Mitt Romney

Party: Republican

Occupation: Businessman, Former Governor of Massachusetts.

Current Job / Position: Candidate

Birthdate: March 12, 1947

Age: 60

Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Spouse: Ann Romney

Children: Tagg Romney, Matt Romney, Josh Romney, Ben Romney, Craig Romney

Religion: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Political career: Massachusetts governor, 2003-2007; ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate seat against Democratic incumbent Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts, 1994.

Professional career: CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics, 1999-2002; joined Boston-based Bain & Co., a management consulting firm, in 1977; vice president of Bain & Co., 1978-84; head of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm he founded, 1984-1990; interim CEO of Bain & Co., 1991-92; head of Bain Capital, 1992-1999; Boston Consulting Group, 1975-76.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of arts degree, Brigham Young University, 1971; master's degree in business administration, Harvard Business School, 1975; law degree, Harvard Law School, 1975.

Top Issues

Would let states decide. Opposes constitutional amendment banning abortion. Previously supported abortion rights.

Criticized plans in Congress to offer illegal immigrants a path to legal status. Supports building a border fence with Mexico and stationing National Guard troops there. Favors penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. As governor, reached an agreement with Washington allowing state troopers to enforce federal immigration law, including arresting illegal immigrants and seeking their deportation.

Supports troop increase, favors adding five brigades in Baghdad and two regiments in Anbar province.

Same-Sex Marriage
Amend Constitution to ban it. Also opposes same-sex civil unions.

Second Amendment
Romney has claimed at different times to be for and against gun control.

As governor, supported state's strict gun-control laws and signed into law 1 of the nation's toughest laws against assault-type weapons.

Also supported regulatory changes favored by gun owners and sellers, including setting up appeals process for people denied gun licenses.

Previously supported federal ban on assault-type weapons and federal waiting period for purchases.

Supports federal requirements for standardized tests and praises No Child Left Behind law.

Supports "school choice, better pay for better teachers, high standards, scholarships for the best kids, English immersion."

Global warming
As Massachusetts governor, backed out of regional pact to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants because it did not cap the higher energy costs it might place on business and consumers.

Says energy independence is the way to deal with global warming.

Health insurance

Favors incentives for states to expand affordable coverage.

As governor, signed health care law aimed at ensuring universal coverage through a mix of subsidies, sliding scale premiums and penalties for those who do not get insurance.

Social security
Says higher taxes are "wrong way to go."

Would extend Bush's tax cuts, which could cost $2.3 trillion to keep in place until 2017.

Supports tax breaks to those earning less than $200,000, including eliminating capital gains, interest and dividend taxes for most.

Says costs of $32 billion a year to be paid in part by cutting growth of federal spending.

Favors eliminating the estate tax.

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