Mitt Romney on Principles & Values

Former Republican Governor (MA); presidential nominee-apparent

47% don't pay taxes; but my campaign is about the 100%

Q: You talk about the 47% of Americans who don't pay taxes and depend on the government; and you also talk about your concern that Hispanics don't vote for your party.

A: This is a campaign about the 100%. Politics has driven us apart in some respect. So my campaign is about the 100% of America. And I'm concerned about them. I'm concerned about the fact that over the past four years life has become harder for Americans. More people have fallen into poverty. More people we just learned have had to go onto food stamps. When the President took office 32 million people were on food stamps. Today 47 million people are on food stamps. Now I know that I'm not going to get 100% of the vote. And my campaign will focus on those people we think we can bring in to support me. But this is a campaign about helping people who need help. I have a record. I've demonstrated my capacity to help the 100%.

Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News) , Sep 19, 2012

OpEd: Majority are fiscal conservatives and social liberals

Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for President, says of Romney's social conservatism, "The majority of Americans are classical liberals-fiscal conservatives and social liberals-who believe that the best government is the government that rules the least," referring to the libertarian approach to social issues over Romney's social conservatism. Johnson disagrees with many of Romney's social policies; our OnTheIssues book details both their stances, side-by-side, on issues like: This book details the issue stances of the presidential nominees from the four leading parties: Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian.
Source: Paperback: Obama-Romney-Stein-Johnson On The Issues , Aug 11, 2012

OpEd: Turnaround specialist when nation needs one

Romney's whole demeanor is meant to convey that he is ready. If he could take over now, he would. Just give him the keys to the White House. After all, he's been preparing for this moment--his moment--all his life. Many politicians say that. Or have it said about them. In Mitt Romney's case, to a remarkable degree, it happens to be true.

He is a turnaround specialist running to lead a nation that desperately needs one. In his narrative, President Barack Obama has steered the country into a ditch, and Mitt Romney is the only one capable of yanking it out. Mr. Fix-it, reporting for duty. He's already fixed his approach as a candidate, self-assured and savvy where he was often slipshod and self-defeating in 2008.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 1-2 , Jan 17, 2012

1994: donated milk for years to Shelter for Homeless Vets

In 1994, Romney courted voters at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. After giving his pitch, Romney asked the center's director, Ken Smith, what his biggest problem was. Smith said that the high price of milk was killing their budget. And they went through a lot of milk, some 1,000 pints a day. Romney attempted a joke: why don't you just teach the veteran's how to milk cows? Then he was out the door. Smith was stunned.

But several days later, Smith got a phone call from Romney, who told Smith he wanted to cover part of the shelter's milk costs, and he didn't want any publicity for it. Smith didn't know exactly how Romney had done it--he figured Romney had arranged something with one of the shelter's milk suppliers. But now, instead of paying for 1,000 pints a day, the shelter was paying for just 500. And it wasn't just some political stratagem. "It happened for a long period of time." Smith said he understood that Romney was still supporting the shelter when Smith left in 1996.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.189-190 , Jan 17, 2012

Business entrepreneurialism is leadership experience

Q: [to Santorum]: You have said we don't need a CEO or a manager as president?

SANTORUM: We need a leader, someone who has the experience to go out and be the commander-in-chief.

Q: Were you talking about Gov. Romney?

SANTORUM: Yeah, of course. Business experience doesn't necessarily match up with being the commander-in-chief.

ROMNEY: People who spend their life in Washington don't understand what happens out in the real economy. They think that people who start businesses are just managers. Entrepreneurs that start a business from the ground up and get customers and get investors and hire people to join them, those people are leaders. And the chance to lead in free enterprise is extraordinarily critical to also being able to lead a state, like I led in Massachusetts, and, by the way, lead the Olympics. My experience is in leadership. I wish people in Washington had experience in the real economy first, before they went there, and they'd understand some of the real lessons of leadership.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Paid college students 10% of dollars fundraised for him

In 2007 Team Romney reported a whopping $23 million in contributions during the first quarter, outpacing Giuliani by $5 million and McCain by more than $7 million. His big contributors: two distant but rich networks-- Wall Street and members of the Mormon Church.

Around this time, Mitt also offered to pay energetic college students 10 percent of every dollar they raised for him, an intriguing scheme that would give young people incentives to work for him for the duration. Is this the kind of stunning out-of-the-box, preemptive thinking and action we could expect from the nation's first latter-day entrepreneur president, not to mention its wealthiest?

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p.159-160 , Nov 22, 2011

Bipartisanship worked in MA; we looked beyond elections

Q: You've shown that you can work with Democrats. When you were governor, you collaborated with Ted Kennedy on the health care plan that you enacted. You raised fees to balance the budget, and you used that as an argument to get the credit rating of your state upgraded.

A: Thanks for reminding everybody.

Q: Independent voters might like that. Should Republican primary voters be nervous about it?

A: You know, what I found is, in a state like mine where 85% of my legislature was Democrat--to get anything done--I was always in an away game, if you will. And to get something done, I had to see if there were Democrats who cared more about the state than they cared about their re-election or their party, and there were. And right now, America faces a crisis. I think people on both sides of the aisle recognize that this is no longer a time just for worrying about the next election. This is a time to worry about America.

Source: 2011 CNBC GOP Primary debate in Rochester MI , Nov 9, 2011

Me & Tea Party are both for small government & low spending

Q: Are you a member of the Tea Party?

ROMNEY: I don't think you carry cards in the Tea Party. I believe in a lot of what the Tea Party believes in. The Tea Party believes that government's too big, and taxing too much. I put together a plan with a whole series of points of how we can get America's economy going again. Tea Party people like that. So if the Tea Party is for keeping government small and spending down, and helping us create jobs, then, hey, I'm for the Tea Party.

Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library , Sep 7, 2011

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom

[In 2008, Romney made a speech on his Mormon religious beliefs, as John F. Kennedy had in 1960 on his Catholic religious beliefs]. Like Kennedy, Romney Mitt praised all Americans' freedom to worship as they choose. Like Kennedy, he also declared that "no authority of my church, or of any other church, for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions." But unlike Kennedy, he spoke out strongly for America's religious heritage, and how it continues to define us as a nation:

The nations' founders discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.185-186 , Nov 23, 2010

Hard times made us the people we are today

Today the US faces daunting challenges, and I am convinced that if we confront them and overcome them, we will remain a strong and leading nation. Just like individuals, companies, and human enterprises of every kind, nations that are undaunted by the challenges they face become stronger. Those that shrink from difficult tasks become weaker. Consider our nation's history and the strength we developed as we faced our greatest threats.

I can remember only one time during my life when most Americans presumed that we didn't really have any great challenges. It was during the period that largely coincided with the Bill Clinton presidency. Bush & Reagan had pushed the Soviet Union to the wall and won. Here at home, there was talk of a "new economy" that sent the bulls running on Wall Street. In some ways, we advanced as a nation on these years. The Internet boomed, and the pockets of millions of Americans grew deeper. But did these years of ease make us stronger, more free or secure nation?

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 7-9 , Mar 2, 2010

America is freedom and freedom must be strong

Compared with workers in European countries, those in America have greater opportunities at work for taking initiative, take greater pride in their jobs, and have higher levels of satisfaction not only with their jobs but also with their lives. So promoting innovation and productivity undergirds a good share of our happiness.

But there is much more that compels us to pursue a productivity and growth agendas--it is essential to preserve the America we know. For if Washington were to continue to depart from this strategy, acting in ways that depress productivity and growth, America would decline. We would be surpassed as the world's leader, and lament as freedom is stealthily stripped from our descendants and from our friends around the world. It was not for this that the Founding Fathers established the nation, nor for this that hundreds of thousands of our brave men and women shed their blood. America is freedom, and freedom must be strong.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.149 , Mar 2, 2010

The "Party of No" is ok when it comes to spending

The president accuses us of being the party of no. It's as if he thinks that by saying no, it's by definition a bad thing. In fact, it's right and praiseworthy to say no to bad things. It's right to say no to Cap-and-trade, no to Card Check, no to government healthcare, no to higher taxes.

Our party can never be a rubber stamp for rubber-stamp spending. But before we move away from this "No" epithet that the Democrats are fond of trying to apply to us, let's ask the Obama folks why they say no: no to a balanced budget, no to reforming entitlements, no to malpractice reform, no to missile defense in eastern Europe, no to tax cuts. You see, we conservatives don't have a corner on saying no. We're just the ones who say it when it's the right thing to say.

Source: Speech to 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 20, 2010

Opportunity is what lets hope become reality

We strengthen our people & our economy when we preserve and promote opportunity. Opportunity is what lets hope become reality. Opportunity expands when there’s excellence and choice in education, when taxes are lowered, when every citizen has affordable, portable health insurance, and when constitutional freedoms are preserved. Opportunity arises when children are raised in homes and schools free from pornography, promiscuity, and drugs, blessed with family values and the presence of a mom and a dad.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 4, 2008

Liberals replace opportunity with dependency on government

America cannot long lead the nations if we fail the family at home. Liberals would replace opportunity with dependency on government largesse. They grow government and raise taxes to put more people on Medicaid, to take work requirements out of welfare, and to grow the ranks of those who pay no taxes at all. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking, and opportunity. It’s time to stop the spread of government dependency and fight it like the poison it is. It’s time for big ideas, not Big Brother.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 4, 2008

Favor justices like Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas

Q: Was Sandra Day O’Connor the right choice?

