Opinion: No, Mr. President, YOU Can’t Change Washington

As we’ve all heard by now President Obama has finally admitted that while hope died out quite a while ago, change has now died along with it.

The clip of Obama’s actual statement is the first video clip at this link below.

Now I try to give people a little slack when they make comments that I feel are being misconstrued. For example, do I think Mitt really believes 47% of the country are freeloaders? No, I really don’t. My Mitt translator tells me Mitt was describing the size of the 47% Democratic base, the fact that lowering taxes is less likely to appeal to many of the 47% of the people who are non-taxpayers, and that some voters are honestly not convincible because they’re unlikely to vote against their pocketbooks. Are those people all Democrats? No. Does that group make up 47% of the populace? I don’t think Mitt really thinks that. In the setting of a fundraiser, where the comments are less precise (remember Obama’s “god and guns”?) Mitt just ran those concepts together. I can cut him some slack on that, knowing I could easily do the same, and I know President Obama and Joe Biden have said much worse. And Mitt made clear he thinks there’s a legitimate debate to be had about creating dependency rather than jobs, and that true success will be in growing the entire economy so that all succeed rather than focusing on redistribution of wealth (which has never worked). But do I think he believes half of the country are freeloaders? Absolutely not. Is there a large percent of Dems who won’t vote for a Republican no matter what? Yes. Those are the people he was saying he can’t worry about trying to please in an election. Of course once you’re president, it’s different: Mitt’s said as much before. If elected he’d be the president of everyone, not a subgroup.

So now, since I’m in a generous mood, I think it’s appropriate to analyze President Obama’s latest misstatement.

Now admittedly as a Mitt fan I’m happy to zing President Obama a bit on the face value of his words, just as Obama fans like to do to Mitt. And lest anyone misunderstand, let no one say Mitt’s any more prone to misstatement than President “you didn’t build that” Obama or Joe “put y’all back in chains” Biden.

Part of Obama’s statement is honestly shocking: the candidate who entered office on a wave of “hope and change” and “change you can believe in” has now come to the conclusion, even calling it the “most important lesson” he learned in the last four years (seriously?), that he can’t change Washington from the inside. Ouch. (more…)

Santorum & Dems Continue Claim that Romney Supported National HC Mandate, FactCheckers: Not So

This issue has been hashed over time and again. Yet Rick Santorum and the Democrats continue to state that Romney supported a health care mandate for the whole country. Rick Santorum has even gone so far as to say that “there is no difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” and that “if the choice was between Mitt Romney or President Obama, we might as well stay with President Obama.”

These claims about Romney’s stance on health care by Rick Santorum and the Democrats are demonstrably false. Many independent and non-partisan groups called “fact-checkers” have recently researched the truthfulness of these claims and found that Rick Santorum and the Democrats are knowingly repeating falsehoods.

Lets first talk about what the FactCheckers at the Washington Post have written recently about Santorum’s claim that “Romney supported a health care mandate for the whole country.”

The Washington Post’s main fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, concludes

In other words, it is ridiculous to claim that Romney ever supported a national mandate when he ran for president in 2008.

Mr. Kessler gave the statement “four pinocchios” which the worst rating a statement can get, a true “whopper” of a lie.

Josh Hicks of the Washington Post comes to the same conclusion when analyzing Rick Santorum’s frequent statements that Romney “supported a mandate for the whole country” saying:

There does not appear to be a single example of Romney saying “we need to force the nation to buy insurance” or anything along that line. In fact, he has said as far back as 2007 that states should decide for themselves what types of health-care policies to implement.

In addition, a 2007 New York Times article explaining Romney’s health-care plan used the headline “Romney to Pitch a State-by-State Health Insurance Plan,” noting that his approach “departs significantly from the universal health care measure that he helped forge as governor of Massachusetts.” And his campaign literature from 2008 made clear that he wanted a “federalist” approach to universal health care.

Rick Santorum needs to recognize the truth that is so obviously before him and stop repeating what is known to be untrue. Even though Santorum is in a tough spot these days by being so far behind in the delegate count, he needs to exemplify some of that “strong moral character” that he talks about so frequently and admit when he’s wrong.

