businessman who bailed out a faltering Olympics in Salt Lake City and a Republican
Party likely to lose the governor's mansion in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney has
turned his sights to the presidency, stressing the need for reform of Washington
and a need to rebuild trust in the institution of government.
believe Washington can be transformed from within by lifetime politicians. There
have been too many deals, too many favors, too many entanglements ... and too
little real world experience managing, guiding and leading," he said in announcing
his bid for the Republican nomination.
Romney, CEO of a management consultant
firm in Boston and failed 1994 candidate for Senate, first came to the national
spotlight in 1999 when he stepped in to take over the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
The local committee had been mired in a scandal over offering gifts to the international
organizers who were to decide on the host city.
His work sparked Republicans
back home to reach out to Romney to run for governor. Republicans had controlled
the governorship for 12 years and appeared likely to lose in 2002 due to the unpopularity
of the incumbent. Romney ran as a reformer, forcing the governor to drop out and
then defeating the Democratic state treasurer.
As governor of the heavily
Democratic state, he won kudos for closing a $3 billion budget deficit and focused
on a series of education reforms.
In late 2005 he announced he would not
run for re-election, prompting many to speculate about a White House bid. Politics
may also be a bit in his blood, as the son of three-term governor of Michigan,
automobile executive and failed 1968 Republican nominee George Romney.