A: I would have favored justices like Roberts and Alito, Scalia and Thomas. I like justices that follow the Constitution, do not make law from the bench. I would have much rather had a justice of that nature.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

People look to governors, not senators, for a leader

Q: Is McCain a better leader in terms of the economy?

A: No. He’s a fine man and a man I respect, and I particularly respect his service in the military and his integrity and courage for our nation. I do believe that as people over the centuries have considered who ought to lead our country, they don’t look to senators. They look to governors. And they look to governors because they have the experience of being executive leaders. They’re actually leading something. They’re making something happening. They’re running something. They’re leading an organization. Senators and congressmen are fine people, but they’re legislators. They sit in committees. They’re committee chairs. They call that leadership. In my view, the key leadership of my life was 25 years in the private sector, helping build business, turn a business around, start a business successfully, then going off to the Olympics, helping turn the Olympics around. You don’t do that as a manager; you do that as a leader.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

I’m proud of my experience as a leader

We shouldn’t demean the people starting up small or middle-sized businesses, or people who run volunteer organizations. They’re leaders. You can’t go out & hire managers to run these things. These are people who are leading our economy. They help lift ou country. In order to have somebody fix our economy and strengthen it, we have to have a strong economy--you’ve got to have somebody who’s actually done some work in the private economy, who understands how it works. I went on to become a governor. As a governor, you’re also a leader. You’re the commander-in-chief of your National Guard. You’re in charge of the state police, and, in my case, of tens of thousands of employees. You work with the legislature to get the job done. I’m proud of my experience as a leader, and I will use that leadership skill, which has honed my sense of judgment, temperament, wisdom, decision making capacity, & ability to deliberate on tough issues, to make sure that we have the right kind of leadership in the White House.
Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Abraham Lincoln was not a military expert

Q: What makes you more qualified than McCain to run the military as commander-in-chief?

A: I’m sure that are those who’d say, to be the commander-in-chief you have to serve in the military. I don’t believe that you have to have served in the military t be a great commander-in-chief or to be a great foreign policy expert. You’re going to see in our foreign policy and in the military, we’re going to face challenges not like the challenges of old. You’re going to have to have people of unusual capacity in bringing in the perspectives of the entire world and thinking about how you move your pieces and how you make changes that can strengthen the US’s position. My objective is to keep the US the strongest nation on earth, economically, militarily, and from the spirit of our people. I can do that by virtue of a lifetime of experience leading, making decisions. Some of our great leaders -- look at Abraham Lincoln, was not a military expert, but turned out to be one of the best in the history of this country.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Freedom requires religion in society, not in individuals

Q: You said in your speech on faith, “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.” Can you have freedom without organized religion?

A: Well, I was paraphrasing and underlining a quote from John Adams, who said that our constitutional form of government in this nation would require morality and freedom to be able to survive. We believe, as a nation, that God gave the individual certain inalienable rights. That’s not a constitutional guarantee, that’s not a policy guarantee, it’s a guarantee from our creator.

Q: But when you say freedom requires religion, can you be a moral person and be an atheist?

A: Oh, of course.

Q: And participate in freedom?

A: Of course yes.

Q: So freedom doesn’t require religion?

A: Our constitutional form of government and this American experiment requires morality, which in turn required religion. Yet, of course, on an individual basis, you have many individuals of great morality that don’t have any particular faith.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

Ok to appoint atheists or agnostics--no litmus test of faith

Q: If you determined that the most qualified person for the Supreme Court or for attorney general or secretary of education happened to be an atheist or an agnostic, would that prevent you from appointing them?

A: Of course not. You look at individuals based upon their skills and their ability, their values, their intelligence. And there are many who are agnostic or atheist or who have very different beliefs about the nature of the divine than I do, and, and you evaluate them based on their skills. But I can tell you that I myself am a person of faith and respect the sense of the common bond of humanity that comes from that fundamental belief.

Q: But there’d be no litmus test?

A: No, no. There’s no litmus test of that nature.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

Draw upon the strengths of the conservative principles

We’re not going to get the White House nor strengthen the US unless we can pull together the coalition of conservatives & conservative thought that has made us successful as a party. That’s social, economic, and foreign policy and defense conservatives. Those three together allowed Reagan to get elected and our party to have strength over the last several decades. I’m going to continue to draw, as many of the states try and do, upon those strengths by virtue of those conservative principles.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate , Dec 12, 2007

Strong families, a strong economy and a strong military

Q: What will you restore to the Oval Office?

A: I’ve thought a lot about this question. And I take my inspiration from my dad, from Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, the Declaration of Independence. My view is that America is going to be strengthened by virtue of the presidency, if I’m able to have that opportunity. I would strengthen America’s military, make sure that we could be safe here at home. I want to strengthen our economy, keep our taxes down, become free of oil from foreign places, strengthen our economy so we have great jobs and a great future for our people. And finally, I want to strengthen the American family. In my view, strong families, a strong economy and a strong military--that combination of features is what makes this party so strong and accounts for our great success in the elections over the prior several decades and also is so critical to our future as a nation--a strong economy, a strong military, and strong families. And I’ll fight for those things.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

Doesn’t dislike anything about America

Q: What do you dislike most about America?

A: Gosh. I love America. I’m afraid I’m going to be at a loss for words because America for me is not just our rolling mountains and hills and streams and great cities. It’s the American people. And the American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people: hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people. It’s that optimism we thank Ronald Reagan for. Thank you, Mrs. Reagan, for opening up this place in his memory for us. It is that optimism about this great people that makes this the greatest nation on earth.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Address issues so America can remain a superpower

    Ten Issues America Must Address to Remain The Economic and Military Superpower
  1. Defeating the Jihadists
  2. Competing with Asia
  3. Stopping Runaway Spending
  4. Getting Immigration Right
  5. Achieving Energy Independence
  6. Affirming America’s Culture and Values
  7. Simplifying the Tax System
  8. Investing in Technology
  9. Extending Health Insurance to All Americans
  10. Raising the Bar on Education
Source: PAC website, www.TheCommonwealthPac.com, “Meet Mitt” , Dec 1, 2006

Success in DC: Tell truth, find right fit, never give up

Officials working on the Olympic Games became so intertwined with our staff, & our purposes became so united, that it was hard sometimes to remember who worked for SLOC and who worked for the government. [My principles for] being successful in Washington
  1. Tell the Truth--the Whole Truth
    The perception in Washington was that the folks from Utah didn’t tell the truth--partly because of the bid scandal & partly because of the state’s request for billions in “Olympic projects,” some located 100s of miles away. Truth became the most convincing argument.
  2. Find the Right Fit
    The federal government is not like a large corporation with centralized decision-making. It is more like hundreds of independent entities, each pursuing their own agendas. Getting help from Washington depended on matching our need with a specific agency’s mission.
  3. Never, Never, Never Give Up
    If you work at it long enough, there is always another way to get the help you need in Washington.
Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p.237-240 , Aug 25, 2004

Experience to lead to prosperity after fiscal mismanagement

Over the past few months, I have been humbled by the encouragement and support I have received from the people of Massachusetts. I have decided to run for Governor because in this time of fiscal mismanagement, I have the experience and proven track record to lead the Commonwealth back to prosperity. Our resources and talent are immense; with your help we can achieve greatness.
Source: Campaign web site, Romney2002.org , Mar 20, 2002

Aspiring to greatness is its own reward

With 15 years of venture capital under my belt, I’m a convert to the power of persistence, ambition, hard work, and foresight. But I’m also convinced that when it comes to making money or earning fame, more than a fair amount of serendipity is at play. There is, however, a brighter way. If you give yourself for great things, you will not be subject to serendipity. Giving your life for great things generates as much satisfaction in the effort as it does in the achievement.
Source: Commencement Speech, Westminster College, UT , Jun 2, 2001

Values family, faith, education, sport, & healing

Giving yourself to great things is the only sure path for successful living. I have spoken of some of those choices. To them I might add family and children, faith, scholarship, exploration, healing, teaching, athletics, and creation.
Source: Commencement Speech, Westminster College, UT , Jun 2, 2001

Mitt Romney on Mormonism

Kids cared more about what sports I played than my church

We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don't remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.

My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all--the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO. That's how I was brought up.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 30, 2012

Wife Ann, from Protestant family, converted to Mormon

Mitt had found at a relatively early age tge girl he wanted to marry. Her name was Ann Davies, and she was beautiful, smart, and independent-minded. The parallels to Mitt's mother were unmistakable. But there was one difference--and a major problem: Ann was not a Mormon; she came from a mainline Protestant family.

Mitt had just turned 18 and Ann was 15 when Mitt asked Ann out for a date in 1965; they saw The Sound of Music. "I caught his eye and he never let me go," Ann recalled years later. Other boys pursued her, and she would date them in Mitt's absence, but she said Mitt "stole my heart from the very first."