[Editor's Note: Here would be a good place to plug our RomneyCare info page. Ben (author of this post) poured many weeks of research, writing and editing into the extremely informative page. Since Santorum and others continue to (incorrectly) fault Romney for various aspects of RomneyCare we urge you to review the facts and become informed on the details.
Find it ---> HERE]

Romney vs. Obama on Healthcare: Obama won’t know what hit him.

Our beloved MittRomneyCentral.com website is receiving lots of traffic now from several sites linking to an old Op-Ed and selectively quoting two parts of it and reading between the lines that Romney wanted a mandate to purchase health insurance at the federal level. This is patently false. I just want to link back to some posts I wrote several months back about RomneyCare in case any readers click over here to our homepage.

In Part 2 of the three part series I wrote on the issue (Part 1 and Part 3 links) I suggested how Romney could smoke Obama in a debate when ObamaCare/RomneyCare came up with the following words/ideas.

Mr. President, when we reformed Health Care in Massachusetts we spent two years working toward a consensus. We had overwhelming public opinion support, input from the entire political spectrum (From The Heritage Foundation to Ted Kennedy), and finally passed a 72 page bill with a vote of 198-2 in the state legislature . . . getting whopping majorities from Republican, Democratic, and Independent lawmakers.

Contrast that to the bill you rammed through Congress in a matter of a few weeks and foisted upon the American people . . . a 2,700 page monstrosity that we were told would have to be passed before we could know what’s in it. A bill that squeaked through Congress by the slimmest of margins (219-212; meaning that it would have failed if only four Representatives had voted differently) only after well-documented strong-arming and promised political favors (“Louisiana Purchase” and “Cornhusker Kickaback”) . . . all this with not a single Republican voting in favor of it and 34 members of your own party voting against it. A bill that is a ugly stain on the fabric of our nation both for the ends that it aims to achieve AND the means by which it became law.

Mr President, based on the current unpopularity of your bill, and, in light of the 2010 repudiation of your party at the ballot box, I think it’s clear which type of leadership the American people prefer. Leadership that is deliberate and wise, that is not in a rush to score a political victory no matter the cost, that respects their voices and works for THEIR best interests. Wouldn’t you agree?

Make sure to check them out … and, of course, check out our site’s comprehensive and accessible page on healthcare, written up by Ben.

Exclusive (MR12): One Evangelical’s Journey to Promote Mitt Romney

Five years ago, I discovered the amazing resource Article VI Blog, founded by John Schroeder and Lowell Brown. Their reporting and Op-Ed writing, in my opinion, have proved an important contribution to this nation and to the American ideal of freedom. Their tireless research will continue to enlighten Americans who treasure the blessings of diversity.

John Schroeder


John and Lowell traveled to the Bush Library in Texas for Governor Romney’s historic Faith in America speech December 6, 2007. It was there we met and discussed their work and our hope of a Romney presidency.

Following is a candid view into John’s childhood, youth, and adulthood that I found most revealing – especially as relates to his arriving to understand Mitt Romney’s tremendous leadership skills and experience. I am grateful to him for this guest contribution to Mitt Romney Central.

From Protecting The Church To Electing A President — This Evangelical’s Story

By: John Schroeder

The story is now old about how Article VI Blog got started. We have grown from the original team of me, an evangelical Presbyterian, and my Mormon partner Lowell Brown to include John Mark Reynolds, notable Greek Orthodox academic and scholar. All three of us have our individual reasons to be there; let’s talk about mine.

When I started, I really did not care much for Mitt Romney, but I also hated bigotry. Frankly, one of Romney’s key talking points for the ’08 election was what has now come to be called “RomneyCare” and I was aghast. When Article VI Blog started I was in the process of losing about 200 pounds. That gave me a unique view of the health care system – the last thing I wanted was to give the government the power to tell me about my weight, and let’s face it, you put someone in charge of your healthcare, and that is where they are going. But again, I hate bigotry.

