a clarion call to conservatives: "We must return to the common-sense Reagan Republican ideals."

Three days later, at a State House Veterans Day ceremony, Romney invoked the former president again, saying, "As Ronald Reagan once said, 'I have seen four wars during my lifetime and none of them began because America was too strong.' "

And then last Friday, asked by a Fox News interviewer whether he was running for president, Romney said he was giving it some serious thought, because the stakes were so high. "We're going to have to make sure that we have the kind of Reagan optimism that America's looking for," he said.

Romney's repeated references to the nation's 40th president in two weeks illustrate how the governor, as he builds toward a 2008 presidential bid, is increasingly trying to cast himself in the Reagan mold -- as a patriotic, small-government conservative from outside the Beltway who's bent on repelling taxes, moral relativism, and foreign threats.

Like many Republicans, Romney has long described Reagan as one of his heroes, but as the governor's White House hopes have gained steam, his admiration has turned to emulation: Romney seems to be channeling the former president's conservative convictions, his hopeful message, and even his witty, folksy style of connecting with voters from South Carolina to Southern California.

There are many similarities between the two: Reagan and Romney portrayed themselves as bulwarks against the perils of liberalism in their home states -- Reagan in California, Romney in Massachusetts. Both have benefited from their Hollywood looks. Both have had experience in working with Democratic legislatures.

"Reagan was able to run against Washington, including people in his own party in Washington, by talking about what he achieved as governor and saying he would take those ideas to Washington," said Republican strategist Charlie Black, who was a senior Reagan adviser. "Romney can do the same thing."

Like other potential GOP candidates, Romney is also negotiating a delicate relationship with the legacy of President Bush, who is respected by Republicans for his tough tactics in fighting terrorism but continues to be plagued by low job-approval ratings. Reagan's legacy, by contrast, is seen by Republicans as largely unassailable.

While Republican presidential hopefuls routinely try to claim the mantle of Reagan conservatism, Black said, Romney can make a good case, in large part because of his charisma and his ability to give a stirring speech. Black said he hears observers of the 2008 race describe Romney as "Reagan esque."

Romney's message on the stump often carries echoes of Reagan, who died in 2004.

Consider the acceptance speech Reagan gave in July 1980 after he won the Republican nomination for president.


None of this may matter much. Most of the Democratic candidates lack military experience, too. But when the most belligerent Republicans start to beat the war drums, it's important to look at what they're trying to hide.

Consider Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has remained among the most vocal supporters of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He never hesitates to suggest that politicians with differing opinions simply lack guts. When he spoke at the 2004 Republican convention, he gleefully insinuated that Democratic nominee John Kerry lacked the fortitude to combat terrorism. Now he denigrates the supposedly spineless Democrats running for president in 2008.

But he has always confined his enthusiasm for war to podium speeches and position papers. Born in 1944, young Rudy was highly eligible for military service when he reached his 20s during the Vietnam War. He did not volunteer for combat -- as Kerry did -- and instead found a highly creative way to dodge the draft.

During his years as an undergraduate at Manhattan College and then at New York University Law School, Giuliani qualified for a student deferment. Upon graduation from law school in 1968, he lost that temporary deferment and his draft status reverted to 1-A, the designation awarded to those most qualified for induction into the Army.

At the same time, Giuliani won a clerkship with federal Judge Lloyd McMahon in the fabled Southern District of New York, where he would become the United States attorney. He naturally had no desire to trade his ticket on the legal profession's fast track for latrine duty in the jungle. So he quickly applied for another deferment based on his judicial clerkship. This time the Selective Service System denied his claim.

That was when the desperate Giuliani prevailed upon his boss to write to the draft board, asking them to grant him a fresh deferment and reclassification as an "essential" civilian employee. As the great tabloid columnist Jimmy Breslin noted 20 years later, during the former prosecutor's first campaign for mayor: "Giuliani did not attend the war in Vietnam because federal Judge Lloyd MacMahon [sic] wrote a letter to the draft board in 1969 and got him out. Giuliani was a law clerk for MacMahon, who at the time was hearing Selective Service cases. MacMahon's letter to Giuliani's draft board stated that Giuliani was so necessary as a law clerk that he could not be allowed to get shot at in Vietnam."

His clerkship ended the following year but his luck held firm. By then President Nixon had transformed the Selective Service into a lottery system, and despite Rudy's renewed 1-A status, he drew a high lottery number and was never drafted.

Today Giuliani's problem is not avoiding military service but explaining how and why he avoided it. A spokesperson for the candidate recently told New York magazine that he "has made it clear that if he had been called up, he would have served," which doesn't quite expiate his strenuous efforts to make sure that never happened. Giuliani opposed the Vietnam War for "strategic and tactical" reasons as well, according to his flack. Of course, that sounds much like the bipartisan dissent against the Iraq war that he now dismisses so contemptuously.

If Giuliani has a draft problem, Romney's may be even worse. The former Massachusetts governor, whose supporters object strenuously to any discussion of his religious beliefs, got his military service deferred thanks to the Mormon church.

