He campaigned in 1994 and 2002 as a supporter of the abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade. But, in late 2004, midway through his term, Romney changed his views on the issue of abortion. He now says he is anti-abortion.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that homosexual couples legally had the right to marry under state law. Romney actively, although unsuccessfully, campaigned for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling, but he stepped in where he could to limit its reach: He chose to enforce a 1913 law that prevented couples from marrying in Massachusetts who could not legally be married in their home states.
Romney decided against running for re-election in 2006 and formally announced his first bid for the White House in February 13, 2007. But despite raising nearly $90 million for his campaign -- $35 million of which came from his own pocket -- Romney's presidential bid came to a halt in February 2008, after a disappointing second-place finish behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Iowa caucuses. Sen. John McCain of Arizona ended up winning the party's nomination.
But in April 2011, Romney announced he had formally launched his 2012 presidential exploratory committee in a Web video in which he declared, "President Obama's policies have failed."
In June 2011, on a farm in Stratham, N.H., Romney officially launched his campaign flanked by hay bales and a larger-than-life U.S. flag, declaring, President Obama "has had his chance."