By Mitt Romney
We continue with our series of guest posts from the 2008 presidential candidates and take this opportunity to thank Gov. Mitt Romney for sharing his time and outlook for the country.
The former Governor of Massachusetts, a Mormon and the only other presidential contender who can trace his family tree to Mexico, Governor Romney is a camera-friendly candidate with a track record for solving economic woes when he was governor and rescuing failing businesses as a private entrepreneur.
Governor Romney is no stranger to national politics either. His father, George Romney, also ran for the Republican presidential nomination back in 1968. He was defeated. It’s a legacy that the younger Romney has no intention of fulfilling.
Governor Romney announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination in the state of his birth, Michigan, on February 13, 2007.
Throughout my life, I have relished the opportunity to lead in the business world, public sector and government. As the founder of Bain Capital, I led a company that invested in start-up enterprises and turned around troubled businesses.
As chairman of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, I turned around a scandal-plagued Games and eliminated a $379 million deficit. As Governor of Massachusetts, I cut taxes for families and businesses, enabled successful students to attend college tuition-free, signed into law landmark health care reform and defended traditional family values.
Through it all, I still consider raising a loving family to be my lifeâ€™s greatest achievement.
Earlier this year, my high school sweetheart Ann and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. Our lives have been profoundly enriched by our five sons, five daughters-in-law and eleven grandchildren.
My experiences have solidified my belief that the most important work in America today is taking place inside the four walls of the American home.
In order to strengthen the American people, we must strengthen our greatest institution â€“ the family.
As President, I will protect marriage, family and the sanctity of life.
Ann and I will use the bully pulpit to teach America’s children that before they have babies, they should get married. It’s time to make out-of-wedlock births out-of-fashion again so that our young women can complete their educations and realize their full potential.
We must also encourage a culture that values all life, while promoting greater parental involvement in childrenâ€™s lives.
Another way to strengthen families is by allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. As President, I will make the Bush tax relief permanent, roll back tax rates for all taxpayers, abolish the death tax, make health care expenses tax deductible, oppose Social Security tax increases and make the corporate tax rate more competitive with the rest of the world.
I will also allow the middle class to save tax-free by changing the tax rate on interest, capital gains and dividends to absolutely 0%.
Measures like these will allow families to save more money for their childrenâ€™s education, to buy a home and for their retirement. Tax relief is not only beneficial to our economy, it is also fair and provides an incentive to our entrepreneurs to take risks, innovate and grow their businesses.
Strengthening the family also requires making health care more affordable for the 47 million uninsured Americans, a group that includes 13 million Hispanics.
For this reason, I have articulated a vision of healthcare reform that puts conservative, market-based principles to work in order to give every American access to affordable, portable and quality health insurance.
On this issue, other candidates are sure to offer a broad array of prescriptions, but Iâ€™m the only one who has actually accomplished something to resolve this problem. I did it in Massachusetts, and I can also do it for the entire nation.
To strengthen the family, we must also improve our education system. Closing the achievement gap in our schools is the civil rights issue of our time, and this means we have to ensure all our children are acquiring the skills to graduate from high school and then go on to college.
As President, I will promote school choice. I believe that when parents and kids are free to choose their school, everyone benefits. I will improve upon No Child Left Behind (NCLB) by giving states additional flexibility in measuring student performance.
We must also honor teaching as the profession it truly is by supporting performance-based pay and other initiatives that encourage our best teachers to teach in our highest-need schools.
Our efforts must also be re-focused on fields like math and science while promoting innovative approaches such as charter schools and public-private partnerships.
Together, these initiatives will help ensure that Americaâ€™s youth have the intellectual capital and skills they need to compete in the new global marketplace.
Another issue that is on the minds of many Americans, particularly the Hispanic community, is immigration. I believe we need to end illegal immigration so that legal immigration can remain a source of strength for America.
I believe itâ€™s important to reform our immigration laws in a way that will secure our borders, implement an employment verification system and eliminate incentives for illegal immigration. In doing so, we can give the American people renewed faith in their immigration system.
There should be no doubt that we want people from all parts of the world to keep coming to the United States as they have been for centuries. But we need to encourage them to come through the legal channels that exist and ensure that weâ€™re not putting those that are waiting to come legally at any disadvantage by doing so.
During this campaign, I have been blessed to meet men, women and children from many diverse backgrounds. I am proud to count several extraordinary Latina leaders in my National Hispanic Steering Committee.
I am honored to have their support and, more importantly, be able to count on their advice. Together, we can confront the new generation of challenges America faces and build a more prosperous and secure future for ourselves, our children and future generations.