- In 2009, Romney’s 70-year-old cousin, Meredith Romney, was kidnapped in Mexico and held for ransom in a cave for three days.k
- The Romney family can be traced back to 17th-century Great Britain to William Romney, who served as lord mayor of London.k
- Polls consistently find that Democrats are more opposed to a Mormon president than Republicans are.i
- In 1981, Mitt was arrested for “disorderly conduct” when he kept boating despite a park ranger telling him that he did not have the correct stickers on his boat. The charges were dropped when Romney threatened to sue the state of Massachusetts for false arrest.e
- In 1965, Romney was arrested for sliding down the slopes of a golf course on large blocks of ice.e
Some critics question the political neutrality of a Mormon president
- Mitt Romney is the 9th Mormon to seek the presidency. Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the founding prophet of the LDS church, was the 1st.d
- Romney created controversy when it was discovered that in 1983 he had strapped the family dog, Seamus, an Irish Setter, to the roof of the family station wagon for a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario. Critics have pointed out that Massachusetts’ animal cruelty laws prohibit anyone from carrying an “animal in or upon a vehicle.”a
- In 2007, Jay Garrity, the director of operations for Romney, created phony law enforcement badges that he and other staffers used to “strong-arm” reporters, to avoid paying tolls, and to trick security guards into giving them immediate access to campaign venues.m
- In 2002, Romney was charged with use of profanity while talking to an officer in Huntsville, Utah. Officers claimed he used the “F” word, though Romney argues that he used “H-E-double hockey sticks.” The Utah Department of Safety decided against conducting a “profanity probe.”e
- Romney is opposed to giving driver licenses and resident college tuition rates to illegal immigrants and has spoken out against chain immigration policies that would allow a family to immigrate when one member is a citizen.r
- Willard Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, making him a Pisces and a Pig in Chinese astrology.j
- Mitt Romney’s father, George W. Romney (1907-1995), was born to American parents in Mexico. Though George Romney did not graduate from college, he was a three-term governor of Michigan, an auto-executive, and a one-time front-runner for the 1968 GOP presidential nomination. He was also a member of Richard Nixon’s cabinet as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.e
- In November 2006, 43% of 1,000 people polled by Rasmussen Reports told pollsters that they would not even consider voting for a Mormon, a higher negative response than for either atheists or Muslims.e
Ann Davies and Mitt Romney were married on March 21, 1969
- Ann Romney (1949- ), Mitt’s Romney’s wife, was raised in Michigan as an Episcopalian and first met Mitt Romney in elementary school. Influenced by their relationship, she converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they ultimately married in 1969. In 2008, she was diagnosed with mammary ductal carcinoma in situ and had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy.o,e
- Mitt Romney served a mission for the LDS church in France for 30 months. Mitt’s five sons also went on missions. Tagg went to Bordeaux, France; Matt went to Paris, France; Josh to Leeds, England; Ben to Australia; and Craig to Santiago, Chile.e
- Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002 as a moderate Republication who supported abortion and gay rights. However, in his Presidential campaign he said he favors overturning Roe vs. Wade and not allowing gays in the military, which has led some people to believe he will say whatever is necessary to win an election.n
- Mitt Romney received an undergraduate degree from the College of Humanities at Brigham Young University in 1971 and entered the joint MBA/JD program at Harvard in the fall of 1971 as one of 15 students. In 1975, he graduated cum laude from the law school and as a Baker Scholar from the business school.e
- After graduating from Harvard, Romney worked for Boston Consulting Group before working for Bain & Company. He later became co-founder and head of the spin-off company, Bain Capital. In 1999, Romney left Bain to become the CEO and president of the Salt Lake City Olympics. In 2002, Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts. He left the MA governor’s office in 2007 and ran for president in 2008.n
- In August 2011, Romney signed a pledge sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage to promise to support an amendment that would “define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”g
- While Romney and his two oldest sons are not Eagle Scouts, his younger three sons are.e