See, I am a son of the Deep South. I was born in 1957 in Oxford, Mississippi. My father soon finished law school and we left Mississippi, but my mother’s entire extended family was there so rarely a year has gone by in my life that I have not spent some time in the state. I grew up with “Whites Only” signs, and segregated water fountains. Most importantly, I saw the racial prejudices of the Deep South routinely turn some members of my loving and wonderful family suddenly ugly. We could be having the most wonderful evening in a household full of love and good cheer and the topic would come up and well, let’s just say I saw the good cheer leave the room.

So, on that fateful day when Hugh Hewitt introduced me to the idea that Evangelicals would oppose Romney, not because of something like RomneyCare, but because of his faith, I did not want to see the good cheer leave the “evangelical room” and decided to get involved. Right up until the day before Super Tuesday in the 2008 primary campaign, I worked hard to fight the religious bigotry that was so obviously aimed at Romney, but that did not mean he had my vote. He ended up with it, but he had to earn it.

So-called RomneyCare really was the only serious obstacle to his having my vote. John McCain was, well, not a team player with Republicans, and governance is a team game. Rudy Giuliani was waaaay too far left. Fred Thompson was a joke, and Mike Huckabee really did take the good cheer from the evangelical room. But….

In ’08 Romney ended up with my vote largely because as I studied the RomneyCare issue I came to discover that what was passed in Massachusetts was a far cry from what Romney proposed. What Romney proposed was a hybrid system between private enterprise and public health care. Most importantly it offered subsidies for people to get private healthcare; the government never became the provider. Not ideal from my perspective, but enough to make him far more palatable than the alternatives, particularly when you consider that the public, showing a lack of wisdom in my estimation, was demanding something. A reasonable politician has to act when the citizenry demand, even if the result is less than ideal. Those in elected office are, after all, servants of the people, not rulers.

Since ObamaCare has come to pass, RomneyCare is no longer an issue for me. There are many similarities in the Massachusetts healthcare system and that which ObamaCare shall bring to pass, but in the end there is no comparison. Many legal scholars think ObamaCare is unconstitutional – I am inclined to agree with them. States have a lot of power that the federal government does not. But more importantly to my mind Massachusetts healthcare now has little resemblance to what Mitt Romney originally proposed. He had some vetoes overridden and has been out of office for quite some time now, giving that heavily liberal legislature, and governor, plenty of time to fiddle about. What Mitt Romney wanted, and what Barack Obama shoved down our gullets is radically different. Romney has promised to minimize the impact of ObamaCare as much as the power of the presidency will allow and to make repeal of it a priority in his agenda. That’s all I can ask.

Let’s get back to my youthful sojourns to Mississippi and to bigotry. You cannot be about in Mississippi and not know African-Americans, lots of them. One of the reasons things seemed to turn so ugly in the family gatherings when it came up was because the blacks that I knew in Mississippi were certainly poor and generally undereducated but most of them were decent good people. As an infant, I was cared for by a woman (my mother worked while my father was in law school) who remained in service to the family her entire life, as did several of her children. Now my parents were dirt poor at the time. Mom made a pittance as a production assistant at a Memphis television station and Dad had the GI bill. That they could afford a caretaker for me explains a lot of the poverty in the African-American community of the time. Regardless, I saw that woman (Fannie was her name) on every visit I made to Mississippi until she passed away, which was about the time I graduated high school. She could not read or write, but she was a good woman – having cared not only for me, but for many of my generation. She was a decent person. But the things some of my family members would say when she was out of earshot…. Their words simply did not match the reality I witnessed, and it made some loving, beautiful people look very ugly.

Schroeder & Brown at Faith In America Speech


You cannot live in southern California, one end of the so-called “Jello Belt,” and not know Mormons – lots of them. When I contemplated my evangelical brethren discarding a candidate for POTUS because he was a Mormon, it just looked ugly to me. They were good, decent people. Politically most that I know stand right where I do. They are contributing members of the community, often leading on things that my brethren seemed too pre-occupied to tackle. As the African-Americans of the Mississippi of my youth were poor and under-educated, the Mormons of my adulthood were theologically misguided, but they were good people, even preferable as neighbors. To discard Romney on the basis of theological wrongness reflected very poorly on my evangelical brethren.

