Mitt Romney - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY, Republican. Former Governor of Massachusetts. Age 60.

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.

FAMILY: Wife Ann, five children.

THE ISSUES:

ABORTION:

  • Does not favor abortion rights, but would let states decide.
  • Opposes constitutional amendment banning abortion.
  • Previously supported abortion rights.

EDUCATION:

  • 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."

GAY MARRIAGE:

  • Does not support same-sex marriage.
  • Would amend Constitution to ban it.
  • Also opposes same-sex civil unions.

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.

GUN CONTROL:

  • As governor, supported state's strict gun-control laws and signed into law one 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.

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.

IMMIGRATION:

  • Says he opposes 2006 bill that would have provided conditional path to citizenship, although he called it reasonable in 2005.
  • Supports building a border fence with Mexico and stationing National Guard troops there.
  • Calls for tamperproof ID cards so only legal immigrants can work.
  • Opposes policy allowing legal immigrants to host extended families in U.S.

IRAQ:

  • Supports troop increase and prosecution of the war.

SOCIAL SECURITY:

  • Says higher taxes are "wrong way to go."

TAXES:

  • Would extend Bush's tax cuts, which could cost 2.3 trillion dollars 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 dollars a year to be paid in part by cutting growth of federal spending.
  • Favors eliminating the estate tax.

STANDINGS:

  • Got 29 percent in February 1st-3rd CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll.
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