Now that the Santorum problem has been cleaned up, the Republican nomination for president practically belongs to everyone's favorite Republican automaton, Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor who promises he'll Restore Our Future (that's the quizzical name of the super PAC set up by former Romney aides that exists to support his candidacy) is notorious for changing his mind about important social issues, being socially awkward and out-of-touch and for inexplicably greeting people by offering them congratulations - for what, nobody ever seems to be sure.
We know he made his fortune as the head of investment firm Bain Capital, best known for buying up smaller companies, firing the employees, then offering to hire them back at lower salaries and reduced benefits. We know he was responsible for instituting Romney-care in Massachusetts, which is saw to it that that nearly every resident of the state (more than 98 percent) have health care - and that he now, inexplicably, runs away from the program's success and seems to want to divorce himself from it. We know that he did indeed put his family dog, an Irish Setter named Seamus, in a crate tied to the roof of the car during road trips … a practice the family says the dog “loved.”
But there's plenty more to know about Mitt!
3: Number of campaign committees that were created to remind voters that Romney has admitted that he tied his caged family dog, Seamus, to the top of a car on a road trip. They include: Dogs against Romney; I Ride Inside, the Pets Against Romney Committee; and Mitt is Mean, the Animal Lovers Against Romney Committee. Updated to reflect changes to the FEC website, which was updated after this information was compiled for print: As of 4/12, the FEC reports that I Ride Inside and Dogs Against Romney filed paperwork to terminate. As of mid-April, the only dog-related anti-Romney committees still active are Mitt is Mean and DogPAC, which filed its organization papers in March. (Source: U. S. Federal Elections Committee, fec.gov)
1,636,177: Number of likes Romney has received on Facebook as of April 24.
459,337: Number of Twitter followers as of April 24.
4: Number of photos on Romney's Instagram feed.
Willard - That's Romney's real first name. Mitt, his middle name, is what he uses to make himself sound richer and more authentically Puritanical.
In addition to being worth anywhere from $85 to $264 million, according to tax documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission, the Romneys report that they own between $500,000 and $1 million worth of gold and horses.
Romney knows how to keep his money safe! Over the years, the Los Angeles Times has reported, he's stashed millions of it safely away in shell companies in Bermuda, funds in the Cayman Islands and Swiss bank accounts.
He's a man's man: 69.4 percent of Romney's campaign contributions have come from men, who've given $50,253,149 so far; women, by comparison, have contributed $22,169,048 to his campaign.
$75,380,575: Amount Romney's campaign has raised as of Feb. 29, 2012 (source: Federal Elections Commission).
$516,351: Amount raised in money from Political Action Committees as of Feb. 29, 2012.
$43,220,600: Amount super PAC Restore Our Future has raised to propel Romney's campaign forward as of Feb. 29, 2012. (Super PACs can't raise money directly for a campaign, they raise money for their own cause … and in Restore Our Future's case that cause is getting Mitt Romney elected.)
$6,652,859: Amount raised from individual Florida donors as of Feb. 29, 2012.
Florida zip code from which Romney has received the most donations: 33480, Palm Beach, for the win, contributing $605,196 to his campaign so far.
$80,455: Amount raised from individual donors in Orlando.
$70,275: Amount raised from individual donors in Winter Park.
$100,000: Amount Romney spent in state funds to purge computers at the end of his term in office as governor of Massachusetts in 2007, in an attempt to keep his records secret (source: Reuters).
Note for our online readers: Campaign-finance, committee and PAC data is always changing and being updated. For the most current information available on a candidate or committee, visit the Federal Election Commission website.
“Epically awkward” - That's the phrase Frank Rich uses to describe Richard Nixon, and he points out in his story that it also applies to Romney, whose robotic attempts to connect with humans has often put him in awkward positions. In December 2011, the New York Times - not known to be particularly snarky in its reporting - wrote a “guide to Mr. Romney's habits and quirks on the campaign trail,” which detailed his tendency to congratulate people for no apparent reason, make comments reminiscent of those your out-of-touch grandpa might make while trying to make small talk (“We stayed in the Courtyard hotel last night,” the Times reported that he he told a woman at a diner. “It's a LEED-certified hotel.”) and his penchant for trying to incorrectly guess people's ages, relationships and ethnicities (“Are you a French Canadian?” is a favorite, according to the Times.)
Ted Nugent - Everyone's favorite aging rock redneck endorsed Romney in March after speaking with him on the phone, then enraged Democrats and frightened everyone else when he suggested that NRA members ride into battle and “chop heads off” the Democrats in November. Cat scratch fever, indeed. As of press time, Romney hasn't renounced Nugent or his crazy talk, but he's asked everyone to stay “civil.” Now that's political diplomacy!
Awkward and embarrassing - In 2008, at an appearance in Jacksonville, CBS News filmed Romney trying painfully to connect with a group of young black voters by mugging for photos and quoting the only rap song he's ever heard: “Who let the dogs out? Whoo, hoo!”
And let's not forget ... he's really not sure about those cookies. They might have come from some vile place commoners buy their food, like the local 7-11.
Three Mormons and a Guy Named Yo - The informal name of the band Mitt Romney's son, Ben, played in. The band practiced above the garage at the Romney home. (source: Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2011)
“Mitt's Temple” - What locals in Belmont, Mass., derisively called a proposed 94,000-square-foot Mormon temple that Salt Lake City church leaders wanted to build there. The temple was controversial because its steeples were going to be taller than local zoning allowed and the Mormon church called on Romney to help soothe the natives. The temple was eventually built, but with modifications. “I believe that this town and this state, this commonwealth, and this nation needs more steeples, not less steeples, pointing symbolically to heaven, where I think the source of our blessings and the source of many of our questions come from,” Romney said at a zoning board hearing on the temple, adding that he didn't think that steeples should be subject to zoning laws. (source: Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2011)
He was a Mormon bishop - From 1981-1985, before he got involved in politics, Romney served as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But he's not above shilling to the evangelicals - According to Jezebel.com, Romney has agreed to give the May 12 commencement address at Liberty University - the school founded by Jerry Falwell and known for teaching that the earth only 6,000 years old and that God wanted us to run the country according to the Bible. Rally the troops, Mitt!
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