Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee for U.S. president in 2012.
Born in Detroit on March 12, 1947, he is the son of former Michigan Gov. George W. Romney. The younger Romney would serve as governor of Massachusetts from 2003-07.
After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1971, he earned dual degrees from Harvard Law and Harvard Business School. After working as a business consultant for several years, Romney founded the investment firm Bain Capital in 1984. The company launched or rebuilt more than 100 companies - among them Staples, Bright Horizons and The Sports Authority. He later would serve as chief executive officer of Bain & Co.
In 1999, he was hired as the president and chief executive of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He helped prepare the city for the ceremony following the attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
Over the years Romney also has been active in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spent 30 months as a Mormon missionary in France beginning in 1966, and has been bishop of his ward near Boston. He and wife Ann live in Belmont, Mass. They have five children and 18 grandchildren.
- Jobs and the economy - Romney's plan for the economy would reduce taxes, spending, regulation and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility. It relinquishes much power to the states to determine the best policies for job creation.
- Medicare - Romney proposes that tomorrow's Medicare should give beneficiaries a generous defined contribution, or "premium support," and allow them to choose between private plans and traditional Medicare.
- Energy - He advocates partnering with Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent by 2020. Romney would empower states to control onshore energy development; open offshore areas for energy development; restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation; and facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies
- Social Security -Romney elieves that the retirement age should be slowly increased to account for increases in longevity. Romney also believes benefits should continue to grow, but that the growth rate should be lower for those with higher incomes.
- Spending - Romney's goal is to bring federal spending below 20 percent of gross domestic product by the end of his first term. At the top of his list is repealing President Obama's health care reform law, with an estimated savings of $95 billion.
- Health care - On his first day in office, Romney says he will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. He said he will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible.
In place of Obamacare, Romney said he will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan best for its own citizens. The federal government's role would be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.
- Individual taxes - Romney suggests making permanent an across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates; maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends and capital gains; eliminate taxes for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes below $200,000 on interest, dividends and capital gains; eliminate the death tax; and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.
- Corporate taxes - Romney's plan calls for cutting the corporate rate to 25 percent; strengthening and making permanent the research and development tax credits; switching to a territorial tax system; and repealing the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax.
- National Defense - Romney would increase building of new Navy ships from nine per year to 16, including three submarines per year. He also would modernize and replace the aging inventories of the Air Force, Army and Marines to strengthen the nation's armed forces.
To pay for the increase, Romney would eliminate Obama-era defense cuts and return to the budget baseline established by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in 2010, with the goal of setting core defense spending-meaning funds devoted to the fundamental military components of personnel, operations and maintenance, procurement, and research and development-at a floor of 4 percent of GDP.