Mitt Romney

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Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts (Romney campaign)
This article is part of the
SourceWatch and Congresspedia coverage
of Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and
the 2008 presidential election
Main article:

Mitt Romney is the 2012 Repbulican candidate running against Barack Obama in the 2012 election. He was elected in 2002 as the Republican governor of Massachusetts, officially announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination on February 13, 2007. Romney was supplanted by John McCain early in 2008. In June of 2011, Romney announced that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

2012 Presidential Campaign

Mitt Romney officially announced his campaign for Presidency on June 2nd, 2011, [1] he ran in an uncharacteristically weak field, and held front runner status from early 2011 into the primary season in 2012. [2]. In 2011, Romney raised over $56 million for his campaign, significantly more than any of his rivals in the GOP field [3] Romney's campaign was assisted by the Romney Affiliated SuperPAC "Restore Our Future", which spent over $40 million dollars supporting Romney during the 2012 republican Primary, mostly by attacking fellow Republican nominees including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. [4] Restore Our Future is largely financed by a few big-money donors including Bob Perry [5] and Sheldon Adelson [6]

Romney secured the majority of republican delegates necessary for nomination on May 29th. On June 20th, Romney held a massive fund raiser in Deer Valley Utah, which was attended by Republican luminaries such as Bush Strategist Karl Rove, Former Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain, and former secretary of state Condilizza Rice. The fundraiser had over 7,000 guests, each of which contributed either $50,000 or $250,000 to Mitt Romney's campaign. [7].

On August 11th, 2012, Mitt Romney selected Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate for Vice President. [8]

Campaign Contributors

Romney's campaign has relied heavily on large-money donations, some of his largest fundraising supporters were real-estate mogul Donald Trump, and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. 66% of Romney's campaign contributions have come from maxed-out donors, an uncharacteristically large percentage. [9]

Mitt Romney's largest campaign contributors during his 2012 presidential are as follows [10]

Top Contributors by Industry: [11]

  • Retired $26,158,558
  • Securities&Investment $11,458,384
  • Lawyers/Law Firms $6,797,107
  • Real Estate $6,501,252
  • Misc Finance $4,372,949
  • Health Professionals $4,021,411
  • Misc Business $3,254,219
  • Business Services $2,938,125
  • Commercial Banks $2,476,182
  • Oil & Gas $2,170,985
  • Insurance $2,098,830
  • Misc Manufacturing $1,708,020
  • Republican/Conservative$1,603,919
  • General Contractors $1,600,545
  • Education $1,473,335
  • Computers/Internet $1,391,737
  • Accountants $1,332,127
  • Automotive $1,215,495
  • Crop Production $911,427
  • Lobbyists $897,757

Restore Our Future PAC

Restore Our Future is a super PAC founded in 2010 that has been supporting Mitt Romney in his 2012 presidential campaign and was especially active during the primaries.[12] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, publishers of, the group was founded by several former Romney staffers,and, shares many large donors and staffers with American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, conservative outside spending groups connected to Karl Rove.[13]

Controversies During 2012 Presidential Election

Romney, Bain, and Outsourcing

Mary Bottari reported in PRWatch:

"Governments do not create jobs," a stern Romney told CNN's Candy Crowley twice during the second debate. Here in Wisconsin, however, he is running ads promising to "crack down on China" and create 12 million new jobs.
When attempting to square the circle, a look at Bain Capital's investment strategies might be helpful. In 1984, Romney co-founded Bain Capital, a spin-off from Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. A new accounting details Bain Capital's history in shipping some 15,865 manufacturing jobs overseas (see chart below). Using a conservative multiplier, which takes into account other jobs in the supply chain or community dependent on those manufacturing jobs, Bain is responsible for some 31,730 lost jobs.[14]

Leaked Campaign Fundraiser Video

Romney's comments on President Obama's base
Romney's comments on Palestine
Romney's press conference on the leaked videos

On September 17th, 2012, Mother Jones leaked footage of a Romney fundraiser from May of that year. The $50,000-a-plate fundraiser [15] was held on May 17th in Boca Raton at the home of Marc Leder, CEO of Sun Capital Partners. [16]

In the initial leak, Romney states that his campaign is not concerned with "47% of people, who will vote for the president no matter what." Romney says that these 47% "Are dependent on Government...believe the government has a responsibility to care for them...believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it." Romney later equates this group to "people who pay no income taxes" and says "I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility for their own lives." [17]. In another segment of the video, released shortly afterward, Romney discussed the infeasibility of any two state solution between Israel and Palestine. [18]

The Romney campaign called a press conference the night of the leak. At the conference, Romney did not apologize for his remarks, instead saying that his remarks were not "elegantly stated". Romney framed his comments as a statement on the closeness of the race, with both he and Obama competing for a very small percentage of the electorate, and both starting with a sizable base. [19] Romney did not comment on his characterization of President Obama's likely voters. The same day as Romney's comments, the Atlantic ran an article demonstrating that those who pay no income taxes live in mostly in conservative states.