While Mitt struggled [for 2 years as a missionary] to win converts in France, his father was having better luck at home. In between his jaunts across the country to test the waters for a presidential bid, George Romney was guiding Ann Davies through her conversion to the Mormon faith.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 27-31 & 70 , Jan 17, 2012

1966-68: Served as Mormon missionary in France

Like nearly all 19-year-olds of his faith, Mitt would be called to serve for 2 years. Mitt learned he would be going to France. It sounded like one of the easier assignments, but heavily Catholic France was a society mostly hostile to Mormons (in a country that takes its wine seriously, Mormonism prohibited alcohol).

For 2-1/2 years, Romney lived under the strict missionary regime. Romney said he converted 10 to 20 people during his time as a missionary, but even that small-sounding number stood out among missionaries. Years later, Romney bluntly assessed the experience: "As you can imagine, it's quite an experience to go to Bordeaux and say, 'Give up your wine! I've got a great religion for you!' It was a good training for how life works. Rejection of one kind or another is going to be important part of everyone's life. Here I'd grown up as the son of a governor, and now I was on the street." Having begun his mission with what he called thin ties to the faith, he became a stalwart believe

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 63-69 , Jan 17, 2012

Serve no one religion; serve only the people

There is no evidence that the Mormon Church influenced the decisions or policies of Mitt Romney in any visible way while he served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

From the beginning of his 2008 campaign, Romney spoke about religion in a very general way, with statements such as "I need the prayers of the people of all faiths," and promises that he would "serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States." But Romney refused to speak openly and directly about his Mormon faith, identifying as religious bigots those who asked honest, specific questions about Mormonism. Ironically, this is similar to the tactic used by the Left on conservative Republicans when issues of religion and politics are raised.

Source: The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney, by Andrew Jackson, p. 81-82 , Jan 1, 2012

FactCheck: Constitution ok on voters questioning religion

One political tactic Romney used to stop voters from writing about, or asking him, the specifics of his Mormon faith was to call them un-American. He insisted that the "spirit" of the third clause of Article VI of the US Constitution banned a religious test for anyone running for federal office. You can often hear Romney declare this talking point: "I don't believe for a minute that Republicans, or Americans for that matter, are going to impose a religious test when the founders said it's un-American."

Unfortunately, in using this political tactic, Romney abandons the conservative strict interpretation of the Constitution, for a liberal one. Article VI goes forbid the GOVERNMENT from imposing a religious test for those running for federal office, but its framers did not intend to prohibit VOTERS from closely evaluating the religion of federal candidates, and taking it into consideration when they voted.

Source: The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney, by Andrew Jackson, p. 82 , Jan 1, 2012

1994: Kennedy attacked Mormonism; bishops defended Romney

The Kennedy campaign abandoned pledges to keep religion out of the race, and they assailed Romney on fairly arcane and outdated religious policies, which only seemed to expose their own considerable ignorance or deliberate bigotry about the Mormon religion. The opening blast assumed the church still prohibited blacks from holding the priesthood, a policy it had abandoned 16 years earlier. Teddy wanted Mitt to state whether or not women should be ordained to the priesthood; to explain his church's opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment; and discuss the practice of plural marriage, which was outlawed a century earlier.

The assault got so shameless and reckless that the Archdiocese of Boston finally commented in its official publication, the "Pilot." A blistering editorial defended Romney and indignantly admonished Kennedy for his irresponsible accusations and intemperate behavior. The headline over the piece captures the essence of ecclesiastical scold: "He Forgot His Brother's Words."

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 70-72 , Nov 22, 2011

We shouldn't choose leaders by their religion

Q: A Baptist pastor at the Values Voter Summit, after introducing Gov. Perry, said that "Mitt Romney is not a Christian," and that "Mormonism is a cult." Your comments?

ROMNEY: What I actually found was most troubling was that the reverend said, in choosing our nominee, we should inspect his religion. And someone who is a good moral person is not someone who we should select; instead, we should choose someone who subscribes to our religious belief. That idea that we should choose people based upon their religion for public office is what I find to be most troubling, because the founders of this country went to great length to make sure--and even put it in the Constitution--that we would not choose people who represent us in government based upon their religion, that this would be a nation that recognized and respected other faiths, where there's a plurality of faiths, where there was tolerance for other people and faiths. That's bedrock principle.

Source: GOP 2011 primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 18, 2011

Endorsed by Bob Jones, despite calling Mormonism a “cult”

Q: One of your supporters, Dr. Bob Jones III [of Bob Jones University], an evangelical leader, said your faith was a “cult,” & an “erroneous religion.” How can you accept the support of someone who would trash your faith?

A: You know, religions are in competitive battle. They’re competing for souls and adherents. And the good news is that Bob Jones may not agree with my faith--and obviously he does not--but he does believe that I’m the right person to be president, and that’s because he believes that person of faith should lead the nation. He backs me as a president, not as a pastor. So I’m delighted to have his support and some say when all this is over, we’ll probably talk about religion, too.

Q: Jones went on to say: “I’d be very concerned if he tried to make it appear that Mormonism is a Christian denomination of some sort. It isn’t.” He’s saying you’re not a Christian.

A: Well, people have differing views about faith. But the great thing is that our values are the same.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 16, 2007

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

Given our grand tradition of religious tolerance and liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are.

Source: Speech “Faith In America” at Bush Presidential Library , Dec 6, 2007

I believe Jesus is savior of mankind & Son of God

There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.
Source: Speech “Faith In America” at Bush Presidential Library , Dec 6, 2007

Ignoring religion in policy is at odds with our founders

Today, I wish to address a topic which I believe is fundamental to America’s greatness: our religious liberty. I will also offer perspectives on how my own faith would inform my Presidency, if I were elected.

There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams’ words: ‘We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion... Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people.’

Source: Speech “Faith In America” at Bush Presidential Library , Dec 6, 2007

No church authorities will exert influence on my decisions

Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am an American running for President. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.

Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.

As Governor, I tried to do the right as best I knew it, serving the law and answering to the Constitution. I did not confuse the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution--and of course, I would not do so as President. I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.

Source: Speech “Faith In America” at Bush Presidential Library , Dec 6, 2007

Will serve no one religion, but will not distance himself

If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.

There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers--I will be true to them and to my beliefs.

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it. But I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience. Americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.

Source: Speech “Faith In America” at Bush Presidential Library , Dec 6, 2007

We share a common creed despite differences in theology

There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines. [But] no candidate should become the spokesman for his faith; the President needs the prayers of the people of all faiths.

In every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims.

It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter--on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course.

Source: Speech “Faith In America” at Bush Presidential Library , Dec 6, 2007

Bible is the word of God; I don’t disagree with Bible

Q: Do you believe every word of this book [The Holy Bible]?

A: I believe the Bible is the word of God, absolutely. I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the Bible and I believe the Bible is the word of God. I don’t disagree with the Bible. I try to live by it.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida , Nov 28, 2007

Reid(D) vs. Hatch(R) show that LDS doesn’t control opinions

The anxiety about [the Mormonism] issue echoes from 1904, when LDS apostle Reed Smoot became a US senator. Senators asked the church president about church control of politics; the response was that the church would not dictate Smoot’s votes in the Senate.

A century later the answer is the same. An official statement on the church Web site states: “Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with a publicly stated Church position. While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their best judgment.“

Romney himself has addressed the issue many times and has supported causes as a politician that he would not support in his personal view. How can you have Harry Reid on the one side and Orrin Hatch on the other without recognizing that the church doesn’t direct political views?

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 95-96 , Aug 31, 2007

Stresses commonality of Mormonism to mainstream Christianity

When the first rumors stirred about Mitt Romney and the presidency, his friend and fellow politician Ted Kennedy dismissed religion as a factor in the election. “That died with my brother,” he said. Well Ted Kennedy is wrong.

Mitt Romney is Mormon. The media are quick to point that out, practically leading each story with “Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney...” Pollsters probe our psyches for attitudes toward the possibility of a Mormon president.

Are we allowed to wonder about someone’s faith? Do we really care, or is this simply a media-driven issue?

Gov. Romney takes it in stride. “I think my religion is not as well-known as the other candidates’, and people are curious.” He doesn’t hide his religion. He calls himself a man of faith and speaks often of how his faith shapes his life. When asked about the specifics of Mormon doctrine, he defers to the LDS Church. He gives a top-line view of his beliefs, stressing the commonalities of Mormonism to mainstream Christianity.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 91-92 , Aug 31, 2007

Evangelicals know Mormons are fiscal & social conservatives

[One church leader said], “Evangelicals know that they’re not electing a theologian in chief. If they agree with Romney on social issues, his Mormonism won’t be a hindrance, especially if he’s the only viable social conservative in the mix.”

Do his core values line up with those of Americans of faith? He’s pro-life, a defender of traditional marriage, and believes America’s greatness rests on a three-legged foundation of strength: strong families, a strong economy, and a strong military. Mormons are fiscally and socially conservative. In the 2004 election, 95 percent of Mormon voters cast their ballots for George Bush.

