Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign
|Mitt Romney for President 2012|
|Campaign||2012 Republican primaries|
2012 U.S. presidential election
70th Governor of Massachusetts
U.S. Senator from Utah
U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
|Status||Announced candidacy: June 2, 2011|
Presumptive nominee: April 25, 2012
Official nominee: August 28, 2012
Lost election: November 6, 2012
|Headquarters||585 Commercial Street|
|Key people||Matt Rhoades (manager)|
Beth Myers, Peter Flaherty and Eric Fehrnstrom (advisors)
Stuart Stevens (strategist)
Ashley O'Connor (director of advertising)
Rich Beeson (political director)
Lanhee Chen (policy director)
Gail Gitcho (communications director)
Andrea Saul (press secretary)
Spencer J. Zwick (finance chair)
Kathryn Biber (general counsel)
Lindsay Hayes (speech writer)
Neil Newhouse (pollster)
|Mitt Romney 2012|
Governor of Massachusetts
U.S. Senator from Utah
The Mitt Romney presidential campaign of 2012 officially began on June 2, 2011, when former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney formally announced his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States, at an event in Stratham, New Hampshire. Having previously run in the 2008 Republican primaries, this was Romney's second campaign for the presidency.
He filed his organization with the Federal Elections Commission as an exploratory committee and announced the organization in a video message on April 11, 2011. He became the party's presumptive nominee with his victory in the Texas primary on May 29, 2012.
On August 11, 2012, in Norfolk, Virginia, Romney announced that Paul Ryan, the long-time U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, would be his running mate for vice president. (Later, in October 2015, he was elected Speaker of the House.)
Romney's campaign came to an end on November 6, 2012, upon defeat by incumbent President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Romney received 60,933,500 votes, or 47.2% of the total votes cast, winning 24 states and 206 electoral votes.
Had he won, Romney would have been the first Michigan native to serve as president (as Gerald Ford was born in Nebraska), and the second governor of Massachusetts to do so, after Calvin Coolidge. Ryan would have been the first vice president from Wisconsin.
- 1 Background
- 2 Campaign formation
- 3 Campaign for the party nomination
- 4 General election campaign
- 5 Media issues
- 5.1 First TV advertisement and questions about context
- 5.2 Work requirement for welfare
- 5.3 Dog incident
- 5.4 Etch A Sketch
- 5.5 Little Face Mitt and other memes
- 5.6 Tax returns
- 5.7 Doctored video
- 5.8 Video of private fundraiser
- 5.9 Candidate statements and campaign ads on GM and Chrysler auto production in China
- 6 General election debates
- 7 Election day activities
- 8 Post-campaign matters
- 9 Explanations for the loss
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
2012 U.S. presidential election
After the 2008 election, Romney built a strategy for the 2012 presidential campaign and saved PAC money to underwrite salaries and consulting fees for his existing political staff and to build up a political infrastructure for what might become a $1 billion campaign three years hence. He also had a nationwide network of former staff and supporters eager for him to run again. He continued to give speeches and raise campaign funds on behalf of fellow Republicans. Romney declined a lucrative job as head of a hedge fund, and instead began a yearlong self-education on foreign and domestic issues.
Romney finished first in the CPAC straw poll in 2009 and second in 2010 and 2011, won the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll in 2010, and won the New Hampshire Straw Poll in 2011.
Romney released his 2010 tax return in early January 2012, along with a partial 2011 return which he promised to release in whole upon its completion. During the presidential campaign, he decided not to disclose additional returns citing the matter as a distraction from more important issues.
Despite his preparations, Romney remained unconvinced on whether to run again. In December 2010 he asked his immediate family to vote on a 2012 campaign. Unlike the unanimous support before the 2008 campaign, this time 10 family members voted against another try; only Romney's wife Ann and one son voted in favor, and Romney told family members that he would not run again. In the spring of 2011, his wife and political allies persuaded him to change his mind, telling Romney that they believed he could fix the economy.
Before a slower start to the presidential campaign by all contenders than four years previous, on April 11, 2011, Mitt Romney announced by means of a video recorded that day at an athletics field at the University of New Hampshire that he had formed an exploratory committee as a first step for a potential run for a Republican presidential campaign, saying, "It is time that we put America back on a course of greatness, with a growing economy, good jobs and fiscal discipline in Washington."
Romney formally announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination at an outdoor gathering in Stratham, New Hampshire, on June 2, 2011. In his announcement speech, he pledged to make the U.S. economy the main focus of his campaign, saying "My number one job will be to see that America is number one in job creation."
On May 16, 2011, the Romney campaign announced that it had raised $10.25 million "in connection with today's call day fundraiser in Nevada." This was hailed in the media as "an impressive one day total." Thereafter, however, the Los Angeles Times reported that "the amount actually represented pledges gathered earlier and tallied that day, not just funds actually taken in by the campaign." Later, it was discovered that Romney had actually raised $2.403 million on May 16, about a quarter of the claimed amount.
For the entire second quarter, the campaign expected to raise only about $20 million, less than the $44 million raised in that period in 2007 but still more than any of the other Republican candidates. By the end of June, Romney's campaign raised $18.5 million, which was $14 million more than U.S. Representative Ron Paul, who came 2nd in funding amongst Republican candidates.
By the end of March 2012, Romney had raised $88 million, far more than his nearest Republican rival, Ron Paul ($36 million). President Barack Obama had raised $197 million, more than twice as much as Romney, and the Obama campaign had nearly 10 times as much cash on hand (over $100 million compared to Romney's $10 million). By the end of April, Romney was far outstripping Obama in large-value campaign contributions from individual donors: most (62%) of Romney's contributions were at the legal limit of $2,500, compared to 16% of Obama's. Obama fared better among small-value donors, with almost half (43%) of his donations at $200 or less, compared to only 10% of Romney's.
In an article about 2016 Presidential election fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner, 2012 campaign finance chair Zwick was mentioned in regards "fund-raising fees paid by Mr. Romney's  campaign committees to limited liability companies established by Mr. Zwick: about $34 million, according to campaign disclosure reports".
By April 2012 Romney's financial supporters included Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, Louis Moore Bacon of Moore Capital Management, John Paulson of Paulson & Co., Steven Allen Schwarzman, of The Blackstone Group and Paul Singer of Elliott Management Corporation.
Campaign staff and policy team
- Matt Rhoades, Campaign Manager. Rhoades was communications director of Romney's '08 campaign. He also was a deputy communications research director for the Republican National Committee during the 2006 election cycle, and a research director for the 2004 Bush campaign.
- Chief of staff to the executive director, Kelli Harrison
- Advisers, Beth Myers, Peter Flaherty and Eric Fehrnstrom
- Strategists, Stuart Stevens and Russell Schriefer. Founding partners and principals at the Stevens & Schriefer Group (SSG). Previously they were media consultants on Romney's 2007–08 campaign, and part of the media team on the 2004 George W. Bush presidential campaign, and on Bush's 2000 campaign.
- Political director, Rich Beeson. Partner at FLS Direct and previously the RNC director for the 2008 election cycle.
- Communications director Gail Gitcho. Former communications director to Scott Brown and national press secretary for the RNC.
- Digital director Zac Moffatt. Former co-founder and partner of Targeted Victory, a Republican digital strategic consulting firm.
- Lanhee Chen, policy director. Chen was chief domestic policy adviser during Romney's 2008 campaign for president. Visiting scholar at the University of California's Institute of Governmental Studies. Previously deputy campaign manager and policy director on California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's campaign for governor, 2009–10, and senior counselor to the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Foreign Policy and National Security Advisory Team
Romney's foreign policy special advisors were drawn largely from the previous Republican administration. Of the 24 foreign policy advisors, 17 served in the Bush-Cheney administration.
- Cofer Black, previously director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (CTC) under presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and coordinator for counter-terrorism under President George W. Bush. Black currently serves as chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions.
- Christopher Burnham, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Management for the UN Secretary General. Kofi Annan, and Under Secretary of State for Management for Condoleezza Rice during the George W. Bush administration. Connecticut State Treasurer from 1995–1997.
- Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, co-author of the Patriot Act.
- Eliot Cohen, Counselor to the United States Department of State under Secretary Condoleezza Rice from 2007 to 2009.
- Norm Coleman, United States senator from Minnesota from 2003 to 2009.
- John Danilovich, former US ambassador to Costa Rica and later Brazil; former head of Millennium Challenge Corporation.
- Paula Dobriansky, 3rd Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs.
- Eric Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under George W Bush.
- Michael Hayden, director of NSA and later CIA under George W. Bush.
- Kerry Healey, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Romney from 2003 to 2007.
- Kim Holmes, vice president, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, and director, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.
- Robert Joseph, senior scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy.
- Robert Kagan, foreign policy commentator at the Brookings Institution.
- John F. Lehman, Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, member of the 9/11 Commission.
- Walid Phares, national terrorism expert
- Pierre-Richard Prosper, United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues.
- Mitchell Reiss, president of Washington College.
- Dan Senor, former spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority during Iraq occupation.
- Jim Talent, former U.S. Senator from Missouri.
- Vin Weber, former U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.
- Richard S. Williamson, 17th Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
- Dov Zakheim, foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush.
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. Representative from Florida's 18th Congressional District
- Mario Diaz-Balart, U.S. Representative from Florida's 21st Congressional District
- Lincoln Diaz-Balart, former U.S. Representative from Florida's 21st Congressional District
Co-chairs of Romney advisory committees
- R. Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he is also the Russell Carson Professor of Finance and Economics.