Romney's Response to Libya Attacks - September 11, 2012

On September 11, 2012, an anti-Islam film allegedly sparked attacks on the U.S. embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi Libya. In Libya, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed and three U.S. personnel were wounded. [20][21]

President Obama's and Mitt Romney's campaigns agreed to a truce in honor of the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. On the 11th anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2012, the campaigns agreed to refrain from negative or partisan attacks. [22][23]

Before the killings in Libya and while dealing with a mob of angry protesters in Egypt, the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a statement which was unauthorized by the White House. "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims - as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." [24] The night of September 11, 2012, after the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya, the Romney campaign released the following statement: “that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” It has been reported that the Embassy in Cairo's statement was intended to calm protesters, and it was not authorized by the White House or President Obama. Furthermore, that statement was made hours before the attacks in Libya occurred. Mitt Romney has "doubled-down" on the comment while receiving criticism from both the left and the right, including from his own party. [25][26]

Ryan and Romney “Haven’t Run the Numbers” on Their Budget

In his first one-on-one interview after being chosen as Romney’s running mate, Rep. Ryan sat down with Fox News’ Birt Hume. “Asked by Hume when the Romney plan would balance the budget, Ryan said he didn't know because ‘we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan.’”[27]

This admission contrasts with Ryan’s image as a policy wonk who rose to prominence after introducing his own budget, which became the Republican’s alternative to President Obama’s budget.

Wealth and Taxes

In the 2012 election, Romney was by far the wealthiest candidate. Romney's wealth makes him richer than the last 8 presidents combined. [28]. Romney has been reticent to release tax records from before 2010. While he is not legally required to release records before this date, candidates customarily do so. Mitt Romney's Father, George Romney, was responsible for starting this tradition while running for Governor of Massachusetts in 1968. [29]


His campaign reports that he is worth between $190 and $250 million dollars, much of which is invested in blind trusts. [30] Blind trusts are managed by agents who have little to no contact with the investor who set them up, ideally, the trustee of a blind trust should have no idea what the trust is actually invested in. This helps prevent conflicts of interest, which makes them popular with politicians. Romney's trust is managed by his personal lawyer, R. Bradford Malt [31] and may not be truly "blind" [32]. Romney himself was once critical of the blind trust as a method of managing assets without a conflict of interest. In his 1992 race against Senator Edward Kennedy, he attacked Kennedy's own blind trust holdings, claiming that "The blind trust is an age-old ruse," [33]

Romney holds a significant portion of his wealth in offshore accounts with liberal or nonexistent tax laws. He owns a Bermuda-based financial entity named "Sankatay High Yield Investments", a $3 million dollar swiss bank account, as well as holdings in the Cayman islands and Luxemborg of an undisclosed amount. He also controls $30 million dollars in Bain Capitol funds, which are held in the Cayman islands. [34]

Most of Romney's offshore accounts are controlled through an IRA worth $100 million dollars. Romney should have been limited to annual contributions of $30,000, so it is difficult to see how this could have been done without misreporting his investments. [35] [36]


Analysis of the records Romney has released so far show that he made $45 million over 2010 and 2011 and was taxed at a rate of about 14 percent, significantly lower than most affluent Americans [37]. In 2010 Romney declared that he held just under $3 million in foreign income. He paid foreign taxes of $67,173 on that money. [38] Romney's low tax race is possible because most of his income is in capital gains, money recieved for managing other investors accounts. Capitol Gaines are taxed at a much lower rate than normal income, hugely benefiting hedge-fund managers and those who invest heavily in private equity. Romney's retirement agreement with Bain allows him to claim a yearly share of Bain's profits, which count as capital gains, not income [39]

Romney is also eligible for numerous tax credits and protections, including his tax-deferred IRA, [40] and his sizable foreign tax credits, which amounted to $129,697 in 2010. [2] Romney's returns show that he has claimed a foreign tax credit every year since 2000, which means he has payed taxes almost every year. However, this amount could be very low, especially in 2009, where it is possible he payed little or no taxes at all. Romney's return suggests that he had a sizable foreign income in 2008, as his foreign tax liability shot up in that year. [41]

A more in-depth analysis of Romney's tax credits is available here Romney's tax returns from 2011 are available here and his returns from 2010 are available here

Controversies during 2008 election

Iran: let the lawyers sort it out

When asked October 9, 2007, by Chris Matthews during the CNBC Republican debate "'If you were president of the United States, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities?' Romney's answer: let the lawyers sort it out."[42]

"Seeks Ties to Religious Right"

"He has invoked the Rev. Rick Warren, a popular evangelical author and megachurch pastor. He has quoted Scripture and alluded to the Gideon Bible as favorite late-night reading. And he has cited his belief in Jesus Christ as his personal 'savior.'