I am tempted at this point to go on about the proper relationship of theology and religious affiliation to our citizenship, but that is a scholarly topic, and this is a personal reflection. Besides, it’s getting too long anyway.

I grieve for all those that would discard Romney, or Jon Huntsman for that matter, on the basis of their Mormon faith. To do so, from my perspective, shows little faith in the God who saved me and whom I claim to serve. The New Testament is full of the message that Christ came to free us from the drudgery and ugliness of legalism. Such is not license for debauchery, but rather a reflection of the fact that Christ’s ministry transforms us. We are changed from people who obey the law out of obligation, fear and tenacity to people from whom behavior in compliance with the law flows as a natural consequence of who we are.

If we still operate out of a mindset that demands strict compliance in an obligatory and tenacious manner, then we have yet to experience the deep reality of what Jesus can do for us. Christ, it must be remembered, chose the company of sinners over the religious elite of his day. In plain speak, it is not about theology or membership, but character.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke some of the most profound words of the last century:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The years since Article VI Blog started have been very interesting years in my life. Among the more interesting occurrences has been the opportunity to get to know Mitt Romney just a little and some of his extended family quite well. These are people, who when judged by the content of their character, deserve the same shot at the White House, or any other part of the American dream, that the rest of us enjoy.

I do not pretend to know what God thinks of Mormons or Mormon theology – I do not know what will happen to any individual Mormon in eternity, or anyone else for that matter – I am no where near that smart. I know what I believe and what my prayer and study has taught me, and yes, it is quite different than what they believe. But I also know that to deny them their place in our nation, based on that difference, reflects far more poorly on me than it does on them.

All said and done, that is why I started with Article VI Blog. I did not want the prejudices of some in the Evangelical community to reflect poorly on all of us. I wanted anybody that bothered to listen to know that we’re not all that way.

Some six years later the only thing that is different is that Mitt Romney is now unquestionably the best candidate qualified to steer our nation back in the proper direction. Economically, his skill is unrivalled. As an executive, his experience is unmatched. As a politician, his current victories speak for themselves – as does his character. This cycle Mitt Romney has more than earned my vote. I am proud to be behind him – 100%.

[Emphasis added by Lundquist]

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. — C. S. Lewis

…………………. Related Resources …………………….

Why Evangelicals Can Support Mitt Romney

Evangelicals for Mitt

JFK’s Amazing, Inspiring 1960 Speech to Houston Ministers, “I Believe in America”

OUTSTANDING RESEARCH ON ROMNEYCARE (including MD experts):

The Truth About Massachusetts Health Care

Problem or Not?

Why RomneyCare Makes Mitt the Best Nominee to Face Obama

Bottomline: Romney Stands Strongly Against ObamaCare

Why Romney Care is Constitutional While ObamaCare is Not
,

Mitt Romney for President of the United States of America


Which of these do you think is the most informative and helpful?

Today during a business luncheon, a colleague asked me for details behind one of Governor Romney’s policies and what motivated him, etc. As I did a little research to provide the answers he sought, I discovered that all the answers were contained here at MittRomneyCentral.

Some of you may be arriving to this website for the first time to explore, “What makes this guy with the weird name ‘Mitt’ tick?” Or you may be a relatively new, but regular visitor that is still absorbing the depth of the man we at MRC esteem as the finest leader in decades to run for President of the United States. You may even be a supporter of another Republican candidate just dropping in to take a look under the hood.

THIS POST IS FOR YOU. In this one stop, you can explore one or all of the following articles to learn a tremendous amount of truth about the most principled, value based leader seeking to lead this nation back to “American Optimism.”