- Gregory Mankiw, professor of economics at Harvard University.
- Jim Talent, former U.S. Senator from Missouri.
- Vin Weber, former U.S. Congressman from Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.
- Robert Bork, judge of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
- Mary Ann Glendon, professor of law at Harvard University and former United States Ambassador to the Holy See.
- Richard E. Wiley, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and founder of Wiley Rein LLP.
- Anthony Principi, the 4th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs under George W. Bush.
- Jim Nicholson the 5th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs under George W. Bush.
- Carlos Gutierrez, the 35th United States Secretary of Commerce under George W. Bush.
- Rod Hunter, senior vice president of international advocacy for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
- John Herrmann, former member of the National Security Council.
- William Barr, Attorney General under George H.W. Bush.
- Michael Mukasey, Attorney General under George W. Bush.
- George J. Terwilliger III, Deputy Attorney General under George H.W. Bush.
- Mark Filip, Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush.
- Alice S. Fisher, former assistant attorney general under George W. Bush
Health care policy:
- Scott Atlas, the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
- Tom Barker, partner at Foley Hoag LLP.
- Scott Gottlieb, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
- Paul Howard, director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress.
- Avik Roy, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
- Tevi Troy, Deputy Secretary of the Health & Human Services (HHS) under George W. Bush.
Campaign for the party nomination
Mitt Romney was one of many competing for the role of Republican nominee for president.
CPAC Straw Poll
Romney won the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Straw Poll in February with 38% of the vote. The poll is traditionally considered an important barometer of the sentiments of conservative activists. The New York Times wrote that the Romney campaign was busing in students from along the East Coast to support Romney. Rick Santorum finished second in the straw poll with 31%. Politico reported that the Romney campaign bought CPAC registration tickets to the conference, while the Santorum campaign did not.
Initially, Romney was declared the winner of the 2012 Iowa Republican caucuses, surpassing rival candidate Rick Santorum by eight votes. Upon official vote count, Santorum was found to have obtained thirty-four more votes than Romney and was declared the winner. Former Iowa Republican Chairman Richard Schwarm stated, "I think people realize it's a tie." The day final results were announced, "Governor Romney called Senator Santorum to congratulate him on the Iowa results," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
New Hampshire primary
The weekend ahead of the New Hampshire primary on January 10, Romney participated in two debates, which Reuters said Romney "weathered well." Newt Gingrich attacked Romney with allegations that he had destroyed companies and fired workers while working for Bain Capital. Romney won the New Hampshire primary with 39.3 percent of the vote.
South Carolina primary
The South Carolina Republican primary was scheduled for Saturday, January 21, 2012. Several polls showed Romney having a slight lead over Gingrich in South Carolina. Gingrich continued to criticize Romney for causing job losses, Rick Perry referred to Romney's role at Bain Capital as 'vulture capitalism', and Sarah Palin stated that Romney needed to prove that Bain actually created 100,000 jobs as Romney has claimed. The negative advertising campaign was mainly sponsored by "Winning Our Future", the super PAC that supports Gingrich. During debates in Myrtle Beach and Charleston, Romney came in second place in the primary with 28% of the vote, behind Newt Gingrich with 40% of the vote, but ahead of Rick Santorum (17%) and Ron Paul (13%).
Polls taken immediately after the South Carolina primary showed Newt Gingrich in the lead but polls released a few days later placed Romney in first place. At least 200,000 Floridians voted via absentee ballots or early voting, a factor thought to favor Romney who aggressively campaigned in Florida in early January. Romney participated in both of the four-man debates that were held on Monday, January 23 and Thursday, January 26.
Romney released tax returns for 2010 and estimates for 2011. He showed income over that period of $42.5 million. His effective tax rate for 2010 was 13.9 percent, and he estimated that it would be 15.4 percent for 2011. About $13 million of his income was in "carried interest" and hence eligible for favorable tax treatment under a provision that Democrats have sought to end. It was also disclosed that Romney had investments in the Cayman Islands and previously had a Swiss bank account until it was closed in 2010.
The Nevada Republican caucuses were held on Saturday, February 4. Less than 33,000 Republicans took part in the Nevada caucuses, which proportionally awards 28 Republican delegates. Romney won 50% of the caucus-goers, followed by Gingrich at 21%, Paul at 19%, and Santorum at 10%. Romney won 14 delegates, whereas Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum were awarded 6, 5, and 3 delegates respectively.
Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri
Rival candidate Rick Santorum surprised observers by winning all the three of the states holding votes on February 7. Romney lost to the former Pennsylvania senator by 5 points in the Colorado caucus, finished third with 17% behind Ron Paul and Santorum in the Minnesota caucuses, and, in a contest that did not actually award any delegates and did not include Newt Gingrich on the ballot, lost the Missouri primary to Santorum by a 30-point margin.
Michigan and Arizona
Michigan and Arizona held their Presidential primaries on Tuesday, February 28, and allocated 29 and 30 Republican delegates, respectively. CNN moderated a Republican primary debate in Mesa, Arizona on February 22, 2012. The Arizona Republican primary is 'winner-take-all' and the Michigan Republican delegate results are allocated proportionately among the candidates by voting district. Romney won the Michigan primary narrowly, and won the Arizona primary by a wide margin.
The state of Washington held their caucuses on Saturday, March 3, with Mitt Romney gaining momentum going into 'Super Tuesday'. Later, Washington held their state GOP convention June 2, 2012 giving Romney at least 34 delegates for the Republican National Convention.
The largest number of states in the Republican Primary race voted on March 6, 2012, with Romney winning six states (Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia); Santorum winning three states (North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee); and Gingrich winning Georgia.
Presumptive presidential nominee
After Super Tuesday, Santorum won in Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, while Ron Paul won the Virgin Islands Caucus. However, Romney maintained a solid lead with wins in Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands. As a result, Santorum dropped out on April 10. After Romney won the April 24 Delaware primary, Gingrich dropped out on May 2 in a move that was seen as an end to the nomination contest and resulted in the Republican Party declaring Romney the presumptive nominee. While Ron Paul never officially dropped out, he stopped campaigning on May 14.
By April 2012, in the absence of viable alternatives to Romney for the Republican nomination, polls showed Romney gaining on Obama's earlier double-digit lead in a hypothetical head-to-head general election contest. However, polls (both nationally and in battleground states like Florida and Ohio) also showed that for most of those who said they would vote for Romney, the primary motivator was hostility toward Obama rather than affirmative support for Romney. On April 25, 2012, the Republican National Committee (RNC) declared Romney the party's presumptive nominee. On May 29, Texas held their 2012 Republican primaries, which Romney won. The subsequent accumulation of the state's 155 delegates was enough to secure Romney the party's nomination assuming at least 34 unpledged delegates voted for him, which was very likely. After wins in California and several smaller states on June 5, Romney exceeded 1144 pledged delegates, giving him absolute certainty of the nomination and making the June 26th Utah Primary, the last contest of the cycle, purely symbolic. In July Romney described an Obama recess appointment as "Chicago-style politics at its worst," introducing the meme into the rhetoric of the 2012 campaign[undue weight? ]
On August 28, 2012, delegates at the Republican National Convention chose Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee against President Barack Obama. This formal nomination sets up a two-month final race to the elections on November 6.
General election campaign
Romney's record at Bain Capital and Bain's investments were a prominent issue, with Romney arguing his tenure at Bain demonstrated management and leadership skills that created thousands of jobs. Political opponents have argued that under Romney, some investments at Bain increased investor profits at the expense of middle-class workers who were laid off. Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital in February 1999 to manage the Salt Lake City Olympics. Romney remained named on company documents while reorganization of Bain and according to SEC filings, he continued to be the "sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President" of Bain for 3 additional years. This discrepancy was reported by The Boston Globe in July 2012 and used by Obama and his campaign in its ads that Romney was responsible for the activities of Bain Capital during that period, from 1999 to 2002. According to Bain, Romney played no active role despite his name being on the required filings. FactCheck.org examined the issue and reported that Romney did leave Bain in 1999. A report by Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post  reported that there is little or no basis for the assertions by an Obama campaign staffer of criminal charges or civil liability with respect to the SEC filings. Romney's campaign cried foul and Romney personally demanded an apology which was refused by the Obama campaign.
In June 2012, former President Bill Clinton said that Romney, in having served as governor and having had a "sterling business career," met the basic qualifications to perform the essential functions of the presidency. Clinton also warned that Romney's economic proposals were "wrong-headed" and that a Romney presidency would be "calamitous" for the country and the world.
In July 2012, Romney undertook an international trip as the presumptive nominee of the Republican party, visiting the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland to meet heads of state, and also to raise funds.
In London, his comments in an NBC interview in which he referred to "disconcerting stories" over security concerns regarding readiness of the London 2012 Olympic Games were widely viewed as undiplomatic by the British press and leading politicians. British Prime Minister David Cameron defended the Olympic security preparations: "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest most active bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere. I visited Naypyidaw recently, in Burma, they've got six-lane highways and no cars on them. This is a busy, bustling city so inevitably you're going to have challenges." While Cameron's aides stated he didn't intend a jibe at Romney or Salt Lake City, the British press seized upon the "middle of nowhere" remark, construing it as an allusion to Utah where Romney had managed the Olympics in 2002.
