A look at the GOP contenders on the issues plus vitals, fun facts and "oops" moments. Plus, watch our video cheat sheet (8 Photos)
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Status: Married to Ann Romney for 42 years
Children: 5 sons -- Craig 30, Benjamin 33, Joshua 36, Matthew 40, Taggart 41; 16 grandchildren
Political experience: Massachusetts Governor from 2003 to 2007; ran for U.S. Senate in 1994, lost to incumbent Senator Ted Kennedy; ran for President in 2008, did not get GOP nomination
Jobs/Economy: Would repeal the Affordable Care Act, often referred to by the GOP candidates as “Obama-care,” which was passed by Congress in an attempt to provide health coverage for all Americans, lower health care costs and prevent insurance companies from refusing coverage on the basis of patients’ pre-existing conditions. Would eliminate Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which increased regulation and oversight of the financial industry in response to the economic collapse in 2008 and the subsequent Wall Street bailout. Would cut some government departments to lessen regulation of businesses. Romney says, “The right answer for America is not to grow government or to believe that government can create jobs. It is instead to create the conditions that allow the private sector and entrepreneurs to create jobs and to grow our economy.” To achieve this, Romney would reduce the corporate tax rate to 25% and cut "non-discretionary" mandated government spending by 5%.
Foreign Policy: Would review Afghanistan in first 100 days, but hold Afghanistan government responsible for governing. Has said in debate performances that the U.S. shouldn’t fight a war for another nation and says troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan. Won’t rule out war against Iran to prevent Iranian government from acquiring/developing nuclear weapons.
Health Care: Is against current federal health care reform plan, but spearheaded successful movement in favor of universal health care for state residents while governor of Massachusetts.
Fun Fact: People Magazine named Romney one of its 50 Most Beautiful People in 2002.
“Oops” Moment: Romney has been trying to portray himself as a man of the people with reports that there were times he lived without refrigerators and that he purchased golf clubs from K-mart. One remark during Saturday's Iowa debate undercut that. He argued with Rick Perry over whether he had or had not endorsed an individual health care mandate as Massachusetts governor. In contesting the accuracy of Perry's description, instead of using what many of us might say, "I'll bet you a dollar you're wrong," Romney upped the ante, saying, "I'll tell you what... 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet" that you're wrong? Romney's campaign claims he knew he was right and that he would not lose the $10,000.
Romney also took a lot of heat when, in response to questioning about how people fare in America vs. corporations, he told an Iowa State Fair campaign crowd that “Corporations are people, too.”
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