Each one of the following articles contains content that will both enlighten and inform you and is among the finest (based on number of reader views and recommendations) of the year 2011 ["FB"= Facebook Recommends]:

THE RISE OF OBAMAVILLES — BEST BUSINESSMAN VIDEO
Views: 4,800 / FB: 208 / Comments: Dozens

BAIN & COMPANY NAMED BEST EMPLOYER IN AMERICA
Views: 1,218 / FB: 602 / Comments: 14 (still open)

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ROMNEY
Views: 965 / FB: 168 / Comments: 4

ROMNEYCARE MYTHS EXPOSED IN DETAIL (MD EXPERT)
Views: 853 / FB: 237 / Comments: Truncated

FACT CHECKERS SHOW “FLIP-FLOP” CHARGE EXAGGERATED
Views: 2,554 / FB: 754 / Comments: Dozens (still open)

EXPOSING ANTI-ROMNEY PROPAGANDA
Views: 2,110 / FB: 227 / Comments: Dozens

ARGUMENTS FOR EVANGELICAL SUPPORT OF ROMNEY
Views: 1,289 / FB: 114 / Comments: Dozens (still open)

SEE HOW MITT ROMNEY “MARRIED UP”
Views: 1,154 / FB: 72 / Comments: 20 (still open)

REVEALING GLIMPSE AS TO HOW ROMNEY IS LIKELY TO GOVERN AS PRESIDENT
Work Ethic, Drive, Determination, Intelligence, Intensity, Problem Solver…..
The New York Times — December 24, 2011

Mitt Romney for President of the United States of America Your Favorite?

“For without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” — President John F. Kennedy

Newt Gingrich’s Imitation of Michael Jackson

By now, everybody has seen the news yesterday about Gingrich stating he wholeheartedly supported major parts of the healthcare plan Governor Romney designed when he was Governor. Gingrich has been quoted as recently as May 2011 in support of key elements of the plan. Well, Gingrich is now starting to do the Michael Jackson moonwalk on us. Doesn’t this video remind you of Gingrich in the news lately?

To be completely candid, I think Newt is better at the Moonwalk than Michael Jackson was! What do you think?

Do you die hard Romney fans remember Kevin Madden? He was Governor Romney’s spokesman in the 2008 campaign. This Reuters article just about says it all:

“What has to worry voters most is that Newt and his campaign are failing even the most basic tests,” said Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Romney and an informal adviser to the campaign.

“How can you argue that you’re equipped to take on Obama’s billion-dollar attack machine when you can’t even get on the ballot in your home state of Virginia,” Madden said.

Many conservative Christians in Iowa are wary of Gingrich because of his marital infidelities and two divorces.

I think Gingrich is getting desperate. Watch him closely these next few days before caucus Tuesday. I believe we will see the true Newt emerge. Aside from the whining of late, and his Michael Jackson imitations, we will see his temper flair. Mark my words. He is simply outgunned and his team doesn’t know how to handle it.

By the way, I predict we will observe Gingrich continue to fumble along and we will see him refer to those missteps as he always does by saying, “Well, that was a big mistake.”

Please, if you have not read this article by Dave, please read it and pass it along to voters in Iowa and South Carolina. Thank you!

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” — Albert Schweitzer

Chris Wallace Shows Bret Baier How It’s Done – Mitt on Fox News Sunday

What an interview! Chris Wallace just presented what could be used by schools as the example of how to interview presidential candidates. This interview had quite a few “tough questions”, but none of them were presented in the irresponsible way Bret Baier asked them a few weeks ago. Chris made sure his audience knew why he was asking the questions he asked, and he didn’t presume to know the answer. The contrast between the two interviews could not be more stark, but now let’s focus on today’s interview.

The interview started with Chris Wallace reminding his audience that Mitt hasn’t been on a Sunday morning show in almost two years which Mitt just laughed off (it’s been a strategy in order to peak at the right time, not because Mitt is afraid of tough questions). This interview was very educational and Mitt was able to answer the questions a lot of voters likely have in a way that I think will satisfy quite a few of them. I was especially touched by personal questions Chris Wallace had Mitt answer at the end of the interview. The follow-up questions caused Mitt to go into more detail about how he felt after Ann was diagnosed with MS and how much Ann means to Mitt. I hope this interview is seen by millions of voters because it was powerful and the end was emotional.

The interview was taped yesterday before the big endorsement of Mitt by the Des Moines Register, but Chris Wallace did mention that endorsement to his audience immediately following the interview.