In Jerusalem, Romney discussed the possibility of a military strike against Iran with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. He also discussed foreign policy regarding Iran with Israeli opposition Leader Shaul Mofaz. Romney said that the U.S. has a "solemn duty" to prevent Iran from harming Israel. He made no public promise that he would attack Iran's nuclear facilities if elected, but he reiterated that no option should be off the table in seeking to end Iran's nuclear program, although he hoped that diplomatic measures and economic sanctions would be successful. Romney called Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and later said that he would plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but would decide the timing of the move in consultation with the government of Israel. The Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian organizations denounced Romney's remarks about the political status of Jerusalem, which they hope will become the capital of a future Palestinian state, as well as Romney's refusal to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (he met instead with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad). Some Palestinian leaders were also offended by remarks Romney made during a fundraiser, when he suggested that cultural differences and "the hand of providence" help explain why Israelis are more economically successful than Palestinians, and why similar economic disparities exist between other neighbors, such as the United States and Mexico, or Chile and Ecuador. A senior aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the remarks racist, as did American political scientist Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute of Latino Policy. The Embassy of Mexico in the United States also rejected Romney's comments, noting that Mexico currently has a higher economic growth rate and lower inflation than the United States. Romney later denied that his comments had been directed against "Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy."
In Warsaw, Romney called Poland a model of small government and free enterprise whose example other states should emulate. He praised Poland for rejecting "the false promise of a government-dominated economy" and for seeking to "stimulate innovation, attract investment, expand trade, and live within its means." Romney also thanked the Polish people for supporting the U.S. in many conflicts. Romney briefly mentioned Russia, listing the country alongside Syria, Venezuela and Belarus, as examples of countries where "the desire to be free is met with brutal oppression". When American journalists tried to question Romney during a visit to Warsaw's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, his campaign spokesman told journalists: "Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people," and told a reporter to "shove it". The spokesman later apologized for the outburst. In Gdańsk, Solidarność co-founder and former Polish President Lech Walesa endorsed Romney for president, but Solidarność's current leadership distanced itself from the event and criticized Romney as hostile to unions and labor rights.
Romney accepted an invitation to address the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on July 11, 2012. On the issue of creating jobs, Romney said, "If our goal is jobs, we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. So to do that, I'm going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find. That includes Obamacare, and I'm going to work to reform and save --" Romney was cut off by prolonged boos from those in attendance. Romney later attended a fundraiser in Hamilton, Montana and reflected on the booing he received at the NAACP event, "Remind them of this: if they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy – more free stuff. But don't forget, nothing is really free."
Vice presidential selection
According to the book Double Down, Romney's campaign narrowed down his list of potential nominees for Vice President to former Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty, United States Senator from Ohio Rob Portman, eventual 2016 presidential candidates Senator Marco Rubio from Florida and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and longtime U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Having returned from his overseas tour of the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland, Romney planned a bus tour of Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida with his then-yet to be announced running mate.
On August 10, 2012, it was announced that Romney would introduce his running mate on August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia, after touring the USS Wisconsin, leading several news sources to speculate that his choice would be Ryan.
Shortly after 7 a.m. on August 11, the Romney campaign officially announced Ryan as its choice for vice president through its mobile app titled "Mitt's VP". This decision made Ryan the major parties' first-ever vice-presidential candidate from Wisconsin.
"You didn't build that"
|Video of relevant Obama quote|
|Full Remarks at Roanoke, VA (full transcript) July 13, 2012.|
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn't — look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business — you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
Republicans claimed that the statement was indicative of Obama's support for big government. The Obama campaign said the statement was taken out of context, while Romney replied that 'the context is worse than the quote'. The Republican National Committee released a web ad with the full text of what Obama said titled, "The More Context You Get, The Worse It Sounds."
To say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple, that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motors, that Papa John didn't build Papa John Pizza ... To say something like that, it's not just foolishness. It's insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America.
The Obama campaign, Factcheck.org, and Politifact disagreed with that characterization, noting that the sentence immediately preceding the "you didn't build it" line referred to roads and bridges and the speech concluded with Obama applauding the hard work of individuals in the creation of their own businesses. Politifact rated Romney's attack as false.
In its analysis, Factcheck.org said:
There's no question Obama inartfully phrased those two sentences, but it's clear from the context what the president was talking about. He spoke of government — including government-funded education, infrastructure and research — assisting businesses to make what he called "this unbelievable American system that we have." In summary, he said: "The point is … that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."
Factcheck.org concluded their analysis by acknowledging that Romney provided a more complete account in a July 17 speech. Regarding government infrastructure and support, Romney stated:
You really couldn't have a business if you didn't have those things. But, you know, we pay for those things. Alright? The taxpayers pay for government. It's not like government just provides those to all of us and we say, "Oh, thank you government for doing those things." No, in fact, we pay for them and we benefit from them and we appreciate the work that they do and the sacrifices that are done by people who work in government. But they did not build this business.
The Romney campaign followed with events with small business owners in multiple states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada), along with an attack ad. A new part of the Romney campaign website was created and merchandise related to the statement was produced.
Convention and post-convention bounce
The 2012 Republican National Convention was held from August 27–30. It featured appearances by Ann Romney, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Clint Eastwood, and Mitt Romney.
While Romney's overall polling gains from the GOP convention were modest, the convention did improve his "likability" rating, even though he continued to trail Obama in this widely considered "critical" category. This was followed by a larger bounce in Obama's favor after the Democratic convention.
Cairo and Benghazi attacks
On September 11, 2012, the U.S. embassy in Cairo, anticipating possible unrest over an anti-Muslim film that had allegedly been produced in the United States, released statements denouncing "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims" and calling respect for religious beliefs of others "a cornerstone of American democracy." Hours later, U.S. diplomatic missions in Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya were attacked. After the attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo tweeted, "This morning's condemnation (issued before our protests began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy." In her initial remarks to the press, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, "I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today." Romney, apparently unaware of the chronology of the events that had unfolded, released a statement saying, "It's disgraceful 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."
By the following day, it had been confirmed that the U.S. ambassador to Libya had been one of several Americans killed in the Benghazi attack. In a televised press conference and an interview, Romney again asserted that the administration had been wrong to, in his view, sympathize with the attackers and apologize for American values rather than to condemn the attackers' actions. Romney's remarks were widely criticized by media sources regarding the course of events and by political commentators for leaving Romney open to the appearance of seeking to gain personal political advantage from a national tragedy. Republicans initially distanced themselves from Romney's comments, but as he came under increasing criticism for the timing and nature of his comments, several conservative politicians defended his remarks.
Vote mobilization problems
First TV advertisement and questions about context
In his previous campaign, Romney had begun television advertising in March 2007. In the 2012 cycle, however, his first advertisement did not air until November 2011. The 60-second spot, which was broadcast in New Hampshire, was widely criticized for using a quotation from Obama out of context. It included a clip of Obama apparently saying, "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." It did not disclose that Obama, speaking in the 2008 campaign, had been quoting an email from an aide to his opponent, John McCain, which concerned McCain's campaign strategy, not Obama's.
The Romney campaign defended the ad. According to The Boston Globe, "Romney aides even said they were proud of the reaction and suggested that the ad was deliberately misleading to garner attention." Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom stated: "It was all very deliberate. We want to engage him on the subject he wants to avoid, which is his failure to create jobs and get this economy moving again." In an article on the Romney campaign website, communications director Gail Gitcho wrote "Three years ago, candidate Barack Obama mocked his opponent's campaign for saying 'if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.' Now, President Obama's campaign is desperate not to talk about the economy."
Fact checking organization Politifact gave the Romney campaign a "pants on fire" rating for "distorting Obama's words, which have been taken out of context in a ridiculously misleading way," while another fact-checking organization, FactCheck.org, declined to assess whether that particular clip in the Romney ad was misleading, and instead said: "We won't quibble with the spot's main message, which is that Obama has failed to fix the economy. That's true enough." According to The New York Times, when the Obama camp put material on television that made "no effort to put any of Mr. Romney's statements into context", the Romney campaign responded by saying that Obama was trying to distract Americans from real issues such as high unemployment.
Work requirement for welfare
In July and August 2012, Romney ran a recurring ad claiming that President Obama wanted to remove the work requirement for welfare recipients. Multiple news outlets and fact checking agencies rated the Romney ad false, Politifact assigning it the rating of "pants on fire." FactCheck.org stated: "A Mitt Romney TV ad claims the Obama administration has adopted 'a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.' The plan does neither of those things."  Factcheck.org elaborated that the waivers will not "inherently" gut the work requirements, because a lot will depend upon what kind of waivers states propose; moreover, "the way the administration implemented the new policy has not helped", because of questions about whether Congress ever granted to the president any legal authority to issue the waivers.
In 2007, the Boston Globe reported that, in 1983, Romney transported his pet dog Seamus on the roof of their automobile. Newt Gingrich aired an anti-Romney attack ad that featured the story, while Rick Santorum stated it was relevant as an issue of character.
Etch A Sketch
Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide to Romney, was asked by comedian and political commentator John Fugelsang on CNN how their campaigning would change if and when Romney wins the Republican nomination. He answered it would be like an Etch A Sketch to shake-up and start over. Immediately, Santorum and Gingrich took the opportunity to say Romney flip-flops and was not a true conservative. Each held up an Etch A Sketch toy as a visual aid to their audiences. Ron Paul created a short ad saying "this is petty when we have $15 trillion in debt, 12 million unemployed, and USA at war." Following the incident the Ohio Art Company saw a 30% increase in sales of Etch A Sketches.