"As Mitt Romney has had to grapple with suspicions about his Mormon religion during his presidential run, he has tried in various ways to signal his kinship with evangelical Christians, who represent a crucial constituency of the Republican base but consider his religious beliefs to be heretical.

"He faces a delicate task in trying to stake out common ground with conservative Christians, while not running afoul of deeply rooted evangelical sensitivities about any blurring of distinctions between Mormonism and conventional Protestantism," Michael Luo wrote October 16, 2007, in the New York Times.[43]

National Faith and Values Steering Committee

On June 13, 2007, the Romney campaign announced its National Faith and Values Steering Committee,[44] with additions made September 6, 2007.[45] The following are all co-chairs; see press releases for vice-chairs:

Related external articles

Flip flop on gay rights

Flip flop flap on abortion rights

Flip flop flag on illegal immigration

Political attacks on Democratic candidates

Attacking Hillary

Barbara Comstock, described in August 2001 by the Washington Post's John Mintz as a "one-woman wrecking crew", is a member of Romney's campaign team. Comstock's handiwork may possibly be evidenced in two news reports on Romney's May 31, 2007, appearance at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Associated Press reported that Romney "criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton 'as a European caricature who would turn the United States into a welfare state, ... Her view is the old, classic, European caricature that we describe of big government, big taxation, welfare state. ... Her platform wouldn't even get her elected in France."

The Sioux City Journal reported that, during a question-and-answer session, Romney was asked, "If you win the nomination of the Republican Party and Hillary wins the nomination of the Democratic Party, will you take the gloves off?" Following applause and laughter, Romney responded "I'm sure we'll have a good time; the gloves will come off," adding "Shudder the thought, if Hillary were president."

David Brock, in his memoir, Blinded by the Right, "described Comstock as almost unhinged in her passion to bring down the Clintons." [3]

Hillary-Osama bashing signs

Osama as Obama

Energy adviser ties to coal industry

Mitt Romney adviser Jim Talent, a former senator from Missouri, is formulating Romney's 2012 coal energy policy while also running a lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs, that works for the coal company Peabody Energy. Talent is not an officially registered lobbyist for Mercury - although the firm's website says he offers "lobbying" services - so disclosure rules do not apply to any work he does, which Talent and Romney have declined to comment on.[50]

2008 Political Campaign


On February 13, 2007, in Dearborn, Mich., Romney officially announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. Romney, a former one-term Republican governor of Massachusetts, suggested that his "record of leadership inside and outside government uniquely positions him to tackle the country's challenges." [4]

Further, he asserted, "I do not believe Washington can be transformed from within by a lifelong politician...There have been too many deals, too many favors, too many entanglements and too little real world experience managing, guiding, leading." [5]

Campaign finance

Mel Sembler and Mark Guzzetta are National Finance Co-Chairs for the Mitt Romney 2008 Presidential campaign[51]


Campaign team and advisers

Previous Positions

Contact Information

PAC/Campaign Website:
PAC/Campaign Website:

