Matt Gaetz: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

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Mitt Romney currently holds the position of the junior United States senator from Utah, a role he has held since 2019. Romney previously served as the 70th governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He was also the nominee for the Republican Party in the 2012 United States presidential election.


Mitt Romney’s official US Senate Portrait Public Domain

Here are some more facts about Mitt Romney that may surprise you:

1. He Lived In France As a Mormon Missionary For Two Years

In the ’60s, Romney, a Mormon, lived in France, serving as a Mormon missionary — a period of his life he calls “very enriching.” 

According to Mormon tradition, young men are encouraged to embark on volunteer missionary endeavors, typically abroad, around the age of 19. Following this custom, Mitt Romney set off for France in 1966 after completing a year at Stanford University in California.

During his 30-month missionary journey in France, Romney’s primary responsibilities involved door-to-door outreach in various French cities like Paris, Bordeaux in the southwest, and Le Havre in the northwest. His mission focused on engaging with people, introducing them to Mormonism—an unfamiliar faith in predominantly Catholic France—and encouraging potential converts to join the Mormon community.

Despite facing widespread rejection in his attempts to promote Mormonism, Romney says he emerged from this experience with a strengthened character, marked by resilience and humility.

 According to Romney, the challenging mission laid the foundation for his faith, making his convictions deeper. 

2. He Is One Of The Richest People In Congress

According to Deseret, Romney was the 4th richest person in Congress in 2022. Mitt Romney co-founded Bain Capital, a prominent private equity and investment firm, and served as its leader from 1984 to 1998. Bain Capital, managing approximately $66 billion, invested in 77 businesses during Romney’s tenure. The firm generated substantial gains of $2.5 billion for investors from these investments, successfully turning around many of the businesses. Romney’s net worth is estimated to be around $300 million.

Romney’s dad was a prominent member of the Republican party and served as the 43rd governor of Michigan. He was also the chairman and president of American Motors Corporation.

3. He Has Loved His Wife Since Highschool

Mitt Romney and Ann Davies’ love story began in high school when Mitt was a senior and Ann was a sophomore, according to a story by PBS. They first met at a party, and there was an immediate spark between them. Mitt escorted Ann home that night, and from there, they started dating. Their connection was undeniable, and it was clear that they had fallen deeply in love.

Despite the young age and the perception of a typical high school romance, they knew their relationship was extraordinary. Their families and friends were unaware of the depth of their feelings for each other. Mitt’s missionary journey to France, while Ann went to college, further tested their love. During this time, Ann received attention from another student and went on a couple of dates with him. Mitt was brokenhearted, worried that he would lose her. 

Then, one day, he received a wonderful letter from Ann. She had made her choice: “Mitt, you’re the guy. You’re the guy I want to be with for all eternity,” the letter said. 

Upon Mitt’s return from France, the two rekindled their love at the airport as if no time had passed. 

“…He only had eyes for me,” Ann said. “He made a beeline past his mother, which really was an upsetting thing for her, and just grabbed me. And it was amazing, an amazing thing that happened. It’s as though all time dissolved, and we were right back exactly where we were when he left.”

On the ride home, Mitch and Ann made an incredible decision. According to Ann, they both looked at each other and said, “We’ve waited so long. Why should we wait any longer? Let’s just get married now, like now.” Ann said it was a bit of a shock to everyone. But that’s how they felt. 

They were married in Ann’s home, and the marriage was sealed at the temple in Salt Lake City. Ann converted to Mormonism. 

Their first son, Taggart, was born on their first anniversary.

Eventually, they had five sons together.

4. He Was Known As a Prankster

In his youth, Mitt Romney was known for his playful antics and pranks. One memorable incident took place at a clothing store where Romney and friends, dressed in “gangland fashion,” pretended to stage a stick-up, using a toy Tommy gun to create sparks and liven up the scene. This mischievous behavior was part of a pattern, with the store often being a site for Romney’s youthful shenanigans.

In another instance during the Christmas season, Romney surprised store employees by appearing in “full Bloomfield Township fireman’s regalia,” complete with a waterproof cape and fire helmet, brandishing a fire ax. He playfully yelled about a non-existent fire, swung the ax, and then quickly exited the store, leaving everyone amused.


Mitt Romney in 1965 Public Domain

These youthful exploits shed light on Romney’s playful and adventurous side during his formative years, a contrast to his later serious roles in politics. However, some of these pranks, such as forcibly cutting a classmate’s hair and impersonating a police officer, have drawn criticism in hindsight.

5. Mitt Romney and “The Dog Incident”

In June 1983, Mitt Romney and his family embarked on their annual vacation from Belmont, Massachusetts, to Beach O’ Pines, Ontario. During the 12-hour trip, their Irish Setter named Seamus was placed in a carrier on the roof of their car. Seamus experienced diarrhea during the journey, which led to an unfortunate incident where the family had to stop at a gas station to clean the dog, the carrier, and the car.

Seamus, an active Irish Setter, was the Romneys’ first pet. After the trip, he was given to Mitt Romney’s sister due to concerns about his safety. Reports about Seamus’ fate after that differ, with some saying he lived to a ripe old age on the sister’s farm, while others suggest he ran away once they reached their destination.

The incident stirred some controversy, with debates about animal cruelty and compliance with Massachusetts laws. Mitt Romney defended the transportation method, stating that Seamus enjoyed being in the carrier. 

Ann Romney downplayed the severity of the incident, comparing it to riding in the bed of a pickup truck. Despite the controversy, Romney said he loved Seamus. 

6. He Voted To Impeach President Trump

In the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney voted to convict, joining only six other Republicans. 

Trump was ultimately acquitted with a 57-43 vote, falling short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. 

Romney was also the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in the first trial in 2020. 

Rachel Emmanuel

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