Still, attacks on Romney’s faith continue. One by one the campaigns of other presidential candidates have committed “accidental” attacks on Romney’s religion.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 93 , Aug 31, 2007

Americans want person of faith as president, whatever brand

One by one the other presidential campaigns have committed “accidental” attacks on Romney’s religion. The presidential candidates were all quick to apologize for the actions of their campaign workers. In each case the candidates expressed regret and disappointment as they disavowed any attacks on religion. All stressed that they disavowed any attacks on religion. All stressed that they wanted to run a clean campaign that would not tolerate bigotry.

Gov. Romney accepted the apologies, saying, “Clearly, any derogatory comments about anyone’s faith--those comments are troubling. The fact they keep on coming up is even more troubling.”

It’s not all negative, however. At an early campaign stop a man in the audience challenged Romney directly, telling him that he would surely go to hell. The crowd groaned, then booed the man. Romney responded with what has become his signature comment on religion. “I believe Americans want a person of faith to lead the country. It doesn’t matter what brand.”

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 93-95 , Aug 31, 2007

Mormons for president included Udall (1976) & Hatch (2000)

Mormons have integrated into the jumble of Americana, messy though that mixing sometimes is. The political arena is one area of American life in which Mormons have always participated. Romney is not the first Mormon to run for the presidency, though he arguably the first serious candidate. Joseph Smith [the founder of Mormonism] cast his hat into the presidential race in 1844, shortly before he was murdered. Other more recent presidential hopefuls have included Democrat Morris Udall, who was defeated in his 1976 quest, and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch in 2000. And, of course, Romney’s own father ran for president.

Mormons have served in other capacities in the national scene. Ronald Reagan’s administration included many Mormons, including his chief strategist, Secretary of Education, and Treasurer. Today 15 Mormons serve in Congress.

Given the political prominence of Mormons, the flurry about Romney’s religion is curious. Yet it is a symptom of the times in which we live.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 97-98 , Aug 31, 2007

1984: As Mormon bishop, led recovery after church fire

Mitt Romney was the bishop of the Belmont Ward. (A ward is a congregation of the LDS Church members; the bishop is the lay minister of the ward.) The building was almost completed by the summer of 1984--everything but the interior finish work.

Then the unthinkable happened. The beautiful new church went up in flames, a target of arson. Arsonists had set several other Mormon meetinghouses ablaze during that year, but none were as badly damaged as the Belmont Chapel.

Turning to other sects in the area, Romney told them an attack on any church was an attack on all churches and asked for their support. Seven churches offered to share their buildings with the Mormons. Churches held fundraisers to help with reconstruction. Belmont offered its town hall.

Romney accepted every offer. Romney said, “Some people in Belmont thought of Latter-day Saints as bizarre, and we were not part of the church community. The fire changed that for good.”

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.106-7 , Aug 31, 2007

Mormons believe in God, the Bible, & Jesus Christ as savior

Q: There was a recent poll here in N.H. 10% said they wouldn’t vote for you because you’re a Mormon. What would you like to say to the voters out there tonight about your faith, about yourself and about God?

A: Well, Pres. Kennedy some time ago said he was not a Catholic running for president; he was an American running for president. And I’m a proud member of my faith. I think it’s a fair question for people to ask, “What do you believe?” And I think, as you want to understand what I believe, you could recognize that the values that I have are the same values you’ll find in faiths across this country. I believe in God, believe in the Bible, believe Jesus Christ is my savior. I believe that God created man in his image. I believe that the freedoms of man derive from inalienable rights that were given to us by God. And I also believe that there are some pundits out there that are hoping that I’ll distance myself from my church so that that’ll help me politically, and that’s not going to happen.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Roman Catholic bishops can do whatever the heck they want

Q: What do you say to Roman Catholic bishops who would deny Communion to elected officials who support abortion rights?

A: I don’t say anything to Roman Catholic bishops. They can do whatever the heck they want. Roman Catholic bishops are in a private institution, a religion. And they can do whatever they want in a religion.

Q: Do you see that as interference in public life?

A: Well, I can’t imagine a government telling a church who can have Communion in their church. We have a separation of church and state. It’s served us well in this country. This is a nation, after all, that wants a leader that’s a person of faith, but we don’t choose our leader based on which church they go to. This is a nation which also unites over faith and over the right of people to worship as they choose. The people we’re fighting, they’re the ones who divide over faith and decide matters of this nature in the public forum. This is a place where we celebrate different religions and different faiths.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Every person of any faith has deeply-held values

Q: You criticized Gov. Romney for saying his faith wouldn’t get in the way of his governing.

HUCKABEE: I never criticized Gov. Romney for that. When a person says, “My faith doesn’t affect my decision-making,” that the person is saying their faith is not significant to impact their decision process. I tell people up front, “My faith does affect my decision process.”

Q: But you answered a question on Feb. 11 about Romney in this way: “I’m troubled by a person who tells me their faith doesn’t influence their decisions.“

HUCKABEE: A person’s faith shouldn’t qualify or disqualify for public office. But we ought to be honest and open about it.

Q: Gov. Romney, do you accept that he wasn’t talking about you?

ROMNEY: Everyone who’s a person of faith has values that are deeply held. That’s what makes America such a powerful land: that comes from being a people of faith, but not people of a particular church or a particular synagogue. Rather, the great values we share are American values.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Romney is the 5th Mormon to run for President

Mitt Romney’s presidential bid is not the first time a Mormon has sought the presidency--it is the fifth such try. And it really isn’t Mitt Romney’s first presidential campaign. It’s his third.

The founding prophet of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, declared his candidacy for the presidency in 1844. Mitt Romney’s father, Michigan governor George Romney, ran a full-scale campaign for the presidency in 1967-68. Three years earlier, George Romney was nominated at the 1964 convention as a “favorite son“ candidate, with his teenage son Mitt on the convention floor supporting him. Arizona Democratic Congressman Mo Udall, a Mormon, made a run in 1976. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, another Mormon, threw his hat into the ring against the Bush machine in 2000.

In only one of these races did the Mormon candidate come close to the nomination--George Romney’s 1968 run. Romney was actually the GOP frontrunner for most of 1967, and with that status, his faith became a topic for a delicate sort of scrutiny.

Source: A Mormon in the White House, by Hugh Hewitt, p. 21-23 , Mar 12, 2007

George Romney never questioned on Mormonism during 1968 race

Everyone who follows Romney is probably sentenced to read scores of comparison pieces between ‘68 and ‘08, but the premise is absurd, even as the comparisons between the 1992 and 2000 presidential campaigns of Bush 41 and Bush 43 are absurd--and those were only 8 years apart.

There are a couple of lessons in George Romney’s campaign, but none unique to it: Gaffes can kill campaigns. Allies can switch sides. Difficult wars make for difficult interviews. What George Romney’s campaign didn’t have to deal with, though, was religious bigotry. The elder Romney just didn’t last long enough to see anyone try to raise a “Mormon objection” to his qualifications.

One veteran of the George Romney effort sent Mitt Romney an analysis of why George’s campaign floundered--an assessment that included 20 reasons why he lost. “One of them was not because he was a Mormon or people didn’t understand the Mormon Church or whatever,” Romney underscored.

Source: A Mormon in the White House, by Hugh Hewitt, p. 42-43 , Mar 12, 2007

Constitution is explicit: no religious test for presidency

Romney should ask his fellow candidates for clear statements regarding the dishonorability of voting against a candidate on the basis of religious belief. This is the “Article VI” argument, and it is a powerful one. The third clause of Article VI of the Constitution bars a “religious test” for public office. This is an obscure portion of the Constitution, but one which will receive a lot of attention over the next year and a half as Romney’s Mormon faith receives scrutiny.
Article VI, Clause 3
.no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification in any Office or public Trust under the United States.
“I think it is clear that the way the field of candidates for president is shaping up, Romney is going to be the candidate whose values most closely approximate those of evangelical Christians,” said one pundit. He goes on to say that he sees bigotry in the anti-Mormon assault on Romney.
Source: A Mormon in the White House?, by Hugh Hewitt, p.235&246 , Mar 12, 2007

Faces questions on Mormonism like Kennedy did on Catholicism

Romney has made the decision to step down at the end of this year and is preparing to seek the presidency. His preparations are serious - both in fundraising and in organizing support in early primary states. This is a onetime business consultant who likes to have his ducks in a row.

But he knows the real challenges lie ahead for him, just as they do for his health plan. One special test involves the public reaction to his Mormon faith. He thinks it won’t ultimately be a barrier but says, “At some point, I know, I will have to face all the questions about its tenets, just as John Kennedy did in West Virginia and in the meeting with the Greater Houston Ministerial Association,” when his Catholicism was an issue. “But I think tolerance will prevail again.”

Source: 2008 speculation: Eleanor Clift, Newsweek, “Gore Redux” , Apr 28, 2006

Mitt Romney on Obama

Obama promised to heal planet; I promise to help your family

As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America's first liberty: the freedom of religion.

President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family.

I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 30, 2012

Americans deserved "hope and change" but didn't get it

We are a nation of immigrants. [Our ancestors] came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life. Freedom. Freedom of religion. Freedom to speak their mind. Freedom to build a life. And yes, freedom to build a business. With their own hands. This is the essence of the American experience.

We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future. But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future. This was the hope and change America voted for. It's not just what we wanted. It's not just what we expected. It's what Americans deserved.

