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US candidate Mitt Romney visits the Western Wall

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Published on Jul 29, 2012

In Israel, US candidate Mitt Romney visits the Western Wall, among Judaism's holiest sites
Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and politician who is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts (2003--07).
The son of Lenore and George W. Romney (Governor of Michigan, 1963--69), he was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1966, after one year at Stanford University, he spent thirty months in France as a Mormon missionary. In 1969, he married Ann Davies, and the couple have five children together. In 1971, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University and, in 1975, a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Harvard University as a Baker Scholar. He entered the management consulting industry, which led in 1977 to a position at Bain & Company. Later serving as chief executive officer, he helped bring the company out of financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded the spin-off Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that became highly profitable and one of the largest such firms in the nation. His net worth is estimated at $190--250 million, wealth that has helped fund his previous political campaigns. Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as bishop of his ward and later stake president in his home area near Boston. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, losing to long-time incumbent Ted Kennedy. In 1999, he was hired as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 but did not seek re-election in 2006. During his term he presided over a series of spending cuts and increases in fees that eliminated a projected $1.5 billion deficit. He also signed into law the Massachusetts health care reform legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance.
Romney ran for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, winning several primaries and caucuses but losing the nomination to John McCain. In the following years, he gave speeches and raised campaign funds on behalf of his fellow Republicans. In June 2011, he announced that he would seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination; as of May 2012, he won enough caucuses and primaries to become the party's presumptive nominee.

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