Mitt Romney explained the words of his advisor by saying, "A general election campaign takes on a different profile. The issues I'm running on will be exactly the same. I was a conservative Republican governor, and I'll be running as a conservative Republican nominee." A poll by Pew Research Center taken in the days after the event found that a majority of voters were unaware that the comment had even been said, with a plurality of those that had heard of it saying that it had no effect on their opinion of Romney.
Little Face Mitt and other memes
Many called the 2012 presidential election the first real social media election, and the number of memes it engendered reflects that. Notable contributions included a Bad Lip Reading video, a campaign similar in scope to the campaign for the neologism "santorum" which aimed to create an alternate definition (or homophone) for "romney" that referred to "defecating in terror", and also the binders full of women gaffe. Perhaps most popular was the "Little Face Mitt" meme, which was created on August 22 by humorist Reuben Glaser. It showed a depiction of Romney with his facial features "shrunken" within an ordinary-scale blank outline of his face; the result resembled a Dick Tracy comic-strip villain. Within its first four days it had garnered the attention of Gawker, UPROXX, CollegeHumor, BuzzFeed, PostSecret, Mother Jones, Funny or Die and MSNBC's Alex Wagner. An Obama staffer claimed they were later used as desktop backgrounds on computers in his 2012 reelection headquarters in Chicago.
At the end of its four-month tenure, Little Face Mitt had also been covered in The Huffington Post, Complex magazine, Mashable, Boing Boing and many local print publications and online news websites. Glaser was also interviewed by the Washington Examiner, The New York Times, The Daily Dot, The Young Turks and in articles from as far away as France and Germany. The International Business Times credited Little Face Mitt and its images as being one of the best political memes ever and described its notoriety as a "foray into the internet's lexicon" for Mitt Romney, and as "immortality".
Due to pressure from political rivals during the Republican primary campaign, Romney released an incomplete 2010 tax return in early January 2012, along with an estimate of the 2011 return. During the presidential campaign, he declined to disclose additional returns citing the matter as a distraction from more important issues, despite calls to do so by Democrats and several notable Republicans.
Republicans who have urged Romney to release his tax returns include former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, Michael Steele and Bill Kristol. George Will said "The cost of not releasing the returns are clear. Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them." Republican strategist Matthew Dowd said, "There's obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, 'Have at it.' So there's obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something."
In response to claims made to the contrary, Romney said that he never paid less than 13% in taxes over the past 10 years.
Romney stated in a Parade magazine interview that he doesn't want to release his tax returns because he would like to keep his tithing to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints private, though he has publicly released his tithing percentages for 2010 (7%) and 2011 (12%).
For their 2011 tax returns, the Romneys paid nearly $2 million in taxes on an income of $13.7 million for an effective tax rate of 14.1%. They gave almost $4 million to charity, but only claimed $2.25 million in deductions in order to maintain his campaign pledge to pay at least 13% of his income in federal taxes. The summary prepared by PwC stated the Romney's effective tax rate paid had averaged 20.2% from 1990 to 2009.
MSNBC anchorwoman Andrea Mitchell was caught showing a doctored video clip of Romney at a rally in Pennsylvania. In the edited version, Romney says how amazing ordering a sandwich with a touch screen device at a Wawa convenience store is. Removed from the clip was the context of Romney relating the story of an optometrist he met, who had faced an extensive amount of paperwork from the post office to change his address. Romney was expressing mock amazement at Wawa's efficiency to underscore how the private sector is often more efficient than government, a point that was not evident without the full context of his remarks.
Video of private fundraiser
On September 17, excerpts from a video recorded on hidden camera were published by Mother Jones showing Romney speaking at a private $50,000-a-plate fundraiser held at hedge fund manager Marc Leder's mansion in Boca Raton, Florida. The magazine learned of the video from James Earl Carter IV, a Democratic opposition researcher (and a grandson of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter), who found the video online and got the videographer in touch with a writer at the magazine. On March 13, 2013, on MSNBC's The Ed Show, Scott Prouty, a bartender at the event, revealed himself as the videographer.
|"Mitt Romney on Obama Voters", Mother Jones.|
In the video, recorded May 17, Romney responded to a question about his campaign strategy, saying:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That's an entitlement. The government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49... he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5–10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.
In a press conference convened the night of the video's publication, Romney told reporters that while his "off the cuff" remarks could have been more eloquently stated, he had been conveying an important message: that his proposals to lower the Federal Income Tax would not be as persuasive to those who are not paying that particular tax. "The president believes in what I've described as a government-centered society, where government plays a larger and larger role, provides for more and more of the needs of individuals. And I happen to believe instead in a free enterprise, free individual society where people pursuing their dreams are able to employ one another, build enterprises, build the strongest economy in the world." Several weeks later, Romney commented, "I was completely wrong."
Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan called the Romney campaign "incompetent" and "a rolling calamity", and argued that the Romney campaign "needs a new CEO". Columnist David Brooks wrote "[Romney is] running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?" Conservative writer Bill Kristol initially described Romney's remarks as "arrogant and stupid" (a comment he later said "might have been a tad harsh"), but ultimately stood by Romney, saying, "It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!)." Several Republicans campaigning for seats in the 2012 election disputed or criticized Romney's remarks, including Senate candidates Linda McMahon (CT), George Allen (VA), Sen. Dean Heller (NV), Sen. Scott Brown (MA), and Gov. Susana Martinez (NM). Some conservative Republicans, such as Erick Erickson and Rush Limbaugh, defended Romney's 47% remark.
PolitiFact has rated the 47% remark as factually true, assuming Romney was referring to the federal income tax—the reasons being that many Americans were so poor as to be exempt from it, and others qualified for enough breaks and other exemptions that their tax liability amounted to zero.
During the Vice Presidential Debate, after Joe Biden criticized Romney's comments, Ryan responded, "With respect to that quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way." President Obama stated in an interview with David Letterman, "My expectation is if you want to be president, you've got to work for everybody, not just for some".
Several commentators noted that 47% was also Romney's share of the popular vote (rounded to the nearest percentage point), a result some considered ironic. Obama had led 50%–48% on election night, but the results edged toward 51%–47% as counting continued over the following weeks.
Despite downplaying the original remarks during the campaign, Romney stated soon after the election that President Obama won the election by promising "gifts" to key Democratic voters such as the black and Hispanic communities.
Israeli–Palestinian peace process
The video also showed Romney expressing doubt over whether the Palestinians were fully invested in working toward the success of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He said the Palestinians are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel". In response, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said "only those who want to maintain the Israeli occupation will claim the Palestinians are not interested in peace."
Another part of the video shows Romney saying:
If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we're going to let off a dirty bomb." I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
Candidate statements and campaign ads on GM and Chrysler auto production in China
During the final weeks of the campaign, the Romney campaign began to promote the idea that as a result of the Obama Administration's bailout of the automotive industry, U.S.-based auto manufacturing jobs would be outsourced to China. Bloomberg News had reported on October 21 that Fiat, the majority owner of Chrysler (the maker of Jeeps), was considering restarting production lines in China that had been idle since 2009. The article quoted Fiat/Chrysler's chief operating officer for Asia as saying that Jeep production sites would be added to China rather than shifted from current production sites in North America.
On October 25, Romney said at a rally in the key battleground state of Ohio, "I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state Jeep — now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China." Within hours, Chrysler responded, saying in part:
Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.
Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.(emphasis in original)
Two days later, on October 27, Romney began airing a television ad in Ohio that said, "Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China." Media observers noted that the campaign had taken the highly unusual step of releasing the ad without announcing the release to the press. Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne responded, saying that the claim that production of Jeeps would be transferred from the U.S. to China, leaving U.S. factories idle, was completely false. He also said that not only would Jeep production lines remain in operation in the U.S. but Chrysler would be investing $500 million to expand production at the Toledo, Ohio Jeep plant.
In spite of the denials by the auto manufacturer, the Romney campaign subsequently began airing a new radio ad in Ohio that repeated the false claim that Jeep would be cutting Ohio jobs in order to expand into China. The radio ad also said that the other auto manufacturer that had received government assistance during the auto manufacturer crisis, GM, was moving 15,000 American jobs to China.
A GM representative denounced the Romney ad, saying, "We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days.... No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country."
In December, Politifact described Romney's Jeep comments as their "Lie of the Year" for 2012.
General election debates
Romney had his first general election debate against Obama on October 3 in Denver, Colorado on domestic topics. Snap polls shortly after the debate by CNN and others found that many people believe Romney did significantly better than Obama in the first debate, sometimes referred to the change in pace of the election. Subsequent public opinion polls showed the debate had eliminated most of the gains in the polls that Obama had made over Romney after the two parties' national conventions.
On October 11, Romney's running mate Paul Ryan debated Vice-President Joe Biden, in the only Vice-Presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle. Topics covered included the stimulus, the abortion debate, and foreign policy.
The second presidential debate was a Townhall on October 16. The debate was noted for its heated exchanges, and had targeted discussions of Libya, immigration, and pay equity for women. During the second debate, Romney was perceived to have struggled compared to his previous performance. Polls conducted by CBS, CNN, and Reuters/Ipsos found a plurality of voters who believed Obama had done better. During the debates Romney said that he would charge China with currency manipulation. China responded that it would show "gradual progress and voluntarily reform China's exchange rate regime".