I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 30, 2012

Obama's record: debt, decline, and disappointment

Tonight, the President will give a nice speech with a lot of memorable phrases. But he won't give you the hard numbers. Like $15 trillion--that's the size of our national debt.Instead, tonight, President Obama will make the opening argument in his campaign against a "Do Nothing Congress." But for two years, this President had a Congress that could do everything he wanted.

Did he fix the economy? Did he tackle the housing crisis? Did he get Americans back to work? No.

President Obama has amassed an actual record of debt, decline, and disappointment.
Source: Prebuttal to 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

Obama's policies have made the recession deeper

Q: With 200,000 new jobs created last month, there are optimists who say this economy is finally turning around.

ROMNEY: I'm an optimist, and I certainly hope it turns around. We have 25 million people that are out of work or have stopped looking for work, and also a lot of people who've got part-time jobs and need full-time employment. I hope we continue to see good news. But it's not thanks to President Obama. His policies have made the recession deeper, and his policies have made the recovery more tepid. As a result of everything from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to a whole host of new regulations put on American businesses, he's made it harder for small entrepreneurs and big businesses to decide to invest in America and to grow jobs here. And so the president is going to try and take responsibility for things getting better. You know, it's like the rooster taking responsibility for the sunrise. He didn't do it. In fact, what he did was make things harder for America to get going again.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

2010: Obama passes citizenship test; no more Birthers

It would be another two years and require some bombast from a potential rival, Donald Trump, to goad Romney into the role of bipartisan and patriotic leader. He criticized the incessant and very angry "birther" faction of his own party that had been restoked by Trump's brazen if mindless attempt to draw attention to himself. Their claims had been hanging around since the early days of Obama's presidential campaign. They insisted that Obama had been born in Kenya (as if it mattered where he was born, so long as he was born of American parentage and complied with a couple of other minor regulations) and that official Hawaiian governmental documents had been doctored to cover up his alleged Kenyan birth. "I think the citizenship test has been passed," Romney said sternly. "I believe the president was born in the United States. The man needs to be taken out of office, but his citizenship isn't the reason why."
Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p.180 , Nov 22, 2011

Obama takes political inspiration from socialist Europe

Q: [to Romney]: Rep. Bachmann has said that Obama has "ushered in socialism." Gov. Perry and Speaker Gingrich concur. Is Obama a socialist?

ROMNEY: Let me tell you the title that I want to hear said about Obama, and that is: former President Barack Obama. Pres. Obama is a big-spending liberal. And he takes his political inspiration from Europe and from the socialist democrats in Europe. Guess what? Europe isn't working in Europe. It's not going to work here. I believe in America. I believe in the opportunity and in the freedom that is American opportunity and freedom. I believe in free enterprise and capitalism. I believe government is too big. It's gone from 27% of our economy in the years of JFK to 37% of our economy. We have to rein in the scale of government or we're not going to be a free economy.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

Obama Misery Index: record unemployment & bankruptcies

When Ronald Reagan ran for President, he hung the Misery Index around Jimmy Carter's neck. Today's misery is real unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcies. This is the Obama Misery Index--and it's at a record high. It's going to take more than new rhetoric to put Americans back to work--it's going to take a new president.

If I decide to run for President, it won't take me two years to wake up to the job crisis threatening America. Fifteen million Americans are out of work.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

President should proudly defend US, not apologize for her

President Obama's presupposition is that America is in a state of inevitable decline. A recurring theme in Pres. Obama's rhetoric is that "more than at any point in human history, the interest of nations and peoples are shared" and that the "common interests of human beings"--ending global warming, stopping nuclear proliferation, achieving peace and prosperity--is stronger than the differences among nations. Pres. Obama envisions himself as the world's great bridge builder and synthesizer.

In a world composed of nations that are filled with rage and hate for the US, our president should proudly defend her rather than continually apologize for her.

I reject the view that America must decline. I believe in American exceptionalism. I am convinced that we can act together to strengthen the nation, to preserve our global leadership, and to protect freedom where it exits and promote it where it does not.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 28-29 , Mar 2, 2010

Mitt Romney on Past Elections

OpEd: 1994 race gave Kennedy the scare of his political life

Reflecting on the defeat [to Kennedy for Senate in 1994] years later, he confided to friends that the loss "felt worse because there was a brief time when it actually looked like we could win." More objective observers would acknowledge that the loss was, in fact, a victory for Romney. No one had really expected him to beat Kennedy in Massachusetts. That he had given Kennedy the scare of his life was good enough. Plus, he had provoked a few moments of absolute giddiness for the GOP. The reality was plain to see: The opponent was a Kennedy and Massachusetts was his state.

That Mitt's performance was achieved by dint of personal determination and largely funded by his own money made his showing even more impressive. He had established himself as a Republican to be reckoned with. In fact, the political IOUs he collected in 1994 would prove useful in his hurry-up campaign for governor eight years later.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 78-79 , Nov 22, 2011

2008: Cast himself as a doer, not just a dreamer

Romney began the race with a balance sheet that included liabilities almost as great as his assets. He was a one-term governor from one of the most liberal states in the nation. He was a devout Mormon in a party whose evangelical wing viewed the Mormon religion with something between skepticism and hostility. Romney had taken positions in Massachusetts that were anathema to the conservative base, particularly on abortion and gay rights.

Romney cast himself as a doer, not just a dreamer, who had managed large enterprises, and as an outsider who would shake up the capital. "I do not believe Washington can be transformed from within by a lifelong politician," he said. "There have been too many deals, too many favors, too many entanglements, and too little real-world experience managing, guiding, leading." If Republicans wanted competence, he would be that candidate.

Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p.239 , Aug 4, 2009

Reagan would endorse my candidacy

Q: Would Reagan endorse you? And if so, why?

A: Absolutely. Reagan would say we’re going to win in Iraq, and I’m not going to walk out of Iraq until we win in Iraq. Reagan would say lower taxes, lower spending. Reagan is pro-life. He would want to have an amendment to protect marriage. Reagan would say that Washington is broken. Like Reagan, I’d go to Washington as an outsider--not owing favors, not lobbyists on every elbow. I would be able to be the independent outsider that Reagan was, and he brought change to Washington. Reagan would say let’s drill in ANWR. Reagan would say no way we are going to have amnesty again. Reagan saw it, it didn’t work. Let’s not do it again. Reagan would say no to a 50-cent-per-gallon charge on Americans for oil that the rest of the world doesn’t have to pay. Reagan would have said absolutely no way to McCain-Feingold. I would be with Reagan. This party has a choice, what the heart and soul of this party is going to be, and it’s going to be in the house that Reagan built

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Changing views: I’ve learned from experience & made mistakes

Q: McCain says about you, “I have not changed my position on every major issue every couple of years.” The Union Leader newspaper says, “Granite Staters want a candidate who will tell them the truth. Mitt Romney has not.” The impression seems to be that you’re a phony.

A: That theme is not going to stand the test of time because you can see what I did as governor. And my positions as president are identical to those as governor. They all flow from them. I found a way to work with Democrats in my legislature. I’m proud of my record, and I’m running on my record, and my views are consistent with that record. Everybody over time is going to make an experienced judgment based on what they think is right, and no candidate has been the same throughout the entire process. And if they have, I’ll show you a candidate that ought to be pushed aside, because you know what? You should learn from experience. If you want somebody who’s never learned from experience, who’s never made a mistake, I’m not your guy

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series , Jan 6, 2008

Proud of his accomplishments in fighting the Liberal Lion

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. McCain suggests that you’re conning people--he has used that phrase--with your conversions on a number of issues.

ROMNEY: When I ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994, that was a big uphill climb. But let me tell you, I was fighting for issues like making sure that we would have the death penalty in our state, fighting to keep our taxes down. I was fighting against the Liberal Lion in perhaps the toughest state in America. And I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish in that race, but nothing compares to the pride I have with the work that I was able to do as a governor.

McCAIN: Gov. Romney, you’ve been spending the last year trying to fool people about your record. I don’t want you to start fooling them about mine. I stand on my record as a conservative, and I don’t think you can fool the American people. They may not agree with me on a couple of issues, but they’ll know I’m telling the truth, and my steadfast positions on these issues for more than 20 years.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida , Oct 21, 2007

1967: Father was presidency frontrunner until “brainwashed”

Brainwashed. It sounds anachronistic today. But in 1967, America was deeply enmeshed in the Cold War. Communists were a menacing, dark force poised to take over the world. On Aug. 31, 1967, this seemed like a throw-away comment:

LOU GORDON: (on Vietnam): “Isn’t your position a bit inconsistent with what it was?”

GEORGE ROMNEY: “Well, you know when I came back from Vietnam I just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get. Not only by the generals, but also by the diplomatic corps. I no longer believe it was necessary for us to get involved in South Vietnam to stop Communist aggression.“

The comment took on a life of its own, spawning headlines like: ”Romney Asserts He Underwent ‘Brainwashing’ on Vietnam Trip.“ The public uproar was loud and quick. Romney had impugned the integrity of honorable men! He can’t recognize truth when he sees it! Romney is too gullible to be president!

Lesson #1 for son in politics: Watch what you say.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 5-7 , Aug 31, 2007

Bush & Cheney have made mistakes, but have kept us safe

Q: What authority would you delegate to the office of vice president?

