Mitt Romney photo

Remarks at a Campaign Event in Denver, Colorado

October 01, 2012

Wow, thank you so much. Thank you. What an honor! What an honor! What a welcome! What a Colorado welcome. Thank you so much. [applause] And what an honor to be introduced by none other than John Elway. What an extraordinary man. [applause] And thank you too for Lorrie Morgan beginning this entire event here with the National Anthem and her music. Lorrie, thank you so much for all of your help. It was wonderful. Thank you. [applause]

Now, I understand we also have Todd Helton here, first baseman with the Rockies. [applause] You guys have some real teams here, don't you? No question about that. And of course, you have your congressman, Cory Gardner, here who's running for reelection. Make sure and get him in office again. [applause] And thank you to your great former governor, Bill Owens, a great friend, a great man, a great Coloradan. [applause]

Now, I just had the opportunity just a few moments ago. I don't know whether you got a chance to meet her, whether you got to see Dee Dee Parrish. Did you see Dee Dee Parrish? [applause] She must be up there somewhere. Dee Dee — Dee Dee, I just met. She's a lovely woman. She flew in the Second World War. She flew B-26s and she's here. I want to recognize our military champions. She received the Congressional Gold Medal for her service in our military. We're surrounded by the sights of those that stand up for our freedom. This is a great place to be, here at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. When I was a boy, my mom and dad used to read to me from a book called "Men to Match My Mountains."

Perhaps we should change the title to "Men and Women to Match My Mountains" because right here, men and women have matched the mountains of Colorado and they've matched the mountains in aircraft like that. This is the home, of course, of the Air Force Academy. [applause] This is the home of NORAD that helps keep our skies safe. This is — [applause] — this is the home of Focus on the Family, which is — [applause] — committed to preserving the foundation of America. This is home to great institutions of higher learning.

It's also home to a pretty darn good football team. [applause] And one more thing, I think this is going to be the home of the place that elects the next president of the United States. [applause] Now, you know that you're going to get some visitors this week. The president will be here. I'll be here. We're going to have a debate. And there's a lot of interest surrounding the debate. And people want to know who's going to win, who's going to score the punches and who's going to make the biggest difference and the arguments they make and there's going to be all the scoring of winning and losing.

And you know, in my view it's not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves — the president and myself. It's about something bigger than that. These debates are an opportunity for each of us to describe the pathway forward for America that we would choose. And the American people are going to have to make their choice as to what kind of America they want. And so I look forward to these debates. I'm delighted that we're going to have three debates.

It'll be a conversation with the American people that will span almost an entire month. We'll get to describe our respective views. And I believe the people of Colorado will choose a better way forward for our country. We can't afford four more years like the last four years. [applause] Now, the president's pathway is not something which is unknown to us. We've seen the pathway he's proposed over the last four years. As a matter of fact, we heard his speech not terribly far from here about four years ago about where he would take the country.

And he's fought for some of the things he described there — a bigger government, taxing our people more and more. He believes in picking —


MR. ROMNEY: He believes in picking winners and losers. He put money in a whole mess of companies, about $90 billion intro green energy companies like Solyndra and Tesla and Fisker.


MR. ROMNEY: A friend of mine said he doesn't just like picking winners and losers. He likes picking losers. [applause] His pathway is a path that would dramatically shrink our military. His budget calls for hundreds of billions of military cuts and then on top of that was this sequestration deal that puts even more cuts on top of that. That will mean thousands of jobs lost here. It'll mean millions of jobs ultimately lost across our great nation. I do not believe in shrinking our military. I believe it must be second to none in the world. [applause]

We know where the president's pathway leads because we're on it. We've seen it for four years. We've seen the number of people on food stamps go from 32 million to 47 million, 50 million more people having fallen into poverty and needing food stamps, 1 out of 6 Americans now in poverty, 23 million Americans looking for a job, 23 million. We've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent. And what does the president have to say to all this? He says forward.

I think forewarned is a better term. [applause] We listened to the president at his convention just a few weeks ago. No new ideas. He's out of ideas. He's out of excuses. And on November 6th, you're going to put him out of office. [applause] Now, Paul Ryan and I, we have a different path we'd put America on. There are five things we'll do to strengthen our economy and create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay. Do you realize over the last four years, every year you've seen the median income in America come down?

Income is down some $4,300 a family. And with the median income of about $50,000, that means things are really tough for the American people. The middle class squeeze has been unbearable. Gasoline price is way up. Food price is up. Electricity price is up. Health insurance cost is up. The American middle class is struggling under this president and my plan and Paul Ryan's plan to create five steps to get this economy going will help middle income Americans have a brighter future and will lift people out of poverty.