Like Giuliani and millions of other young American men at the time, Romney started out with student deferments. But he left Stanford after only two semesters in 1966 and would have become eligible for the draft -- except that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Michigan, his home state, provided him with a fresh deferment as a missionary. According to an excellent investigative series that appeared last month in the Boston Globe, that deferment, which described Romney as a "minister of religion or divinity student," protected him from the draft between July 1966 and February 1969, when he enrolled in Brigham Young University to complete his undergraduate degree. Mormons in each state could select a limited number of young men upon whom to confer missionary status during the Vietnam years, and Romney was fortunate enough to be chosen. (Coincidentally, or possibly not, Mitt's father, George W. Romney, was governor of Michigan at the time.)

Now Romney echoes Giuliani by asserting that if he had been called, he would have served. "I was supportive of my country," he told Globe reporter Michael Kranish. "I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam." Perhaps. But it is hard to blame Romney for choosing missionary work over military service. After all, the Mormons didn't send him to proselytize in the slums of the Philippines, Guatemala or Kenya.

They sent him to France.


Romney: Iowa Straw Poll Win Not Hollow

Aug 13, 11:09 AM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Sunday that low turnout and the absence of some notable opponents shouldn't diminish his win in Iowa's Republican Party Straw Poll.

Romney said the straw poll did just what it was designed to do: Let candidates demonstrate support that could propel them to victory in the state's caucuses this winter.

He maintained that the decisions by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona to skip the event demonstrated his campaign's strength.

"I think if they thought they could have won, they would have been here," Romney said on Fox News Sunday. "If you can't compete in the heartland, if you can't compete in Iowa in August, how are you going to compete in January when the caucuses are held, and how are you going to compete in November of '08?"

Romney had been expected to win the test, largely an exercise reflecting a candidate's organizational strengths, because he spent millions of dollars and months of effort on the event.

Romney scored 4,516 votes, 31.5 percent, to outpace former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who had 2,587 votes, 18.1 percent. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback was third with 2,192 votes, 15.3 percent.

While Romney won handily, Huckabee argued it was his second place finish that should be the most important story coming out of the straw poll. Huckabee said his campaign had little money to spend and dedicated less than $100,000 to the straw poll.

"It wasn't just that we surprised people with a second showing, it's that we did it with so few resources," Huckabee said Sunday. "This really was feeding the 5,000 with two fish and five loaves."

Brownback and Huckabee had waged a fierce competition for the loyalty of influential social and religious conservatives.

Eight years ago, about 23,600 people voted in the straw poll. On Saturday, only about 14,300 did. Romney attributed the turnout to heat and the expectation that he would be a runaway victor.

"I got a higher percentage even than the president got eight years ago," Romney said. "It was a warm day, and actually, it was difficult turning people out."

Brownback called his third-place finish "a ticket on board to the caucuses" and downplayed Romney's victory.

"I think Mitt Romney has probably hit on top of his ceiling," said Brownback on ABC's "This Week."

Huckabee said his victory catapulted him to the top tier of candidates. He said those who declined to participate in the straw poll did not want to be embarrassed by a poor showing.

"What they did was forfeit the game," Huckabee said on CBS' Face the Nation. "If you forfeit, it's a loss. They knew they weren't going to do well with Iowa voters because Iowa voters tend to be far more conservative."

Historically, the straw poll has helped winnow the field of presidential candidates. Prior to the event, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson had said repeatedly that if he didn't finish in the top two his campaign was likely to end.

"Candidates who finish in the bottom half of the straw poll should withdraw from the race and support the rest of the field," Thompson said on his campaign Web site in June.

Thompson finished in 6th place with 1,039 votes, which put him behind Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

He left the event before the results were announced. In Milwaukee, his campaign said Thompson would make an announcement about his future within 48 hours.


AP writer Mike Glover in Iowa contributed to this report.

Bob Jones III endorses Romney saying: “As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism. But I’m not voting for a preacher.”

9:42 am Christian Right and GOP, Christian Right -Local News-Bob Jones III endorses Romney for president - 10/16/2007

Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of the fundamentalist Christian university that bears his name, is looking past his religious differences with Gov. Mitt Romney and endorsing the Mormon for the Republican nomination for president, he told The Greenville News today.

“This is all about beating Hillary,” Jones said. “And I just believe that this man has the credentials both personally and ideologically in terms of his view about what American government should be to best represent the rank and file of conservative Americans.

“If it turns out to be Guiliani and Hillary, we’ve got two pro- choice candidates, and that would be a disaster.”

Asked whether Romney’s religion was a stumbling block for him, Jones replied, “What is the alternative, Hillary’s lack of religion or an erroneous religion?

“As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism,” he said. “But I’m not voting for a preacher. I’m voting for a president. It boils down to who can best represent conservative American beliefs, not religious beliefs.”…

“As Christians we should not endorse a cult member as our president,” Wayne Owens Sr., a self-described rank-and-file conservative Christian said in an e-mail to The News. “Bob Jones’ basic premise is in error. It is not about beating Hillary. It’s about doing what is right.”