A: You let the president decide what the responsibilities of the V.P. would be in his administration.

Q: What would you decide?

A: Depends on the person, depends on the needs, depends on their capabilities. But I like a person that gives wide viewpoints on a wide array of issues. It’s been very popular lately to be critical of the president and the V.P. I know they make mistakes. But they have kept us safe these last 6 years.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

AdWatch: Stood up for conservatism in most liberal state

[Romney TV ad that began running in June]:

ANNOUNCER: In the most liberal state in the country one Republican stood up and cut spending instead of raising taxes; he enforced immigration laws, stood up for traditional marriage and the sanctity of human life.

ROMNEY: This isn’t the time for us to shrink from conservative principles. It’s a time for us to stand in strength. Strong military, strong economy, strong families.

ANNOUNCER: In the toughest place, Mitt Romney’s done the toughest things

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Tested, Proven” , Jun 28, 2007

FactCheck: VT would disagree that MA is most liberal state

In his new TV ad, Romney calls Massachusetts “the most liberal state” in the US, and “the toughest place” for a Republican governor. That may be his judgment, but surely there are a few other nominees for the “most liberal” award.

True, Massachusetts has Democratic Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, and in 2004 it became the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. In the 1972 presidential election, it was the only state (plus DC) won by Democratic nominee George McGovern.

But consider Vermont, the home of Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described “independent democratic socialist,” and of Howard Dean, former governor. Social activist ice cream czars Ben & Jerry also are based there.

Then there’s Rhode Island, which cast a greater share of its votes--61%--for Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in 2000 than any other state. And some might well grant the distinction to New Jersey, which has a higher personal income tax than Massachusetts, as well as two Democratic senators.

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Tested, Proven” , Jun 28, 2007

#8 on Human Events’ list of Top Ten RINOs

Romney ranks #8 on the list Top 10 RINOs, ranked by the editors of Human Events (a conservative publication).
Has said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country.” Supports civil unions and stringent gun laws. After visiting Houston, he criticized the city’s aesthetics, saying, “This is what happens when you don’t have zoning.”
What’s a RINO? Wikipedia.com explains:
RINO stands for Republican In Name Only, a disparaging term for a member of the Republican Party who is thought to be too fiscally or socially moderate or even liberal. It has replaced the older term Rockefeller Republican. The term is used by conservatives to delegitimize moderate Republican office holders. Those labeled RINOs counter that the conservatives who call them RINOs are too far right and too politically naive. They point out that they can and do win in moderate and liberal areas and without their votes the Republicans would lose control of Congress.
Source: HumanEventsOnline.com, end-of-year issue , Dec 27, 2005

Ran against Kennedy in 1993 to offer a different vision

In 1993, something almost irrational happened. I began thinking about making a run against Sen. Ted Kennedy. My wife and I believed that there needed to be a different course offered to the people of Massachusetts. It seemed clear to us the policies of the liberal Democrats of the 1950s and 1960s, though well intentioned, were wrong. We felt that someone needed to stand up, to offer a different vision from the one Kennedy and his colleagues had been pitching for decades. I wondered if that someone ought not to be me. I began to think “If not me, who?”

We recognized that there was no way I was going to beat him. After I won the primary, and was ahead in the polls, Kennedy launched a particularly effective attack campaign, portraying me as a money-grubbing businessman. He beat me soundly.

We wanted to raise new ideas for government, and help rebuild a disappearing second party. But after it was over, we did not feel like we had accomplished what we set out to do.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 13-15 , Aug 25, 2004

Ran for MA governor to help people

The campaign for governor was a good deal like a [business turnaround or the Olympic] turnaround.And so, on Jan. 2, 2003, I was inaugurated governor of Massachusetts. The cycle began again: another turnaround, in worse shape than I had imagined.
Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p.381-382 , Aug 25, 2004

Drafted to run for MA governor; incumbent was unelectable

[In 2002], I began to get calls from Massachusetts. Jim Rappaport, former GOP party head, had decided to run for lieutenant governor. The governor, Jane Swift, had selected a running mate not to Jim’s liking and he was going to try & beat him. He also wanted me to come back to run for governor.

A state rep endorsed me for governor. The attention stemmed from the weakness of the incumbent. She had taken over for the governor when he became Ambassador to Canada. A poll showed such poor ratings that the pollster said she was unelectable. If I did not run, he concluded, the GOP would lose the office and probably disappear as a viable party in Massachusetts: the legislature had dropped to 15% Republican. Democracy needs two parties; If not, me, who?

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p.379-380 , Aug 25, 2004

Mitt Romney on Personal History

I was born in middle of the century in middle of the country

I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn't whether we'd get there, it was only when we'd get there. When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.
Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 30, 2012

Met wife Ann at high school dance; now 5 sons & 18 grandkids

This boy I met at a high school dance--his name is Mitt Romney. I could tell you why I fell in love with him--he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous--girls like that, it shows the guy's a little intimidated--and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren't around. That's a good thing. And he made me laugh.

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon. We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn't care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen.

That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I'm still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.

Source: Ann Romney's 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 28, 2012

As college athlete, learned to pace himself

When Mitt joined a cross-country team for a 2.5-mile race traditionally held during a football game halftime, he failed to pace himself. Everyone except Mitt returned before the 2nd half began. Finally, the spectators noticed Mitt making an agonizingly slow approach. "Mitt kept falling and getting up, and eventually he just crawled across the line," one classmate recalled. It could have been one of the most humiliating moments of his young life. But then the crowd began to rise to its feet, giving Mitt a standing ovation for his effort. "It was definitely looked upon as a show of character. Other people would have quit." He had run too fast at the start; unprepared for the distance, he had cramped up.

This moment provided a lesson for Mitt which he would use in his later political life. Mitt had started an endurance race as if it were a dash. "It stayed with him the rest of his life--pace yourself and to run the whole race, and to temper your enthusiasm with judgment," another classmate said.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 21-22 , Jan 17, 2012

Near-fatal accident at age 21; in coma for 3 days

In 1968 in France, a man had smashed into a tree and been thrown from his vehicle. Police were still on the scene. Romney stopped to remove a roof rack lying in the middle of the two-lane highway, then continued on. At that moment, a Mercedes passed a truck at high speed, and smashed nearly head-on into their car. The collision collapsed the front of the Citroen, thrusting the engine into the front seat. Romney was pinned between the steering column and the driver's door.

Romney's injuries appeared so severe that a police officer who responded to the scene made a grave notation in the young man's passport: "Il est mort"--"He is dead." In fact, Romney was unconscious in a coma for 3 days. One passenger died. Romney recovered quickly and without surgery.

By all accounts, Romney himself was driving cautiously that day and deserved no blame. For Mitt, the fatal accident was a turning point. He was still a young man, 21 years old, with a young man's sense of his own invincibility.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 80-83 , Jan 17, 2012

At age 24, two kids while grad student at Harvard

Mitt Romney was already, at 24, married and the father of two young sons--their second boy, Matthew, was born in October 1971--as he threw himself into graduate work at Harvard.

The Romneys' Mormon faith, as they began building a life together, formed a deep foundation. The Romney's family-centric lifestyle was a choice; Mitt and Ann plainly cherished time at home with the boys more than anything. But it was also a duty. Belonging to the Mormon church meant accepting a code of conduct that placed supreme value on strong families. The Romneys have longed cited a well-known Mormon credo: "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

When the Romneys arrived in the Boston area in 1971, they established a home in Belmont, a well-to-do suburb that was fast becoming a magnet for Mormon families. Over the next decade, they would have three more boys in addition to Tagg and Matt. Joshua was born in 1975, Benjamin in 1978, and then Craig in 1981.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 96&101 , Jan 17, 2012

Wife Ann effectively treats her chronic Multiple Sclerosis

The more tests the doctor did, the further their hearts sank. She couldn't feel pinpricks in her foot. She couldn't keep her balance. Something was seriously wrong with Ann Romney, and she and Mitt were scared.

Ann, fit and not yet 50 years old, had first noticed the symptoms in 1997, and they had gotten progressively worse. Numbness in her right leg. A hard time climbing stairs. Difficulty swallowing. Initially they'd thought that maybe she had a virus or a pinched nerve.

After an MRI, Ann Romney had multiple sclerosis, a life-changing, chronic disease of the central nervous system whose course is difficult to predict. Ann's diagnosis changed everything. Now the love of Mitt's life was facing a potentially crippling disease. Their future was in doubt.

