News / USA

    Romney Touts Business Background in Presidential Bid

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be formally nominated next week as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate at the party's convention in Tampa, Florida. 

    The Republican ticket for 2012:  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. In his bid to become the 45th President of the United States, Romney highlights his business experience.

    “I understand those things, and I want to bring that understanding to make sure we can create good jobs for every American that wants a good job,” he said.

    If elected, Romney says he would lower taxes, cut government spending, reduce the budget deficit and repeal President Obama’s signature health care law.

    Romney made millions as a top executive with Bain Capital, one of the world's largest private investment firms. He helped rescue the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City from financial distress and served one term as governor of Massachusetts.

    Romney fell short in his first try for the Republican nomination four years ago.

    But he prevailed this year over more conservative rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and overcame doubts about his Mormon religion.

    Romney now leads a party committed to defeating President Obama in November, says analyst John Fortier.

    “Mitt Romney may not be the most enthusiastic candidate, but the prospect of beating Barack Obama, a person that Republicans disagree with very strongly, is a very strong motivating factor,” he said.

    On foreign policy, Romney says President Obama has damaged relations with longtime ally Israel and has not been tough enough with Iran, China and Russia.

    “And in dealings with other nations [President Obama] has given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved and apology where it is not due,” he said.

    Romney has focused on the weak economy.  But public opinion polls show he faces a challenge because voters find the president more likeable, says American University expert Jennifer Lawless.

    “There’s no question that Mitt Romney has a problem on this front," she said. "But in a lot of ways maybe it’s time to just embrace that problem and say to the American people, ‘Look, I know that you don’t like me that much but I can get this country moving in the right direction.’”

    Romney is less well known than President Obama, something both campaigns will try and address in the final weeks of the campaign, says Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown.  
    “There is a race to define Mitt Romney to the American voter and the race is between the Obama people who want to define him negatively and the Romney people who want to define him positively.  The campaign that does the best job defining Mitt Romney is going to win,” he said.

    Mitt Romney is 65, is married to his wife Ann since 1969, and they have five sons.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

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