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Stephanie Condon: Romney Launches Presidential Campaign, CBS, June 2nd, 2011
  2. Alexander Burns: X Factor: 5 Questions for the GOP Race, Politico, 5/17/2011
  3. Michael Shear: Obama Raised $42 Million in Last Quarter of 2011 NYTimes, Jan 13th, 2012.
  4. Opensecrets: 2012 Report on Restore our Future. Accessed August 27th, 2012,
  5. Danny Yadron: Bob Perry Boosts Pro-Romney Super PAC, Wall Street Journal, August 21st, 2012
  6. Fredreka Schouten: A Few Wealthy Donors Fuel Super PACs, USA Today, May 3rd, 2012
  7. Michael Barbaro: Romney's Personal Touch Pays off with Donors, New York Times, June 20th, 2012
  8. Lynn Sweet: Romney Picks Ryan as his vice presidential mate, Chicago Sun-Times, August 11th, 2012
  9. Peter Overby Who Bankrolls Romney? Big Donors, not Small Ones, NPR, February 21st, 2012.
  10. Opensecrets: Top Contributors to Mitt Romney, Accessed September 18th, 2012
  11. Opensecrets: Top Industries, Mitt Romney, Accessed September 18th, 2012
  12. Restore Our Future,, Accessed September 14, 2012, Posted on September 18, 2011, Updated on July 25, 2012.
  13. Restore Our Future Organization Profile, - Center for Responsive Politics, Accessed September 14, 2012.
  14. Mary Bottari, Bain Capital and the Race to the Bottom in Manufacturing and Wages, PRWatch, October 24, 2012.
  15. Wayne Roustan: Romney Cashes in, In Boca Ratan, Accessed September 18th, 2012
  16. David Corn: Secret Video: Romney tells Millionaire Donors what he REALLY thinks of Obama voters, Mother Jones, September 17th, 2012
  17. Michael Shear and Michael Barbaro: Romney Calls 47% of Voters Dependent in Leaked Video, New York Times, September 17th, 2012
  18. 10News: At Controversial Fundraiser, Romney says Middle East Peace is Not Possible, September 18th, 2012
  19. New York Times: Transcript: Romney Responds to Release of Secret Video, New York Times, September 18th, 2012
  20. Dana Hughes , Kevin Dolak, & Enjoli FrancisLibya Consulate Hit With Two Attacks That Lasted Nearly Five Hours ABC News, September 12, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  21. Remains of Libya attack victims return home CBS News, September 14, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  22. Obama and Romney freeze negative ads for Sept. 11 anniversary, September 11, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  23. Jim Kuhnhenn and Ben FellerObama, Mitt Romney Talk Military Amid 9/11 Truce Huffington Post, September 11, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  24. U.S. embassy in Cairo statement Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 12, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  25. Steve KornackiMitt’s shameful Libya statement, September 12, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  26. FACT CHECK: Mitt Romney rhetoric on Egypt, Libya out of step with timeline of events The Washington Post, September 12, 2012, Accessed September 14, 2012
  27. Simon Maloy, “We Haven’t Run The Numbers:” A Startling Admission That’s Getting Little Attention ‘’Media Matters for America’’ blog, August 15, 2012
  28. USA Today: Romney Would Rank Among the Richest Presidents if Elected, January 28th, 2012
  29. Politifact: DNC says Presidential Candidates Usually Release Tax Returns, But Romney Won't, December 6th, 2011
  30. Matt Viser: Romney Worth Between 190 and 250 million dollars, Boston Globe, August 13th, 2011
  31. Boston Lawyer Keeps Steady Hand on Romney's Holdings, January 30th, 2012
  32. Matthew Mosk: Romey's Blind Trust May not be so Blind, ABC News, December 17th, 2012
  33. Matthew Mosk: Romey's Blind Trust May not be so Blind, ABC News, December 17th, 2012
  34. Nicholas Shaxson: Investigating Mitt Romney's Offshore Accounts, Vanity Fair, August, 2012.
  35. Edward Klienbard:Why won't Romney Release More Tax Returns, CNN, 7/18/2012
  36. Mark Marimount: Romney IRA's Offshore Investments Helping His Tax Bill, Wall Street Journal, January 19th, 2012
  37. Michael D. Shear, Jeff Zeleny, Jim Rutenberg: Romney Tax Returns to Give View of Family Wealth, New York Times, January 24th, 2012
  38. James Stewart Tax Credits Shed Light on Romney,The New York Times, August 24th, 2012
  39. Nicholas Confessore: Retirement Deal keeps Bain Money Flowing, New York Times, December 8th, 2011
  40. Mark Marimount: Romney IRA's Offshore Investments Helping His Tax Bill, Wall Street Journal, January 19th, 2012
  41. James Stewart Tax Credits Shed Light on Romney,The New York Times, August 24th, 2012
  42. Nico Pitney, "Romney On Whether He Can Invade Iran Without Congressional Approval: Let The Lawyers Sort It Out," The Huffington Post, October 9, 2007.
  43. Michael Luo, "Gingerly, Romney Seeks Ties to Christian Right," New York Times, October 16, 2007.
  44. News Release: "Governor Mitt Romney Announces the National Faith and Values Steering Committee,", June 13, 2007.
  45. Press Release: "Governor Mitt Romney Announces Additions To The National Faith And Values Steering Committee,", September 6, 2007.
  46. E. Peb Jackson, Council for National Policy, profile posted by
  47. Press Release: "Ovide Lamontagne Joins Romney For President in New Hampshire,", April 25, 2007.
  48. ePluribus Media, "Swift Boat PR Team Reassembles to Market Bush Supreme Court Candidate," The Daily Kos, July 5, 2005.
  49. News Release: "Governor Mitt Romney Announces Texas Statewide Finance Committee,", May 27, 2007.
  50. "Romney energy aide has financial ties to Big Coal" Salon, Sep. 12, 2011.
  51. Kevin Madden,[1] Mitt Romney for President 2008 Press release, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007.
  52. Michael M. Phillips, "Bob Jones Dean Endorses … Romney!" Washington Wire/Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2007.
  53. Foon Rhee, "Mack for Romney, Perry for Giuliani," Political Intelligence/Boston Globe, October 17, 2007.
  54. Leah Greenbaum, "B-School dean Hubbard to advise Romney campaign ," Columbia Spectator, September 6, 2011.
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 "Mitt Romney Announces Economic Policy Team", September 6, 2011. Accessed March 12, 2012.


Unofficial websites

External articles