Eventually, Ann hit upon an effective assortment of treatments, including yoga, Pilates, reflexology, acupuncture, and a controlled diet. Perhaps most important, she rekindled her childhood love of horses, improving both her mobility and spirit.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.201-203 , Jan 17, 2012

OpEd: Never accepts "no"; but doesn't read people well

Mitt's arrest at Lake Cochituate occurred when a park ranger noticed the boat's registration had not yet been renewed. The ranger blustered, "Young man, it will cost you $50 if you put that boat in the water today." Whereupon Mitt shrugged nonchalantly, reached for his wallet, and came up with the cash, which prompted the ranger to notify the Natick police of the "bribery" attempt. While the story itself is delightful, it also illustrates the man's straight-ahead approach to life:
  1. he is a problem solver who rarely takes "no" for an answer
  2. he acts pragmatically and preemptively
  3. he likes to be in control and can be very controlling
  4. he doesn't read people well--in fact, he expects people, like the ranger, to say exactly what they mean
  5. he doesn't anticipate blindside attacks and therefore is ill prepared to deal with them; and
  6. he would rather keep mistakes to himself, although he is quite sure that whatever it was, it probably was the result of a misunderstanding.
Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 2-3 , Nov 22, 2011

Wife Ann's father was mayor of Bloomfield Hills MI

He was just 17 and she was 15, and he was driving her home from a party. A month later, he proposed marriage. Sort of. Five years would pass. In the meantime, they would be detained by the police for sliding on blocks of ice down the slopes of the Bloomfield Hills Country Club (the mayor of Bloomfield Hills--Ann's father--wasn't the least bit pleased); reprimanded again by the police for staging an impromptu formal dinner in the middle of busy Woodward Ave.; and endure Mitt's two years of missionary service in France.

Traditionally, Mormons are encouraged to marry young. As they prepare to return home, young missionaries are often instructed to immediately begin the search for "an eternal companion."

Mitt returned home from France in Dec. 1968. He wasted no time. On the short ride home from the airport, Mitt proposed marriage again. Ann accepted instantaneously.

Mitt's mother and Ann's parents were horrified. They thought Mitt and Ann were way too young, and it was much too fast.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 22-25 , Nov 22, 2011

2008: Caught eating KFC chicken with a knife & fork

On one side of the party are characters like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, who are wholly incompatible with the Republican establishment. On the other side are wealthy businessmen like Mitt Romney, who was caught in 2008 eating Kentucky Fried Chicken with a knife and fork. Romney stands little chance with working-class Americans. Pawlenty, on the other hand, has the potential to transcend the party's divisions, winning the votes of farmers in Iowa and executives in New Hampshire.
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 52 , May 10, 2010

Father George Romney born & raised until age 5 in Mexico

George Romney was born on July 8, 1907, in Colonia Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The Romneys, along with thousands of other Mormons, immigrated to Mexico in the 1880s when the federal government cracked down on polygamy. The family fled back to the US in 1912

George Romney went on his church mission to Great Britain. When he returned to America in 1928, he moved to Washington DC and took night classes at GWU, and then worked as a lobbyist for Alcoa.

In 1940, he joined the Automobile Manufacturers Association in Detroit. He became general manager of the association in 1942. In 1954 George Romney was named president of American Motors, the first Romney-led turnaround took place.

After prayer and a 24-hour fast, he resigned from American Motors and ran for governor of Michigan in 1962. In 1964 Romney stood up to the Republican Party, demanding it take a stronger stand on civil rights. He famously walked out on Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the GOP convention.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 1-4 , Aug 31, 2007

Valedictorian at Brigham Young University

Mitt transferred to Brigham Young University for school. The Romneys’ first child arrived on their first wedding anniversary. Ann took care of their firstborn, Taggart, and Mitt graduated with a degree in English near the top of his class. He gave the valedictory address for the College of Arts and Sciences.

George Romney suggested that his son study law, but Mitt wanted to go to business school. In a compromise in the great political tradition, he attended Harvard, intent on earning a Juris Doctor and MBA simultaneously. Mitt Romney doesn’t recommend it. Harvard doesn’t give you a break on tuition, he ruefully acknowledges. He graduated in four years with both degrees and headed off on a brilliant career.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.12 , Aug 31, 2007

Wife Ann in remission from Multiple Sclerosis

Despite the luster of her public persona, Ann Romney’s life isn’t perfect. One challenge Mrs. Romney has talked openly about is her battle with multiple sclerosis. The 1998 diagnosis devastated her. She said, “I was energetic; I could handle anything. And then all of a sudden it was all taken away and I could do nothing.”

She claims she would have preferred a diagnosis of a terminal disease because she was so ill. The left side of her body was numb and her balance was off-kilter. Worst of all, fatigue overwhelmed her.

Ann Romney faced the disease in a proactive way. She turned to a variety of methods to rebuild her strength and get her life back. They included acupuncture and reflexology, yoga & Pilates, deep breathing exercises & steroids. These treatments all helped, but she credits her recovery largely to getting back on a horse.

Today the disease is in remission and Mrs. Romney is healthy. She pays close attention to her energy level and diet. She continues to ride horses.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 83-84 , Aug 31, 2007

1983: Carried dog in kennel on car roof, against MA law

Q: Back in 1983, you took your Irish setter, Seamus, on a 12-hour road trip tied to the roof of your car.

A: No, no, no, not quite like that.

Q: Inside a kennel.

A: Yes, yes.

Q: What were you thinking?

A: This is a completely airtight kennel and mounted on the top of our car. He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. It was where he was comfortable. And we had five kids inside the car. My guess is he liked it a lot better in his kennel than he would have liked it inside.

Q: Well, Massachusetts law prohibits carrying an animal on top of a car, even in a kennel, as cruel and inhuman. Do you really think you did nothing wrong?

A: I didn’t know that there was any problem with that in terms of Massachusetts law. Love my dog. We’ve had a lot of dogs over the years. Love them. Seamus, as his name is, climbed up there all by himself, enjoyed his ride, and whether you’re in the back of a pickup truck or in the rooftop carrier, it was a good ride. He was a good friend of the family.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , Aug 12, 2007

Has “over-developed community service gene”

Within two weeks, I would make a complete about-face. I would leave friends and family behind and move to Utah. I would walk away from my leadership at Bain Capital at the height of its profitability and take a position without compensation.

I later joked with the press that it was due to an overdeveloped community service gene. And that was not far from the truth. Ann’s arguments had resonance, but they had resonance because she knows my core beliefs and life aspirations. She knows that somewhere deep inside, I hoped to commit myself to things greater than making a living or building a fortune. It was the spirit of service in one form or another--a family poltergeist that has haunted my ancestors for generations. It was the legacy of my heritage.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 7 , Aug 25, 2004

Pronounced dead at age 20 from car accident in Paris

The principle of triage is not lost on me. I was involved in a car accident when I was 20, serving a volunteer assignment in France. I was at the wheel on my way from Bordeaux. I came over the top of a hill to find a Mercedes coming directly at me, passing a truck. I later learned the driver had been drinking. We did not see each other until we were about 30 feet apart.

Tragically, there was a fatality; one of my passengers was pronounced dead at the scene. I was also pronounced dead. One of the gendarmes found me unconscious and wrote, “il est mort” on my passport.

My parents and Ann, my then-girlfriend, learned I had expired. They did not believe it. My father called Sargent Shriver, who was then the US ambassador at the American embassy in Paris. Shriver assured them I was very much alive.

At the hospital where we were taken, the doctor’s triage led him to focus on another colleague. Broken ribs, facial lacerations, & bleeding were more threatening then my broken arm & swollen forehead.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 39-40 , Aug 25, 2004

Dad inspired him to public service

My dad is someone who I’ve subconsciously patterned my life after. He was someone who had a very strong sense of public service, which is something that, as I’ve gotten a little older, seems to have sprung up in me as well.
Source: Quoted in Harvard Law Bulletin, Spring/02 , Mar 1, 2002

Mitt Romney on Salt Lake Olympic Committee

My job was to ask Congress for earmarks for Olympics

Q: [to Santorum]: You criticized the money that went to Romney for security at the Olympics as a bad earmark?

SANTORUM: I didn't suggest it was a bad earmark. I voted for it. But Gov. Romney asked for that earmark. His TV ads right now, unfortunately, attack me for saying that I'm this great earmarker, when he not only asked for earmarks for the Salt Lake Olympics, but also did as the governor of Massachusetts, $300 million. He said, "I would be foolish if I didn't try to get federal dollars."

ROMNEY: I would put a ban on earmarks. He mentioned coming to the Congress, asking for support. No question about it. That's the nature of leading an organization or a state. You come to Congress and you say, these are the things we need. In the history of the Olympic movement, the federal government has always provided the transportation and security. I was fighting for those things. But while I was fighting to save the Olympics, Santorum was fighting to save the "Bridge to Nowhere."

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

Took on 2000 Olympics because it was a big mess

Romney knew the perils of squandering the Salt Lake opportunity. Failure would scar US pride, further embarrass Utah and the Mormon church, an derail Romney's effort to position himself as a leader for the new millennium. "If this doesn't work," Romney said, "I can come back to private life, but I won't be anything anymore in public life."

One advisor thought the damage could extend to Romney's business career, rooted as it was in his reputation for high competence and probity. The advisor said. "If he failed to put on a quality Olympic Games, his reputation as a private-equity guy would have been significantly damaged. I think he took it because he felt that the Mormons were in trouble. He never said that, but I think he saw the scandal as a stain on his religion. He knew a calamity when he saw one."

And that was the appeal. "He loves emergencies and catastrophes," Ann Romney said they day her husband took the reins. "He would never have considered doing it if it wasn't a big mess."

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.207 , Jan 17, 2012

OpEd: SLOC's real need was fundraising and media relations

The perception was that these were to be the Mormon Olympics. To hear Mitt tell it in his autobiography, "This is a job where interactions with the media will be critical to restoring public support in Utah and in America and around the world."

