Mitt Romney, Republic presidential candidate, is the wealthiest of all candidates and says that if elected president, he will probably donate his salary to charity, as reported by the Associated Press.
Romney says that this is a benefit of having been very successful in business. He was a venture capitalist and headed the 2002 Olympics. He recently served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, and during the duration of his term he had declined his annual salary of 135,000. His assets are currently estimated to be between 190 million and 250 million dollars. A more exact figure will be disclosed by Romney when he files his financial disclosure report, as is required by all presidential candidates; he had filed an extension from the mid May deadline and offered his broad estimate, reports the Associated Press.
The presidential salary is 400,000 annually. When questioned as to whether or not he’d accept it, by reporters, Romney said he probably would, but that he’d be most likely to donate all of that amount and possibly more, to charity. His original answer to the question was, “I haven’t really thought ahead that far…There are some questions I haven’t forecasted, perhaps because that would seem presumptuous of me.”
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Romney is expected, as all Mormons, to donate ten percent of their income to the church to remain in good standing.
During a visit with business owners in Dover, New Hampshire at a Liberty Mutual office, a woman asked Mitt Romney if millionaire candidates could solve government problems in Washington, to which he replied:
“I never anticipated that I’d be as financially successful as I was, and then my business went far better than I expected it would… I wouldn’t disqualify somebody by virtue of their financial wealth or their financial poverty… I would instead look at their record, what they’ve done with their life and whether they can make a difference, whether the things they have learned will enable them to be an effective leader.”
Romney has taken some criticism for his faith as a Mormon and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. During his visit to Dover, when he approached a patron of Harvey’s Bakery downtown, Al Michaud, the man yelled at him, “I’m one person who will not vote for a Mormon.” Romney replied, “Can I shake your hand anyway?” Al Michaud said no, and later told reporters that he’s not “a right-winger,” and that if she should win the Democrat’s nomination, he’d be voting for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.