The third and final debate between Romney and Obama was held two weeks before election day, on October 23 in Boca Raton, Florida. The topics discussed included a variety of foreign affairs and domestic policy issues. According to The Guardian, Romney "appeared unsure at times and occasionally stumbled over his lines as if struggling to remember his briefing notes." Many viewers also noted that Romney was perspiring, which reminded some Twitter users of Richard Nixon's 1960 presidential debate. Instant polls by Public Policy Polling, CNN, and CBS showed that more viewers felt Obama had won the debate than felt that Romney had.
Election day activities
An attempt to apply security through obscurity to protect Romney's voting day smartphone based project ORCA ran aground when the system crashed under the full load of coordinating a nationwide election day effort. Another disadvantage of the ORCA system was that unlike Obama's Narwhal, ORCA only counted known voters and so predicted a Romney sweep, even as Obama's volunteers were bringing in voters that the Romney campaign had not expected.
Romney "seems preoccupied with the futures of members of his campaign staff" and is working on a "system to organize the 400 résumés of those staff members whose paychecks will run out in 21 days." The Romney campaign has arranged for "severance pay through the end of November" for some members of his campaign staff.
Romney transition website
The Romney transition website briefly appeared online on Wednesday November 7, 2012. Its catchphrases were "Smaller, Simpler, Smarter" over "Believe in America". Blogger Taegan Goddard took screenshots of the site while it was live, showing pages linked from the front page headed "The President-Elect" (with details about "The Inauguration"), "Believe in America", "Newsroom", and "Join the Administration". The site had been prepared by Blue Host, a web-hosting company based in Utah, whose owner confirmed that the site had been prepared for Romney.
The Romney campaign, in accordance with the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act, had made extensive pre-election plans for a potential transition, called the "Romney Readiness Project" should he be elected president. Former governor of Utah Mike Leavitt was selected in June 2012 by Romney to lead the planning for the project, which included a "200-day plan" outlining the legislative agenda of the first 200 days of a Romney administration. Leavitt, along with Beth Myers and Bob White, had formed a list of ten candidates for each Cabinet position to aid Romney in making appointments to those positions. The operation included task forces for transitioning specific areas of the federal government. Activities undertaken by the Readiness Project included preparing policy briefings for civil servants at federal agencies, which would be delivered by "parachute teams" following the election; creating a list of candidates to fill the several hundred political appointments made by the President; coordinating with the Obama administration for the transfer of occupancy of presidential residences, including the White House and the Number One Observatory Circle; liaising with the United States Armed Forces for the assumption of National Command Authority and launch control of nuclear weapons; and developing a post-election communications plan, which reportedly included a 1,000-word victory speech Romney would deliver. These included "landing" teams to be deployed to governmental agencies two weeks post-election and "beachhead" teams to guide the transition following Romney's would-be inauguration on January 20. The transition planning effort was divided into four segments, two of which were executed: the "readiness phase," which lasted from June until the 2012 Republican National Convention and the "planning phase," which lasted from the convention until election day. Two additional phases were planned, but were not executed owing to Romney's loss: the "transition phase" and the "hand-off phase," both of which would have occurred post-election and would have culminated in the transition team's plan for the first 200 days following Romney's would-be inauguration as president. On the evening of the election, the Readiness Project's transition website, declaring Romney's victory, was accidentally pushed live, but was quickly taken down again. The site was built by a Utah-based web development company, SolutionStream.
In accordance with the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010, the project was provided with office space by the General Services Administration (GSA) beginning in September 2012, two months prior to the election. The offices of the Readiness Project were shuttered and completely cleared within three days following Romney's defeat. Total spending by the Readiness Project between its inception and dissolution was $8.9 million, with all of the funds appropriated by the U.S. government.
In May 2013, the organization formerly responsible for the Romney transition preparation, "R2P", released a report detailing the preparations for a potential Romney administration. In the report, specific aspects of the transition were described, including post-election, pre-inauguration "corporate-style" management seminars for appointees/nominees and a restructuring of the Executive Office of the President to satisfy Romney's preferences, along with a PowerPoint presentation prepared to brief a President-elect Romney in the days immediately following the election. In 2013, Leavitt published a 138-page case study of the Readiness Project, Romney Readiness Project 2012: Retrospectives and Lessons Learned.
2016 presidential election
Romney announced on January 30, 2015 that he would not run for president in 2016 and would be "unlikely" to change his mind about it, saying that while he thought he could win the nomination, "one of our next generation of Republican leaders" would be better positioned to win the general election.
2020 presidential election
This section possibly contains unsourced predictions, speculative material, or accounts of events that might not occur. Information must be verifiable and based on reliable published sources. (June 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Paul Ryan was reported to have considered a possible presidential bid for the 2020 election, if President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence do not seek re-election. This could make Ryan the first president from Wisconsin as well as the second House Speaker to later serve as president, the first being James K. Polk in 1845. Additionally Ryan would also be the first person since Bob Dole to be nominated for both president and vice president two different elections (Dole was the vice presidential nominee in 1976 and the presidential nominee in 1996).
Explanations for the loss
In interviews after the election, Romney said of his loss, "The president's campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift. He made a big effort on small things."
Robert Draper in the New York Times Magazine summarized interviews with technology savvy young Republicans to conclude that the Romney campaign's inability to understand and use modern technology caused Romney to lose a winnable election. "Criticism begins with the candidate—a self described data-driven chief executive who put his trust in alarmingly off-the-mark internal polls." In contrast, the Obama campaign repeatedly and exhaustively polled and directed the actual expressed day-to-day shifting opinions of the electorate through such technological mediums as Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. "Romney's senior strategist, Stuart Stevens, may well be remembered by historians . . . as the last guy to run a presidential campaign who never tweeted" to get out the vote and to elicit real-time electorate feelings from all ethnic groups, all gender persuasions, and from rich and poor.
- Political positions of Mitt Romney
- Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2008
- List of Mitt Romney presidential campaign endorsements, 2012
- Nationwide opinion polling for the United States presidential election, 2012
- Endorsements for the Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012
- Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012
- Republican Party vice presidential candidates, 2012
- Results of the 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries
- "Matt Rhoades". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Beth Myers". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Peter Flaherty". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Eric Fehrnstrom". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Gail Gitcho". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Henneberger, Melinda. "Andrea Saul". Who Runs Gov. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Talent and Organization – Building Towards 2012". P2012.org. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Romney Key Staff and Advisers". Politico. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- "Mitt Romney's inner circle". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
- Conroy, Scott (February 4, 2012). "Hit or Miss, Romney Takes Ownership of His Speeches". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- "Candidate (P80003353) Summary Reports – 2011–2012 Cycle". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- Montanaro, Domenico; Murray, Mark. "Romney picks Paul Ryan as vice presidential running mate – First Read". Firstread.nbcnews.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Zeleny, Jeff; Rutenberg, Jim (August 11, 2012). "Romney Adds Ryan to the Republican Ticket". The New York Times.
- Lemire, Jonathan. Mitt Romney accepts nomination with speech declaring that Obama failed, warning that America’s greatness is in danger, New York Daily News, August 31, 2012.
- "President Barack Obama defeats Romney to win re-election". BBC News. November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Phillips, Frank (December 8, 2008). "Romney paves way for possible '12 run". The Boston Globe.
- Martin, Jonathan (June 29, 2009). "Mitt Romney's team awaits 2012". Politico. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
- Cannon, Carl M. (June 2, 2009). "Mitt's Makeover: Channeling Reagan for 2012 Run". Politics Daily.
- Barbaro, Michael (August 30, 2012). "Defeat, Introspection, Reinvention, Nomination". The New York Times. pp. A1. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- "Romney picked as 2012 GOP front-runner". CNN. February 28, 2009.
- "Ron Paul Wins Presidential Straw Poll at CPAC". Fox News. February 20, 2010. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011.
- "Ron Paul Wins Presidential Straw Poll at CPAC – Again". Fox News. February 12, 2011.
- "Mitt Romney Wins Presidential Straw Poll at Republican Leadership Conference". Fox News. Associated Press. April 10, 2010.
- "Romney Wins New Hampshire Republican Straw Poll". Fox News. January 22, 2011.
- Holland, Steve; Dixon, Kim (January 25, 2012). "Romney returns show low tax rate; questions linger". Reuters. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "Romney booed over tax returns". Fox Nation. January 19, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Michael D. Shear; Trip Gabriel (July 18, 2012). "Romney Steadfast in the Face of Growing Calls to Release More Tax Returns". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- "Romney takes first official step towards running for president". CNN. April 11, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- Elliott, Philip; Ramer, Holly "Romney opens presidential bid challenging Obama", Seattle Times. June 2, 2011.
- "Romney Announces Bid For Presidency", NPR. June 2, 2011.
- "Mitt Romney kicks off 2012 presidential bid", USA Today, June 2, 2011.
- "Romney for President Exploratory Committee Raises $10.25 Million for Nevada Call Day". Romney for President. May 16, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- Friedersdorf, Conor (May 17, 2011). "Mitt Romney's $10 Million Day". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 2, 2011
- Legum, Judd (July 1, 2011). "FACT CHECK: Romney Campaign Did Not Raise $10 Million In One Day". Think Progress. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- Hamburger, Tom (June 30, 2011). "As filing deadline approaches, presidential campaigns see slow returns". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2011
- "Contributions For Romney For President Inc". Query.nictusa.com. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- Constantinople (July 18, 2011). "Exclusive: Romney Only Raised $2 Million on Day He Claimed He Raised $10 Million (UPDATED)". metaWarRoom. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- Kathleen Ronayne (July 7, 2011). "Presidential Fund-Raising for GOP Hopefuls Off to Slower Start Than Four Years Ago". OpenSecrets. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- Carmi, Evan; Ericson, Matthew; Nolen, David; Quealy, Kevin; Strickland, Michael; White, Jeremy; Willis, Derek. "The 2012 Money Race: Compare the Candidates". New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Rezendes, Michael (June 7, 2012). "President Obama winning the battle for small donors". The Boston Globe.