We will post the interview here in it’s entirety as soon as it’s available. Here’s the transcript until then.



Gov. Romney is going to do the Top 10 on Letterman tomorrow. Mitt is going to be interviewed by Charlie Rose tomorrow night as well.

A Reconciliation – How One Romney Supporter Justifies RomneyCare while Denouncing ObamaCare – part 1

As a Romney supporter, I am sometimes asked how I can support RomneyCare but desire to repeal ObamaCare. “Aren’t the two plans basically the same thing?” they ask. 

Governor Chris Christie said recently that it is “intellectually dishonest” to equate RomneyCare with ObamaCare. I agree with Gov. Christie and while I can’t speak for Mr. Christie, I would like to give you one of my own reasons for supporting RomneyCare but denouncing ObamaCare. 

#1) Costs – A Simple But Powerful Distinction

From simply a costs perspective, the two plans are quite different. RomneyCare was a “balanced bill” which means it required virtually no new spending or taxes. On the other hand, ObamaCare increases taxes by over a half a trillion dollars and requires a dramatic increase in government spending. The vastly different costs of each program represent a significant and major distinction.

Some ask “If they are similar plans, why is ObamaCare so much more expensive than RomneyCare?” ObamaCare is much more expensive than RomneyCare because it requires other states to fund their health care programs the same way Massachusetts did. But there is a major problem with that method of funding, namely, Massachusetts had a lot more money to pay for its health care program than any other state. Due to a special Medicaid grant that Massachusetts had been receiving for over a decade and a large pool of money set aside to pay for the costs incurred by the uninsured for hospital/medical care, Massachusetts had over one billion dollars in additional health care funding that no other state had. Because other states do not have such a large pool of funds to use for their health care programs, other states have to get the money for the program by raising taxes or cutting spending from other areas such as educational institutions to help pay for the new health care plan. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida summarizes it well by saying, “Even if ObamaCare was good policy, which it is not, we simply can’t afford more federal spending.”

Furthermore, lets not forget than Massachusetts had a balanced budget at the time RomneyCare was passed. The same definitely can’t be said of ObamaCare which was implemented during a time of record national debt levels. Romney showed fiscal responsibility by balancing the state’s budget first before passing any new laws that may affect government spending. Obama did no such thing.

In conclusion, from simply a costs perspective the two plans are polar opposites. RomneyCare was a “balanced bill” that required virtually no additional spending or taxes, while ObamaCare requires a dramatic increase in gov. spending and increases taxes by more than half a trillion dollars. The vastly different costs of each program represent a significant and major distinction. Our national debt is already at record levels. We don’t need to add any more to it.

Watch for part 2 of my continuing series on Romneycare versus Obamacare where I discuss the individual mandate.

Remember to visit our new “RomneyCare FAQ” page for more info here.

Guest Post: Response To The Beacon Hill Study

This is a guest post from Ryan Larsen of WhyRomney.com. With his permission we’re cross-posting it here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first problem with the Beacon Hill study/attack on Romneycare is that it is limited to determining the impact of health care cost increases on the surrounding economy. It is not designed to determine what caused the increase in health care costs to begin with. The study, in other words, had no basis for concluding anything about Romneycare.

But it gets worse. The study makes this assumption because it defers to an earlier study which, in perhaps a Freudian slip, states at one point: “We employed the same mythology.” And, indeed, there is “mythology” in their methodology. Their trend numbers, which they use in comparing health costs under Romneycare with costs before Romneycare, are faulty. For instance, in Table 11 their “trend” numbers claim that costs in 2006 were expected to decline from 2005, but this is clearly a false trend since costs had increased every year since 1998.

They then subtract their false trend numbers from the actual cost increase, creating the impression that costs rose at a faster rate. The bogus numbers compound each year, as the false trend numbers get further off course. We can see this play out in each of their tables. Consider table 12, insurance premiums for an average single plan. From 2000 to 2005, costs increased by $1500; meanwhile, from 2004 to 2009, costs only increased by $1100. That’s a downward trend. Yet the study claims that the premium rate in 2009 was $215 higher than the trend.
(more…)

Romney Interviewed by NH Eagle Tribune, Will Work to Make USA Best For JOBS


Mitt Romney sat down with members of the New Hampshire Eagle Tribune editorial board last week. They shared about an hour together.