There was no real financial crisis at the time Romney took over--"the SLOC had plenty of money on hand"--one analyst added, "but a leadership vacuum can create financial problems. Plus, we had lots more money to raise and fewer than five years to do it. We needed a visible leader, someone whose presence would be reassuring to the world."

Was Romney a savior or an opportunist? Probably a little of both, but probably more of the latter. Many say the games simply would have been a success, no matter who ran them. The Mormon Church would never have allowed them to fail.

Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 91-96 , Nov 22, 2011

Shut out Boy Scouts from Olympics due to age requirements

[In fall 2002] the Boy Scouts were advised that they were no longer welcome to participate in the Olympics. An Olympic spokeswoman denied that the Scouts had been shut out because of gay protests over the Dale decision. She gave a lame excuse, telling one reporter, "The reality is we would love to take those volunteers, but we have an age requirement for our volunteers. I believe it is 18." She added that Scouts and their adult leaders were welcome to apply as volunteers individually, but not as a group, and if they did volunteer, they could not wear their Scout uniforms. It turned out that there were youngsters under 18 years of age participating in the Olympic ceremonies, but these were dubbed by hair-splitting Olympic officials as "cast members."

With the previous financial problems and bribery accusations associated with the Salt Lake Olympics before Romney came on board, it may be that organizers decided to forego the threat of a lawsuit by excluding Scouts.

Source: On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.121 , Feb 12, 2008

2002: Offered Olympic job as “turnaround king”

1998 news reports began to reveal that members of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee had bribed officials on the International Olympic Committee. The bribes ran the gamut: from skiing trips & real estate to scholarships & even plastic surgery. Top officials of SLOC resigned immediately and the fallout filtered down to other members of the committee. The scandal devastated not only Utah but the entire country.

Enter Mitt Romney. Hailed as a white knight, turnaround king, and Games saver, Romney was offered the job as president of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee a little over a month after the former president stepped down. At first Romney didn’t want to take the job. He had no experience with sports management, was happily living in Massachusetts, and business was booming at Bain Capital. His deep belief in service--and some serious nudging from his wife Ann--convinced him to take the job. Relying on his lifelong credo of public service (“If not me, who?”), he headed to Utah.

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 24-5 , Aug 31, 2007

Salvaged Olympic games from financial and scandal disaster

The Games’ financial books were a disaster. The marketing had crashed. The scandal revelations kept coming. The costs kept accumulating. If he had not pulled it off, Romney could have walked away unblemished saying, “I tried, but no one but God can resurrect the dead.” But he did pull it off. His accomplishment grew even more significant because the Salt Lake City games were held against the backdrop of 9/11. The Games also proceeded under the very real fear of another terrorist attack, and with unprecedented security because of the still deeply felt vulnerability that lingered in the country.

The significance of Romney’s Olympic stewardship for Romney’s presidential bid is much more in the stories he tells of the Games than in the awful numbers he and his colleagues confronted and reversed. Romney has got a box of business stories, but they cannot compare with the planning for the torch relay, or the tale of tempting the Today Show with a promise of a Romney run on the skeleton sled.

Source: A Mormon in the White House?, by Hugh Hewitt, p. 68-69 , Mar 12, 2007

Olympic slogan “Light the Fire Within”:it’s more than sports

When I was still just considering the CEO position at the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, my sons came up with the slogan “It’s all about sport.” I felt that the scandal had brought too much attention to the administrators. The Olympics is about athletic competition.

[But as I spoke with Olympic champions], it began to impress on me that the Olympics are really about something greater than sport, but seen through sport and the Olympians themselves. The Olympics are a showcase of some of the great qualities of the human spirit: determination, persistence, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, faith, passion, teamwork, loyalty, honor, character. The Olympics celebrate the human spirit by revealing the athlete’s unrelenting drive to push the limits of human capacity.

The phrase we eventually gave as the vision of our Games was “Light the Fire Within.” Those words, that vision would affect everything we did at the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p.xiii-xiv , Aug 25, 2004

SLOC’s guiding principles: teamwork, pride, integrity, fun

[Focusing on Olympic organizational culture], we formed Guiding Principles that would form the backbone of the culture, to be printed & placed on every SLOC desk.
Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 86-87 , Aug 25, 2004

Did not consider political value of Olympics

My appointment was not the culmination of a career in sports administration. I was not being promoted from within. I had no aspirations for further appointments with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). And despite suspicions to the contrary, I had no plans to parlay the experience into political advantage.

I gave very little thought at all to what I would do afterwards. Many people cannot believe that. They think that I had calculated the political benefits. I saw no political connection at all. The idea of going to Utah as a way of helping me run in Massachusetts was nuts. If I wanted to run, I would have stayed in Massachusetts. And I had no appetite for staying in Utah for a political career. There were plenty of people who had lived there all their lives, who were prepared and qualified. I was going to Utah to run the Olympics. Ann and I felt it was the right thing to do. We felt it brought greater meaning to what we had already done. I wanted to serve the community, not run for office.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 19-20 , Aug 25, 2004

Worked for Olympics with no salary and no expense account

I announced that I would not seek a severance package at the end of my term, as the prior Olympic CEO Tom Welch had required for himself. I would also work without compensation until the Games were over and proven financially successful. It is a luxury to be able to work for an extended period without salary. But my personal finances were such that I could afford it, and I wanted to make it clear that I was at the Games to serve, not to make a bundle. I also zeroed out over $1.5 million that had been budgeted to the CEO for outside consulting and support services.

When you take a job to perform a service, not to earn a paycheck or win a jackpot, you do not really care a lot about how people think of you. You have the absolute luxury to do exactly what you think is right. Ann kept reminding me that this was about serving. It was a great relief and it freed my anxious mind to really do what I thought was right.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 55-56 , Aug 25, 2004

$100M in SLOC donations criticized as special deals for rich

To reach a $100 million goal, we would do something that had never been done before: we put together a donor program to raise big bucks. The donor program was high-octane money for us because we did not have to share any of the proceeds with the USOC or IOC.

We designed a donor package of benefits. Our bronze level cost $100,000 and entitled the donor to 4 tickets each to even of several prime events over the 17 days of the Games. Silver was $500,000 and brought 8 ticket packages & other benefits. A cool million included 12 ticketing packages.

Because no good deed goes uncriticized, the donor program attracted its fair share of naysayers. Rich people were going to get special deals. Yes, and we would get an even more special deal because these rich people would be helping us pay for Games that were in financial crisis.

Dollar by dollar, million by million, we climbed toward the $100 million dollar goal. We enlisted 105 donors. We secured the $100 million.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p. 89-91 , Aug 25, 2004

$99M in deferred payments from State of Utah paid for SLOC

Over 10 years, $59 million of sales tax revenues that otherwise would have gone to cities and towns went to build sport venues that were promised if Salt Lake were successful in winning the Games. When the Games were awarded, a contract was signed making SLOC responsible for paying $1 million back to cities and towns upon the completion of the venues and the other $58 million a month before the Games were to begin, plus an additional $40 endowment for future operating expenses.

But, there was nothing to do but approach Utah to ask for forbearance. I knew it would not be easy. The whole point of the state payment schedule was to guarantee that Utah taxpayers would get their money out first. But if we did not keep the bank line of credit, we would not have Games and if we did not have Games, the cities and towns would get zero. Give the forbearance and the cities and towns had a shot at the whole $99 million. The legislature eventually approved the deferral.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p.142-143 , Aug 25, 2004

World Trade Center flag shown at Olympic opening ceremony

As the Olympic torch made its way across the country, we realized that we would have to do something in the opening ceremony to recognize the wellspring of patriotism the torch generated. The idea for bringing the tattered World Trade Center flag into th stadium came from the USOC.

During the parade of nations, the host country’s delegation is always last. The last 8 American athletes in line would carry the 9/11 flag. The Olympic Charter stipulated that displays of nationalistic sentiment were not permitted. Hitler’s efforts to use the Games in the 1930s to celebrate Aryan superiority had sent aftershocks that were still felt.

The IOC had decided that the WTC flag could not take a place in the ceremonies. I was sympathetic to the policy but I felt it was wrong.

We finally agree about 1 AM the next morning. The flag would be brought into the stadium just before the anthem was played and held in front of the symphony and choir. A second American flag would be raised during the anthem.

Source: Turnaround, by Mitt Romney, p.349-352 , Aug 25, 2004

Ran Olympics in spirit of volunteerism

Three years ago, with the 2002 Winter Olympics mired in controversy and facing serious financial crisis, Mitt was asked to become President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Although the challenge seemed daunting, he was compelled to assume the task by both the urgings of his wife, Ann, and by the memory of his father, George Romney, who had been a successful businessman, four-term Michigan Governor and tireless advocate of volunteerism.

In his three years in Salt Lake, Mitt erased a $360 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, galvanized community spirit, oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization to ensure public safety and led one of the most successful Olympics in our country’s history.

Source: Campaign web site, Romney2002.org , Mar 20, 2002

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Mitt Romney on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)
Roseanne Barr(PF)
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Jill Stein(G)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 18, 2012