- Confessore, Nicholas (May 2, 2012). "Obama's Not-So-Hot Date With Wall Street". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Confessore, Nicholas, "The Secret World of a Well-Paid ‘Donor Adviser’ in Politics", New York Times, February 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
- Celarier, Michelle (April 9, 2012). "Mitt Romney's hedge fund kingmaker". Fortune. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Romney for President, Inc.- Organization, 2011–12 Primary Edition". P2012.org. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Foreign Policy – The Romney-Cheney Doctrine
- Coll, Steve, Ghost Wars (Penguin, 2005 edn), p. 456.
- Zeleny, Jeff (February 10, 2012). "Romney's Record as Governor Resumes Central Role in Nomination Fight". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Transcript". State of the Union with Candy Crowley. CNN. February 12, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Martin, Jonathan (February 12, 2012). "Romney worked the CPAC straw poll". Politico. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Zeleny, Jeff (January 3, 2012). "Romney Wins Iowa Caucus by 8 Votes". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
- Glover, Mike (January 19, 2012). "Santorum edges Romney in belated Iowa GOP count". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "BREAKING: Romney calls Santorum". CNN. January 19, 2012.
- Steve Holland and Jason McLure, Romney defends business record from Republican rivals Reuters January 9, 2012
- Williams, Paul (January 11, 2012). "New Hampshire primary results: What they mean for Mitt Romney and Ron Paul". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- King Jr, Neil; O'Connor, Patrick (January 10, 2012). "Romney Wins New Hampshire Primary". Wall Street Journal.
- "Election 2012 – South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- What Romney's money says to voters March 22, 2012
- Real Debate Behind the Media Circus March 30, 2012
- "Romney, Gingrich tangle over ads in South Carolina". Fox News. January 13, 2012.
- "Sarah Palin:Mitt Romney needs Bain show & tell".
- Gillum, Jack. "Big change in '12: Big GOP money from 'super PACs'", Associated Press via deseretnews.com, January 9, 2012. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
- "The Republican candidates and their 'super PAC' benefactors". The Washington Post. January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2012.
- "South Carolina poll: Gingrich triumphs over Romney". BBC News. January 22, 2012.
- Nate Silver (January 23, 2012). "New Florida Polls Show Big Swing to Gingrich". New York Times.
- Silver, Nate. Polls Suggest Gingrich’s Support May Have Peaked, New York Times, January 25, 2012.
- Marc Caputo (January 21, 2012). "Nearly 200,000 Republicans have voted early, by mail". Miami Herald.
- "2012 Primary Debate Schedule".
- Emily Friedman (January 19, 2012). "Mitt Romney Says He'll 'Probably' Release Multiple Years of Tax Returns". ABC News.
- Holland, Steve; Kim Dixon (January 24, 2012). "Romney returns show low tax rate; questions linger". Reuters. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Isikoff, Michael (January 26, 2012). "Romney revising disclosures for overseas accounts". MSNBC. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Romney wins Florida primary prize, Gingrich pledges drawn-out battle". Fox News. February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Shira Schoenberg (February 6, 2012). "Final Nevada results give Mitt Romney half of the vote". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012.
- Steve Holland (February 8, 2012), "Three-state sweep revives Santorum's White House hopes" Reuters
- "Maine Republicans to recount votes that gave Romney a win." Reuters. February 17, 2012.
- "2012 Primary Schedule". 2012 Election Central.
- "GOP Candidates to Appear for Final Debate before Super Tuesday". CNN. February 23, 2012.
- "Arizona Republican". 2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions. The Green Papers. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- "Michigan Republican Presidential Nominating Process". thegreenpapers.com.
- "Washington state Republican". Thegreenpapers.com. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- "3 GOP hopefuls each claim Super Tuesday wins". Fox News Network. March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- Memoli, Michael A. (April 20, 2012). "5 Things the Early Polls Tell Us about the Obama-Romney Matchup". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Koszczuk, Jackie (April 19, 2012). "Battleground Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Florida, Ohio". National Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Shear, Michael D. (April 25, 2012) "Republican National Committee Backs Romney", The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2012
- Secter, Bob; Pearson, Rick (July 20, 2012). "GOP uses association with Chicago against Obama; 'Chicago-style politics' enters lexicon of presidential campaign". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- Sweet, Lynn (July 17, 2012). "Romney's 'Chicago-style' attack". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- Warren, James (January 6, 2012). "'Chicago-Style Politics at Its Worst'? Fact-Checking Romney's Jab at Obama". Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Cooper, Helene (January 6, 2012). "Obama Tactic: Jab Congress To Hurt Rivals". New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Caldwell, Leigh Ann (August 28, 2012). "Republican delegates nominate Mitt Romney". CBS News. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "Republicans nominate Romney at storm-hit convention". Reuters. August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Robert S. Erikson, Christopher Wlezien, Robert S Erickson The Timeline of Presidential Elections: How Campaigns Do (and Do Not) Matter (University of Chicago Press 2012).
- Ashley Parker (May 24, 2012). "Both Campaigns Seize on Romney's Years at Bain". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Dwyer, Devin (May 14, 2012). "Obama ad attacks Romney Bain Capital record". ABC News. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Bain Capital Fund VI, L.P. (February 20, 2001). "SCHEDULE 13D (Rule 13d-101)". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
Bain Capital, Inc., a Delaware corporation ("Bain Capital"), is the sole managing partner of the BCIP entities. Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president of Bain Capital and thus is the controlling person of Bain Capital.
- Callum Borchers; Christopher Rowland (July 12, 2012). "Mitt Romney stayed at Bain 3 years longer than he stated: Firm's 2002 filings identify him as CEO, though he said he left in 1999". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Barack Obama [@BarackObama] (July 13, 2012). "Why Mitt Romney's end date at his buyout firm matters:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Shear, Michael D. (July 13, 2012). "Romney Seeks Obama Apology for Bain Attacks". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Cherkis, Jason (July 12, 2012). "Mitt Romney's Own 2002 Testimony Undermines Bain Departure Claim". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
[Statement by Bain] "Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure," the statement reads. "Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney's departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Romney was reported as having fulfilled legal and financial capacities on SEC filings during this period."
- Elspeth Reeve (July 12, 2012). "Why Romney's Quit Date at Bain Matters". Atlantic Wire. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- "Romney's Bain Years: New Evidence, Same Conclusion". FactCheck.org. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Kessler, Glenn (July 12, 2012). "Mitt Romney and his departure from Bain" (blog by expert). The Washington Post. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney Defends Bain Record: GOP presidential candidate combats allegations about record at Bain Capital" (Video of interview of subject). ABC News. July 13, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Michael D. Shear (July 14, 2012). "No Apologies: Obama Campaign Continues Attacks on Romney". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Bailey, Holly (June 1, 2012).Bill Clinton criticizes Obama's Bain attacks, praises Romney's ‘sterling business career'.ABC News
- Trinko, Katrina (June 1, 2012).Clinton: Romney had a Sterling Business Career. National Review.
- Foster, Peter (June 5, 2012). "Bill Clinton says Mitt Romney as president would be 'calamitous'". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Haberman, Maggie (June 5, 2012). "Bill Clinton: Mitt Romney White House would be 'calamitous'". Politico. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Dunkley, Jamie (July 26, 2012). "US financiers to meet in London for Mitt Romney fundraiser". The Telegraph. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney to meet David Cameron during London visit | ITV News". Itv.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Sanchez, Raf; Irvine, Chris (July 26, 2012). "Mitt Romney in London: as it happened". The Telegraph. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Romney hails US-Polish ties during visit to Warsaw". Associated Press via The Guardian. London. July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Condon, Stephanie (July 26, 2012). "British papers blast Mitt Romney". CBS News. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Watt, Nicholas, Hélène Mulholland and Owen Gibson (July 27, 2012). "Mitt Romney's Olympics blunder stuns No 10 and hands gift to Obama". The Guardian. London. Retrieved August 1, 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Jones, Steve (July 27, 2012). "Romney Drops The Torch In London: Policy Trip Becomes Diplomatic Obstacle". about.com. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Crawford, Jan, “Gaffe Olympics: Romney rankles Brits, Cameron also offends”, CBS News (July 26, 2012)
- Stringer, David, "Romney stirs Olympic tiff as European tour begins", Associated Press (July 26, 2012): "His aides said that was not intended as a jibe at Romney or Salt Lake City."
- Keinon, Herb (July 29, 2012). "Iran talk dominates Romney agenda in Jerusalem". The Jerusalem Post.
- Hunt, Kasie (July 29, 2012). "Mitt Romney: United States Has 'Solemn Duty' To Block Nuclear Iran". Huffington Post.
- Lazaroff, Tovah & Keinon, Herb (July 29, 2012). "Romney: Deeply moving to be in Jerusalem, Israel's capital". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Kessler, Glenn (July 31, 2012). "Romney's pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Liptak, Kevin (July 29, 2012). "Romney says Jerusalem is Israel's capital, vows to move embassy". CNN. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Abu Toameh, Khaled (July 30, 2012). "Palestinian groups slam Romney remark on J'lem". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Romney, Mitt (July 31, 2012). "Culture does matter". National Review Online.