The Gov spoke about the economy, foreign policy, Obamacare and MA private-market insurance, Social Security and Medicare, national defense, and trade. He also spoke about wisdom gained from political losses…

Mitt Romney gets down to business

Oct 2, 20121 – By John Toole

Romney wants to help business. In helping business, he thinks the United States will grow jobs and find its way out of the current economic mess.

I understand how business works and am intent on making this the most attractive place for enterprise, small and large,” Romney said. “I want America to be the most pro-business, pro-investment, pro-jobs nation in the world.”

Romney, 64, is the former governor of Massachusetts, a man who once led the Olympic games in the U.S. He met with The Eagle-Tribune editorial board for more than an hour last week to talk about his run for president.

Romney admits he is a different candidate than the one who lost to John McCain four years ago in the 2008 race for the Republican nomination.

“You learn from losses,” Romney said.

He learned not only from his loss to McCain, but also his loss in a Senate race to Ted Kennedy, he said.
“I’m one of those hard learners,” Romney said. “I’ve got to lose once or twice to figure out what to do right.”

What he’s learned is that, unlike business, a lot of what happens in politics is out of your control. He’s learned, too, to deliver a clear message. Romney said a candidate has to say what he believes, express his convictions, describe his experience.

“If the American people want that group of qualities, then you get elected,” Romney said. “If they don’t, you don’t.”

The political lessons have enabled him to, in his words, be a little more calm. He knows he has a great life, a great wife, children and grandchildren who love him. There’s always business, too.

I’m focused on telling people what I believe, honestly and directly,” Romney said. “If they like it, wonderful.”

Besides, Romney thinks the time is right for him.

“Today the issue America cares about most is the economy,” Romney said. “It’s a time which is more geared to someone for whom the economy is their wheelhouse, like me.”

Romney said he is worried about the country’s future.

Mitt and Ann Romney with some of their grandchildren, Dec 2010. (click to enlarge)

“I’m really concerned for my grandkids,” Romney said. “Kids in their early teens and younger. What will America be like for them? Will there be jobs there?”

There are tough challenges ahead, he said, but the American people not only are up to the challenges, they will welcome the sacrifices to meet them. That means working together, working longer and harder, taking risks, he said.

“As a people, we like being called to do something great,” Romney said. “Politicians have been getting elected by promising free stuff. …

Romney said he believes the people are looking for a leader to restore America to greatness.

On the Obama economy:

“I think they are badly disappointed with this president,” Romney said. “He’s been a disappointment. Both internationally he’s failed and domestically.”

Unemployment is extremely high and in one term President Obama has stacked up as much debt as all other presidents combined, Romney said.

“It’s a presidency that is now casting about to blame somebody,” Romney said.

He has no use for a second stimulus from Obama.

“It’s too late for a stimulus,” he said. “We need a fundamental restructuring of America’s economy to make sure we’re a competitive economy that attracts employers, investment, entrepreneurs and jobs.”
Romney would build economic recovery around seven categories, what he describes as “the seven habits of highly effective economies.”

He would lower taxes on business.

“I’d bring our corporate employer tax rates down at least to the level of competing nations,” Romney said.

He would loosen regulation to encourage free enterprise, rather than burden it.

“Streamline, update, modernize regulation and get regulators to see business as their friend and their ally,” Romney said.

CEOs have told Romney that paying taxes and complying with regulatory policies, as well as energy expenses, cost them nearly 18 percent more here than doing business in foreign countries.

On foreign trade:

Romney wants more foreign trade, agreements with other nations to open more markets. He wants to crack down on competitor nations that unfairly undercut America.

“China is cheating,” Romney said. “You have to say, ‘stop.‘”

(emphasis added ) Read the entire interview here.

Romney during an Eagle-Tribune editorial board meeting (Sept 29, 2011):


► Jayde Wyatt

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