- Romney has been married for 38 years, has five sons, five daughters-in-law, and 11 grandchildren.e
- Romney first ran for public office in 1994 when he was 47 years old. He ran against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, a seat Kennedy had held for decades. Kennedy won with 58% of the votes to Romney’s 41%.e
- On January 8, 2007, Romney raised $6.5 million in a single day for his presidential exploratory committee.e
- Romney’s 2006 health care reform in Massachusetts required all citizens to carry insurance and required employers to offer insurance to their employees. In 2010, similar mandates became one of the most controversial pieces of Obama’s health care overhaul. Romney said he used the states’ right to make their own laws and that he didn’t intend it as a national law.n
- Mitt Romney has come under criticism for hiring a landscaping crew to work on his Belmont property, a landscaping crew that had also hired illegal immigrants. However, when Romney discovered their immigration status, he ultimately fired the company.e
- In 2007, Alan B. Fabian, 43, a fund-raiser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign resigned from his volunteer post after being charged in Maryland for allegedly defrauding companies of $32 million. The campaign said it would not return contributions from donors who were recruited or had ties to Fabian.c
- While organizing the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, Romney was criticized by some animal welfare groups for including a rodeo exhibition as part of the Game’s festivities.e
Romney is much wealthier than Obama or any of Romney's GOP opponents
- Romney’s net worth is between $190 and $260 million, which would make him the wealthiest president ever elected. Obama reported assets between $2.8 and $11 million, mostly from book royalties. Rick Perry is worth close to $1 million.s
- Romney holds a “temple recommend,” which means his life and his practice of the LDS faith meets the requirements of LDS members who wish to worship in the church’s temples. LDS temples are not open to non-Mormons or Mormons who have failed in some aspect of their faith.e
- Romney’s great grandfather Miles Romney was a polygamist who left the U.S. for Mexico in 1885 when the LDS Church came under attack from the U.S. government about polygamy. Miles had five wives. Dozens of Romneys still live in Mexico.k
- Robert Jeffries, a Baptist preacher and a Rick Perry supporter, created controversy when he claimed that Mormonism was a cult, which should disqualify Romney from the presidency.i
- In his 2008 book about the history of the Boy Scouts, Texas Governor Rick Perry criticizes Romney for blocking the Boy Scouts from participating in the 2002 Olympics.p
- Romney was criticized during the 2008 presidential campaign for investing in countries with interest in countries such as Iran and China and in embryonic stem cell research.e
- Mitt Romney’s wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998. Since her diagnosis, she has served on the board of the New England chapter of the MS Society and is very active in raising funds for research on the disease. She is also an avid and very accomplished equestrian, and in 2006, she earned silver and gold medals from the United States Dressage Foundation.e
- Romney’s wife, Ann, served as director of the controversial Best Friends Foundation, a program that promotes “abstinence only” to inner-city girls.e
- Romney made headlines in 2003 when he and his two sons rescued a family of six and their dog when their boat sank on Lake Winnipesauke in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.l
- Romney regrets not having served in the military as well as not having more children.e
- During the Vietnam War, Romney received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon “minister of religion” for the two and a half years he was on a mission. Before and after his missionary deferment, he received almost three years of deferments for school. When his deferments ended, he became eligible for military service in 1970, but drew a high number in the national lottery, ensuring that he would not be drafted into the military.f
- Romney was named after the hotel magnate J. Willard Marriot, also a Mormon and his father’s best friend. He was also named after his father’s cousin, Milton “Mitt” Romney, a quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1925-1929.e
As an LDS missionary, Romney successfully led a campaign to baptize over 200 people
- Romney recalled that his LDS mission in France was the only time in his life where most “of what I was trying to do was rejected.” Despite his frustration, however, he helped launch a motivational campaign which led to 200 baptisms, the highest number for that mission in a decade.e