- Bloomfield, Adrian; Day, Matthew; Swaine, Jon (July 30, 2012). "Mitt Romney: Israelis richer than Palestinians because of 'hand of providence'". The Telegraph. London.
- Sherwood, Harriet (July 30, 2012). "Mitt Romney 'providence' comments in Israel outrage Palestinians". The Guardian. London. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Text of Romney's Remarks About Culture and Israel". ABC News. Associated Press. August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Mitt Romney creates fresh divisions on Israel tour with ‘racist’ economic remarks, National Post, July 30, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012
- "Embajada de México rechaza comentarios de Romney". El Universal (in Spanish). August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Sabaté, Albert (August 3, 2012). "Mexican officials react after Romney disses Mexico's economy". Univision News.
- Romney's Racist Reference To Palestinian Culture, FactCheck.org, July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012
- CBS News Political Hotsheet. Retrieved June 1, 2012
- "Mitt Romney Praises Poland's 'Economic Liberty'". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. July 31, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "In Poland, Romney heralds economic freedom". CNN. July 31, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Romney wraps up overseas tour amid tensions with media". BBC. July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney aide in new 'kiss my ass' gaffe". The Telegraph. London. July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Reston, Maeve & Mehta, Seema (July 31, 2012). "Mitt Romney recovers footing in Poland". LA Times. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Parker, Ashley (July 31, 2012). "Romney Lauds Poland as an Economic Model". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Hunt, Kasie (AP) (July 31, 2012). "In Poland, Romney Gets Endorsed by Lech Walesa". ABCnews. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Media Research Center: TV Network News Coverage Biased Against Romney". newsmax.com. August 3, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney Addresses NAACP Convention in Houston". C-SPAN. July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Mitt Romney Addresses 103rd NAACP Annual Convention in Houston | Press Room". NAACP. July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- O'Brien, Michael (October 24, 2012). "NAACP crowd boos Romney for vowing to repeal health reform – First Read". Firstread.nbcnews.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Romney booed at NAACP – Political Hotsheet". CBS News. July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Brooks, Susan (July 12, 2012). ""Free stuff"? The message from Romney's NAACP speech – Guest Voices". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Sean Sullivan & Philip Rucker (October 31, 2013). "Obama's advisers considered replacing Biden with Clinton, according to book". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "From Boston to Janesville – By Robert Costa – The Corner – National Review Online". Nationalreview.com. August 10, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Allen, Charlotte (August 10, 2012). "Breaking: Mitt Romney announcing VP pick at the USS Wisconsin". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Bailey, Holly (August 11, 2012). "Mitt Romney to announce his VP pick on Saturday – ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Zeleny, Jeff (August 10, 2012). "Romney to Announce Vice-Presidential Choice Saturday". Thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Weekly Standard: It's looking like Ryan". Politico.Com. June 14, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Ryan joins host of Wisconsin politicians in U.S. limelight (August 11, 2012), Wisconsin State-Journal.
- Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Roanoke, Virginia | The White House. Whitehouse.gov (2012-07-13). Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Aaron Blake (July 18, 2012). "Obama's 'You didn't build that' problem". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- "Context is worse than the quote". Real Clear Politics. July 24, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- "Putting Mitt Romney's attacks on 'You didn't build that' to the Truth-O-Meter". Tampa Bay Times. July 25, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- "Romney, Obama dig in over 'you didn't build that' furor". Fox News. July 25, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Hennessey, Kathleen (July 18, 2012). "Republicans pouncing on Obama's 'you didn't build that' remark". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Roanoke, Virginia | The White House". Whitehouse.gov. July 13, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Kiely, Eugene (July 24, 2012). "'You Didn't Build That,' Uncut and Unedited". factcheck.org. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Sushannah Walshe (July 25, 2012). "Romney Camp Continues 'You Didn't Build That' Attacks with Swing State Events". ABC News. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Romney Doubles Down On "You Didn't Build That" With New Website". Talk Radio News Service. July 26, 2012. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Built By US". Romney for President, Inc. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Kevin Bohn; Gregory Wallace (July 28, 2012). "Romney's son plugs 'Built By Us' merchandise jabbing at Obama remark". CNN. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "Romney's bounce from convention looks short-lived: Reuters/Ipsos poll". Reuters, September 2, 2012.
- Vasilogambros, Matt (September 12, 2012). "Timeline on Egypt and Libya undercuts Romney attack on Obama". National Journal.
- "What they said, before and after the attack in Libya". The New York Times. September 12, 2012.
- "Statement on the Attack in Benghazi". State.gov. September 11, 2012. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Chowdhry, Affan (September 12, 2012). "Politicizing the U.S. embassy attack: Missteps, criticism abound". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
- "Romney insists he WAS right to criticise Obama over embassy statement 'sympathising' with protesters". The Daily Mail. London. September 14, 2012.
- Baker, Peter; Parker, Ashley (September 12, 2012). "A challenger's criticism is furiously returned". The New York Times.
- Jackson, Brooks; Farley, Robert; Kiely, Eugene (September 12, 2012). "Romney gets it backward". FactCheck.org.
- Kessler, Glenn (September 13, 2012). "The Romney campaign's repeated errors on the Cairo embassy statement". The Washington Post.
- Steinhauser, Paul (November 22, 2011). "Democrats say new Romney ad distorts Obama's words". CNN. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Levenson, Michael (November 27, 2011). "Deceptive campaign ads hint at year of mudslinging". The Boston Globe. pp. A1. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- "Mitt Romney ad charges Obama said, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose'". PolitiFact. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Shear, Michael D., “Reminders of Romney’s Comments, From the Obama Camp”, The New York Times (April 11, 2012).
- "Romney's attacks on Obama and welfare deemed false by fact checkers". CSMonitor.com. August 20, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Bouie, Jamelle (August 20, 2012). "Why Romney keeps lying about Obama and welfare – The Plum Line". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Mitt Romney says Barack Obama's plan for welfare reform: "They just send you your check."". PolitiFact. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Eugene Kiely, Rina Moss. "Does Obama’s Plan ‘Gut Welfare Reform’?", FactCheck.org (August 9, 2012).
- James Oliphant (January 12, 2012). "New anti-Romney ad by Gingrich goes to the dog". Los Angeles Times.
- Kasie Hunt (January 14, 2012). "Attacks on Romney getting personal". Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012.
- Amy Bingham (March 19, 2012). "Santorum team doggedly resurrects Romney's Seamus tale". ABC News.
- "New Ron Paul Ad: Etch A Sketch". RonPaul.com. March 23, 2012.
- Kavilanz, Parija (August 30, 2012). "Etch A Sketch cashes in on Romney aide gaffe". CNNMoney. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Justin Sink (March 3, 2012). "Romney says Etch A Sketch comments misinterpreted, will run 'as a conservative'". Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.
- "Trayvon Martin Killing Is Public's Top News Story". Pew Research Center. March 27, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Provide Internet with Hours of Photoshopping Fun". Gawker.
- "Little Face Mitt' Images Capture What Election 2012 Would Be Like If Mitt Romney Had A Tiny Face". UpRoxx.
- "Little Face Mitt Romney". collegehumor.
- "Mitt Romney With A Little Face". BuzzFeed.
- PostSecret [@postsecret] (August 22, 2012). "Photoshopped images of Mitt Romney with a little face. (Can an the Obama version be far behind?)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Mother Jones [@MotherJones] (August 22, 2012). "New thing of the day: "Unsettling pictures of Mitt Romney with a very tiny face."" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "The 12 Best Pictures of Little Face Mitt". Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Alex Wagner [@alexwagner] (August 22, 2012). ""Little Face Mitt" on the campaign trail" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Friar, Christine (August 29, 2012). "7 Sites You Should Be Wasting Time On Right Now (PICTURES)". The Huffington Post.
- "The 25 Funniest Election Memes (So Far)". Complex.
- "The 10 Best Political Memes of 2012". Mashable.
- "Little face Mitt". BoingBoing.
- "'Little Face Mitt' enjoys online success". Washington Examiner.
- "Mitt Romney gets the shrunken head treatment". The Daily Dot.
- "'Little Face Mitt' – What Does The Viral Hit Mean?". The Young Turks. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- "Un humoriste américain transforme la tête de Mitt Romney !" (in French). Staragora. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- "Kleingesicht Mitt Romney" (in German). Echo Blog. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- "Latest Political Meme LittleFaceMitt Goes Viral, But Is It The Best Out There? [PHOTOS]". International Business Times.
- Carter, Zach; Grim, Ryan (July 19, 2012). "Mitt Romney Taxes For 2010 Not Fully Disclosed". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- Michael D. Shear; Trip Gabriel (July 18, 2012). "Romney Steadfast in the Face of Growing Calls to Release More Tax Returns". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy, And I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about.
- Opinion: Read my lips, 'No more tax returns', Meghan Holbrook, KSL.com Utah, August 17, 2012.
- George Will, Matthew Dowd Blast Romney For Not Releasing Tax Returns, George Stephanopoulos, ABC News, July 15, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney seeks to end debate on his tax rate". BBC News. August 16, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Romney says his Mormon tithing shouldn’t be public Thomas Burr, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- "Mitt Romney taxes show 'very high' charitable giving tied to Mormon church". CSMonitor.com. January 24, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Raum, Tom. "Romney gives Dem support for tax deductions claim." AP, September 22, 2012.
