Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the 105th annual Chamber of Commerce meeting was Mitt Romney’s destination yesterday. He delivered the keynote address before a friendly audience of nearly 2,000 attendees:
Romney: U.S. can fix its problems
Candidate talks politics at Chamber meeting
Oct. 19, 2011
The United States faces significant burdens, but the country has overcome past challenges by believing in itself and American exceptionalism, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Wednesday.
Counting the national debt and the nation’s entitlement programs, the country has obligations of $62 trillion. Meanwhile, the United States faces foreign challenges from Iran, China and a resurgent Russia.
Even so, Romney said he’s optimistic about the country’s future.be
“I believe in free enterprise and capitalism,” he said. “I believe in America.”
Romney praised business but did not talk specifically about his own experiences, which include founding investment firm Bain Capital, which is credited with launching or rebuilding hundreds of companies, including Staples, Domino’s Pizza and The Sports Authority.
He did compare his experience in the private sector with his four-year stint as governor. When businesses make a mistake, people lose their jobs and get hurt, he said. When governments make mistakes, they blame the other political party. Governments should encourage incentives on taxes, regulations and energy policy, but the people in government often don’t understand how to do that.
Romney did not address President Obama by name, but he criticized the president, saying almost everything he’s done in office has “made it more difficult for business to grow and thrive.” The health care overhaul, proposals to make it easier to form unions, financial reform and a cap-and-trade energy proposal have created uncertainty, and businesses won’t invest when there’s uncertainty, he said.
“This economy has had a hard time rebooting because Washington doesn’t understand that it’s not the answer, it’s the problem,” he said, a line that drew applause.
For the first time in this presidential campaign, Romney shared one of his favorite Olympic stories:
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – … “There is a love of America and a passion for this country that burns in the hearts of our citizens,” said Romney to a crowd of nearly 2,000. “The great challenges we have we will overcome if we can draw on that passion and conviction of the greatness and goodness of America.
“And we have leaders who will tell the truth and live with integrity, and who by virtue of their life experiences know how to lead and where to lead America,” he said. “And I very much want to be one of those leaders, with your help.”
Parra, who won both silver and gold medals in the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, for which Romney served as the CEO of the organizing committee, was a staple of Romney’s repertoire during his last bid for the White House. Parra has been a longtime supporter of Romney’s and has already contributed money to the former Massachusetts’ governor’s presidential campaign this cycle.
Tonight, Romney recounted the story of when he chose Parra to be one of eight athletes to carry into the opening ceremony the American flag that had been at Ground Zero during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Parra later told Romney that it was the most meaningful moments of his Olympic games.
“I’ve seen throughout my life the power of the American spirit,” said Romney.
(emphasis added )
Before Romney delivered his speech he met with SD Governor Dennis Daugaard, his chief of staff Dusty Johnson, and Daugaard’s Commissioner for Economic Development Pat Costello.
► Jayde Wyatt