- As an LDS missionary in France, Mitt Romney helped defend two women missionaries who were being harassed by a French team of Rugby players.e
- The largest financial backer of the Occupy Wall Street protests, Robert Halper, also supports Mitt Romney and contributed the maximum allowed contribution of $2,500 to his campaign.h
- While on his LDS mission, Romney was in a terrible accident that killed his passenger, his mission president’s wife. Fault was completely placed on the other driver. His parents were initially notified that he had died.e
- When the 14-year-old daughter of Romney’s partner at Bain Capital disappeared in 1996 in New York City, Romney closed the entire office, transported his employees to the city, set up a command center, printed 300,000 fliers, and searched for her. The police credited the Bain team for finding the girl.e
- Mitt Romney’s first job was a chauffeur for a university physics department. One summer, he also worked as a security guard at a Chrysler plant.e
- Romney attended Cranbook, an elite private academy that trains students in a classical preparatory style, focusing on Latin, math, and weekly writing assignments.e
- Romney’s charitable foundation gave the LDS church $4,325,000 in three installments in 2003, 2008, and 2009. In 1998, he gave Brigham Young University $1 million to create the George W. Romney Institute for Public Management in honor of his father.q
- Though he hasn’t made the same claim yet in his 2012 campaign, during his 2008 presidential campaign, he said he would donate his $400,000 salary as president to charity.n
- Mitt Romney’s favorite foods are hot dogs and meatloaf cakes.j
- In 2008, Romney argued that Jihadism is not a “branch of Islam” and is an “entirely different entity.” He argued that the best way to defeat the Jihadists is a combination of “American resolve, international effort, and the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims.” He also argued for military and diplomatic support to Muslim nations to promote secular education, modern financial and economic policies, international trade, and human rights.b
-- Posted November 2, 2011
a Cox, Ana Marie. “Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation.” Time. June 27, 2007. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
b Gilgoff, Dan. “Mitt Romney: Jihadism Is Not Part of Islam.” US News. June 3, 2009. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
c Haggerty, Ryan. “Romney Fund-Raiser Quits after Indictment.” Boston News. August 12, 2007. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
d Hamer, John. “9 Mormons Who Ran for President.” Mormon Matters. February 5, 2008. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
e Hewitt, Hugh. 2007. A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
f Kranish, Michael. “Mormon Church Obtained Vietnam Draft Deferrals for Romney, Other Missionaries.” Boston News. June 24, 2007. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
g Montopoll, Brian. “Mitt Romney Pledges Opposition to Gay Marriage.” CBS News. August 4, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
h “Occupy Wall Street Financial Backer Also Supports Mitt Romney.” The Telegraph. October 18, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
i Oman, Nathan B. “Jeffress and the End of the Mormon Question?” Deseret News. October 21, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
j “Republican Candidate – Mitt Romney.” Iowa Caucuses. 1994-2008. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
k “Romney’s Mexican Roots: The Little-Known Story of Presidential Hopeful’s Relatives to the South.” Daily Mail. July 25, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
l “Romney, Sons Rescue Boaters.” The Boston Channel. July 7, 2003. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
m Ross, Casey. “Romney Aide’s Bogus Badges: Sources Detail ‘Illegal’ Security Tactic.” Boston Herald. July 20, 2007. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
n Sammon, Bill. 2007. Meet the Next President. New York, NY: Threshold Editions.
o Schoenberg, Shira. “Trail No Obstacle for Ann Romney.” Boston.com. September 22, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
p Shear, Michael D. and Jeff Zeleny. “Bad Blood between Perry and Romney Is Longstanding.” The New York Times. October 19, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
q Stone, Andrea. “Mitt Romney Gives Millions to Charity, Most to Mormon Church.” Huffington Post. August 11, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.
r “Truth Squad: Fact Checking the GOP Debate.” CNN. October 19, 2011. Accessed: October 23, 2011.
s Wyler, Grace. “Just How Much Money Does Mitt Romney Have?” Business Insider. August 12, 2011. Accessed: October 21, 2011.