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Economics

Exclusive Romney Interview: On Humility and Tax Returns

The governor talks about his father, what he learned at Bain, and why the controversy over his tax returns is a nonissue
"I have never believed in my own ability to succeed at everything"
"I have never believed in my own ability to succeed at everything"Photograph by Ben Baker/Redux

On his way to a fundraiser in Chicago on Aug. 7, Governor Romney talked with Bloomberg Businessweek Editor Josh Tyrangiel about his father, what he learned at Bain, and why the controversy over his tax returns is a nonissue.

Much of the case you make to voters is that you’re a successful entrepreneur and a successful executive, and thus you’ll make a successful president. Why were you so successful as a businessman?
Well, I had the privilege of growing up in a home with a Dad that was a leader. And because I was the baby of the family, he was kind enough to take me along with him and I got a chance to see real leadership in action. I watched him at American Motors as he interacted with not only executives, but workers there. I remember going to Milwaukee as he addressed UAW employees at the Milwaukee stadium and described to them the new profit-sharing program that he and the head of the UAW had put in place. I later saw him work on policy that related to the state of Michigan, particularly its education system. He also helped to create a new constitution for Michigan. I would attend the meetings where he interacted with people of various backgrounds to find solutions and ultimately make changes. So I learned something about leadership from a man who was an extraordinary leader.