Meet the Republicans

Information provided by the candidates’ campaign.

Meet Mitt Romney

Mitt was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947. His mother, Lenore, gave up an acting career when she met and married his father, George. Mitt’s father came from humble origins and never graduated from college. He apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter and sold aluminum paint before beginning a career that brought him to the head of American Motors and then the governorship of Michigan.

Mitt married his wife, Ann, in 1969. They first met in elementary school when he was a Cub Scout; he remembers tossing pebbles at her when she rode by on a horse. When they met again years later at a friend’s house, he was smitten. Between them, they have five sons and eighteen grandchildren, who are the center of their lives.

Like any family, the Romney’s have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.

Mitt is not a career politician. He has spent most of his life in the private sector, giving him intimate knowledge of how our economy works. But he has also been an outstanding public servant. In one chapter of his distinguished career, he reversed the decline of a state mired in recession. In another chapter, he salvaged the 2002 Winter Olympic Games from certain disaster.


Meet Paul RyanA portrait shot of Paul Ryan, looking straight ahead. He has short brown hair, and is wearing a dark navy blazer with a red and blue striped tie over a light blue collared shirt. In the background is the American flag.

Paul was born the youngest of four children of Elizabeth A. Betty and Paul Murray Ryan. Ryan was first elected to the House in 1998, winning the 1st District seat of Mark Neumann, a two-term incumbent who had vacated his seat to make an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate. Ryan won the Republican primary over 29-year-old pianist Michael J. Logan of Twin Lakes and the general election against his Democratic opponent, Lydia Spottswood. This made him the second-youngest member of the House.

Reelected six times, Ryan has never received less than 57 percent of the vote. He successfully defended his seat against Democratic challenger Jeffrey C. Thomas in the 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections. In 2002, Ryan had also faced Libertarian candidate George Meyers. Ryan defeated Democratic nominee Marge Krupp in the 2008 election. Ryan defeated Democrat John Heckenlively and Libertarian Joseph Kexel in the 2010 general election in his district.

On August 11, 2012 the Romney campaign officially announced Ryan as its choice for Vice President through its “Mitt’s VP” mobile app as well as by the social networking service Twitter, about 90 minutes before Romney’s in-person introduction.  Before the official announcement in Norfolk, it was reported that Romney had decided to choose Ryan on August 1, 2012, the day after returning from his foreign trip through the United Kingdom, Poland and Israel. On August 11, 2012, Ryan formally accepted Romney’s invitation to join his campaign as his running mate, in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia.

Ryan is the major parties’ first-ever vice-presidential candidate from Wisconsin. Ryan married Janna Little, a tax attorney, in 2000. Little, a native of Oklahoma. The couple have three children: Liza, Charles, and Sam.

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