- "Romney's taxes can't calm the Democrats". New York Daily News. September 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Mitt Romney paid 14.1% in tax in 2011". BBC News. September 21, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
- "MSNBC busted for editing Romney comments out of context, backtracks. Sorta. (VIDEO)". The San Francisco Chronicle. June 19, 2012. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Man, Anthony (September 19, 2012). "Mitt Romney 47 percent video: Boca Raton mogul Mark Leder at center of Mitt Romney video flap". Wptv.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Obama thanked Carter's grandson, who found '47%' tape". Political Ticker (blog). CNN. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
James Carter, an opposition researcher, said he found the video online and got the person responsible for the tape in touch with a writer for the left-leaning magazine Mother Jones. Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if the person who filmed the video was a guest or a waiter at the event, Carter said, 'It wasn't one of the people who had paid $50,000 to be there. But I'm not going to say anything more than that.'
- Weiner, Rachel (March 13, 2013). "Scott Prouty reveals himself as man who shot '47 percent' video". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Corn, David. "Romney "47 Percent" Fundraiser Host: Hedge Fund Manager Who Likes Sex Parties". Mother Jones. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Michael D Shear & Michael Barbaro (September 17, 2012). "Romney Calls 47% of Voters Dependent in Leaked Video". New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- Associated Press (September 18, 2012). "What Romney told donors at fundraiser in private remarks caught on hidden camera". The Washington Post.
- Mehta, Seema (September 17, 2012). "Romney defends 'off the cuff' remarks on Obama backers as victims". Los Angeles Times.
- Hunt, Kasie; Peoples, Steve (September 17, 2012). "Romney: 'Nearly half believe they are victims'". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Romney admits: ‘I was completely wrong’ on 47% comments", MSNBC. October 5, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- "Time for an Intervention". Blogs.wsj.com. September 18, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Noonan, Peggy (September 21, 2012). "The Romney campaign needs a new CEO". The Wall Street Journal.
- Brooks, David (September 18, 2012). "Thurston Howell Romney". The New York Times.
- Wallace, Chris (September 23, 2012). "Gibbs defends administration's response to Libya attack; Gov. Walker: Romney needs to show 'fire in the belly'". Fox News Sunday.
- "A Note on Romney's Arrogant and Stupid Remarks". The Weekly Standard. September 18, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Mascaro, Lisa (September 20, 2012). "Republican George Allen distances himself from Romney's '47%'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Condon, Stephanie (September 18, 2012).Conservatives defend Romney's "47 percent" remark.CBS News.
- Cirilli, Kevin (September 18, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh: Mitt Romney's 'golden opportunity'". Politico.
- Moorhead, Molly (September 18, 2012). "Mitt Romney says 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax". PolitiFact. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Strauss, Daniel (October 11, 2012). "Ryan pokes fun at Biden's gaffes while defending Romney – The Hill's Video". Thehill.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Obama: Mitt Romney wrong to call Americans 'victims'". BBC News. September 19, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- Gavrov, Sergei (October 5, 2012) Mitt Romney has repented of his statements. Finam FM
- "Election tally update: Romney gets his 47%". MSNBC. November 29, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Romney's final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent". Washingtonpost.com. November 26, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Irony alert: Mitt Romney's final vote tally nears 47 percent – Yahoo! News". Yahoo! News. November 21, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Mitt Romney Finally Captures 47% of America – Politics". The Atlantic Wire. November 26, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Rodriguez, Giovanni (April 18, 2012). "Will Romney Get His 47 on Thanksgiving Day? (As The Final Votes Come In)". Forbes. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Romney says Obama won election with promise of 'gifts' for key groups, Jindal disagrees". Fox News. November 15, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Chaggaris, Steve (September 18, 2012). "At controversial fundraiser, Romney says Middle East peace is difficult". CBS News. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- Mardell, Mark (September 18, 2012). "Mitt Romney secret video reveals views on Middle East". BBC News. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Mardell, Mark (September 19, 2012). "Obama: Mitt Romney wrong to call Americans 'victims'". BBC News. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Opinion: Romney Roots For Foreign Policy Crisis « CBS Chicago". Chicago.cbslocal.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- David Corn (September 18, 2012). "SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution". Mother Jones. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Kiely, Richard (October 31, 2012). "Romney distorts facts on Jeep, auto bailout". FactCheck.org.
- Greenberg, John (October 30, 2012). "Mitt Romney says Obama's Chrysler deal undermined U.S. workers". Politifact.com (Tampa Bay Times).
- Kessler, Glenn (October 30, 2012). "4 Pinocchio's for Mitt Romney's misleading ad on Chrysler and China". The Washington Post.
- Trudell, Craig. "Fiat says Jeep output may return to China as demand rises". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- "Chrysler Blog – Jeep in China". Blog.chryslerllc.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Mehta, Seema (October 30, 2012). "GM and Chrysler rebut Romney auto bailout claims". Los Angeles Times.
- Bomey, Nathan; Snavely, Brnet (October 30, 2012). "GM calls latest Romney auto ad 'politics at its cynical worst'".
- Holan, Angie Drobnic, "Lie of the Year: the Romney campaign's ad on Jeeps made in China", politifact.com, December 12th, 2012.
- "Presidential Debate Transcript: Denver, Colo." ABC News, October 3, 2012.
- turner.com/cnn, 2012/images/10/03.
- Associated Press (October 9, 2012). "Obama says he had 'a bad night' in first debate; Romney pledges not to raise taxes on anyone". The Washington Post.
- Silver, Nate (October 9, 2012). "Oct. 9: Romney erases Obama's convention bounce in forecast". The New York Times.
- "Scott Pelley: 'Most Rancorous Presidential Debate Ever'". Washington.cbslocal.com. October 16, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Peoples, Steve, and David Espo (October 16, 2012). "Obama, Romney answer audience's questions in town hall debate". newsok.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Sinderbrand, Rebecca (October 17, 2012). "Analysis: Romney whiffs on some easy pitches". CNN. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Burns, Alexander (October 17, 2012). "CBS snap poll: Obama edges Romney in second debate". Politico. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Cohen, Tom (October 17, 2012). "Obama gets the edge over Romney in a bruising debate". CNN. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- "Voters say Obama beat Romney in second debate: Reuters/Ipsos poll". Reuters. October 17, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- Pike, John (October 17, 2012). "China Denies Currency Manipulation Claims". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Welch, William M. (October 22, 2012). "Obama, Romney go on attack in final debate". USA Today.
- MacAskill, Ewan (October 23, 2012). "Obama and Romney clash over foreign policy in final presidential debate". The Guardian.
- Noveck, Jocelyn (October 23, 2012). "Debate impressions: A reversal in body language?". Boston Globe. Associated Press.
- Dunham, Richard (October 22, 2012). "And the winner is ... Live analysis of the foreign policy debate". Houston Chronicle.
- "ORCA, Mitt Romney's high-tech get-out-the-vote program, crashed on Election Day". Boston.com. November 9, 2012. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Farber, Dan (November 9, 2012). "Why Romney's Orca killer app beached on Election Day". CNET. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- MICHAEL BARBARO (November 8, 2012). "For Romney, All His Career Options Are Still Open. Except One". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Taegan Goddard (November 7, 2012). "Hagel Says Sequester Would Freeze Promotions". Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Stableford, Dylan, "Romney 'transition' website briefly appears online", Yahoo! News, November 8, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2012
- Allen, Mike and Jonathan Allen (October 25, 2012). "How Mitt Romney would govern". Politico. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- "Inside the 'Romney Readiness Project,' the ambitious plans for an unrealized administration". NBC News. November 19, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- Parker, Ashley (August 16, 2012). "Campaigning Aside, Team Plans a Romney Presidency". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Fund, John (January 13, 2013). "What was Romney Planning?". National Review. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Fund, John (January 21, 2013). "What Was Romney Planning?". National Review Online. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- Eaton, Kit (November 8, 2012). "If Mitt Romney Had Won, Is This What His Website Would've Looked Like?". Fast Company. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Miller, Zeke (June 2, 2013). "Mitt Romney Inc.: The White House That Never Was". Time. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Hicken, Jackie (May 29, 2013). "Blueprint outlines work former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, others did to prepare for President Romney". Deseret News. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Romney announces he will not run for president in 2016". Fox News. January 30, 2015.
- "Republican backer says Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney both want to run in 2020". June 9, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- "Ryan on Running for President: 'Never Say Never'". RollCall.com. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
- "Mitt Romney Says Obama Won by Giving 'Gifts' to Latino Voters". Fox News Latino. November 15, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Draper, Robert (February 17, 2013). "Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?". The New York Times Sunday Magazine, page MM24. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Heilemann, John; Halperin, Mark (2013). Double Down: Game Change 2012. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 1594204403.
- Mitt Romney 2012 official campaign website
- Republican Primary 17-poll average from The Wall Street Journal
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Campaign Contributions made by Mitt Romney at NewsMeat
- Press releases as Governor of Massachusetts 2003–2007
- "The Making of Mitt Romney". The Boston Globe. 2007.
- Mooney, Brian C. (May 30, 2011). "Romney and health care: In the thick of history". The Boston Globe.
- Mitt Romney; et al. (September 1, 2011). "Believe in America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth" (PDF). Romney for President, Inc. ASIN B005LEY5Q0. Cite journal requires
- Robert Draper (November 30, 2011). "Building a Better Mitt Romney-Bot". The New York Times.