Mitt Romney

With job creation and the economy likely to be front and center in 2012, Mitt Romney, the son of a former Michigan governor and one-time presidential candidate, is hoping his background as a successful businessman and former Massachusetts governor positions him as the most qualified contender to jump-start the economy.

The 2008 presidential candidate joined the 2012 race for the White House in June.

Born Willard Mitt Romney on March 12, 1947 in Detroit, Romney was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and attended the prestigious Cranbrook School before receiving his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 1971.

He attended Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School and received both a law degree and an MBA in 1975.

Romney married Ann Davies in 1969; they have five sons, Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church.

The son of George Romney, Michigan governor and Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney began his career in business. He worked for the management consulting firm Bain & Company before founding the investment firm Bain Capital in 1984. In 1994, he ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts but was defeated by longtime incumbent Edward Kennedy.

In 1999, Romney stepped into the national spotlight when he took over as president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He parlayed his success with the Olympics into politics when he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2003.

After serving one term as governor, he declined to run for re-election and announced his bid for U.S. president. He made it through Super Tuesday, but ultimately lost the GOP nomination to John McCain.

On The Issues:

Defense -- Romney feels the best ally world peace has ever known is "a strong America," and pledges clear foreign policy that will leave allies and enemies with no doubt where the country stands.

Energy -- Romney has made headlines for his conflicting statements about global warming -- saying this summer humans are partially responsible, then reversing that position in the fall. He would aggressively develop oil and gas, as well as the country's coal resources. Nuclear would also be a priority, though he's said that it wold require a long lead time.

Health Care -- Romney wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that he believes empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs. He's also a bring proponent of medical malpractice reforms.

Jobs -- His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation and government programs, while increasing trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility. It also relinquishes more power to the states.

Sources: New York Times, www.mittromney.com, Wikipedia