And let me tell you what those steps are. Number one, we're going to fully take advantage of our oil, our gas, our coal, our nuclear, our renewables. [applause] The president has cut in half the number of permits and licenses on federal land. I'll double that. I'm going to make sure we get the resources in Alaska, we finally get that energy here. And by the way, I'm going to get that pipeline from Canada if I have to build it myself. [applause] Number one is energy and that creates about 3-1/2 to 4 million new jobs, not just in the energy sector but also in manufacturing because it will come back here with low cost, plentiful energy. That's number one.

Number two, I like trade with other nations. We can compete with anyone in the world. I want to open up more markets for trade.

The same time that people cheat like China has cheated on — China has cheated on trade, I will crack down on them. we will not allow China to steal our jobs unfairly. [applause] Number three — number three, I want to make sure our workers are getting the skills they need and training programs that work for them. right now, we have 47 different government — federal government training programs, 47.

They report to eight different agencies. Think of all the overhead, all the waste, all the duplication. I want to take all that money and give Colorado its fair share and say you create the program that works best for your own people. Let's let Colorado solve Colorado's people problems. [applause] And making sure our people have the skills compete, I not only want to help our people that are in the workforce today. I want to make sure our kids are getting the education they need. And for that to happen, it's time for us to fully recognize that we have to put our kids and the parents and the teachers first and the teachers union behind. [applause]

Number four — number four, to create jobs requires entrepreneurs to take the risk of opening a business. Small businesses have to grow and thrive. And it also takes big companies to decide to build a new facility in America and to hire more people. For those things to happen, they've got to be convinced that America is not on the road to Greece because if they think America is going to have the kind of economic circumstances that Greece now has, they're not going to risk their life savings to start a business.

And so, what I'm going to do is this. I'm going to cut federal spending. I'm going to cap it as a percentage of the economy and finally get us on track to a balanced budget. [applause] And there's one more. And there's one more. And that's — and that's this. We have to champion small business. We have to make it easier for small businesses. [applause] Now, the president — the president has a plan for small business. On a million small businesses, he's planning on raising their taxes from 35 percent to 40 percent.


MR. ROMNEY: That will kill jobs. That will kill jobs. The National Federation of Independent Businesses asked Ernst & Young to look and see what impact that will have on America. And the answer is that will cost 700,000 jobs. I don't want to lose jobs. I have a plan, by the way, that adds 7 million jobs. My tax plan does this. It brings down the tax rate. It brings down deductions and credits for high income people, brings down that tax rate so that small businesses can afford to hire more people.

My priority is jobs. Jobs is job one under my administration. We're going to get America working again by helping small business. [applause] And let me mention — let me mention one other thing. If the president succeeds in something he's pushing very hard, which is something known as card check — and for those of you not familiar with it, it's this. It says we're going to take away from the American worker the right to vote by secret ballot as to whether or not they want to have a union.


MR. ROMNEY: And on that basis — on that basis, a guy or a gal could be in their back yard barbecuing with their kids and some people could come up and say, here, sign this statement. We want you to vote where we can watch you vote. In a setting like that, you're going to see coercion and you're going to see small businesses overtaken by unions. And I'll tell you this. Entrepreneurs aren't going to want to start a business if that's the case.

If card check goes in place, it will kill America's entrepreneurial economy. What the president is doing is bowing to the demands of big labor, to his big contributors. It's wrong. It would kill our economy. I'll stop that in its track. We must have people have the right to vote by secret ballot. [applause]

Those five things — those five things I've described will create 12 million jobs. And as those jobs are created, there will be more competition for workers. And as businesses compete for workers, they're going to have to drive their wages up and their benefits up. So you're going to see rising incomes again. Look, these years we've experienced for the last four years we don't have to experience for the next four years. This president is taking us on path that's not working.

He's making us more and more like Europe. I don't want to be like Europe. Europe doesn't work in Europe.


MR. ROMNEY: I want to restore the principles that made America the nation we are. We are an exceptional nation. [applause] The exceptional — I believe the exceptional nature of this country was established when the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence with these insights. First, that our rights were given to us not by government but by the Creator. [applause] And among those rights — life and liberty. That's why we have a strong military, to protect our lives and to secure our liberty. Life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the ability in America of people to pursue their dreams.

And every now and then, someone has a great idea. That's their dream and they build an enterprise and it employs hundreds, thousands of people. I see it day in and day out as I see the entrepreneurs of America. It's what makes our economy go. A bigger and bigger government taking more and more, demanding more and more, more and more intrusive in our lives will not make America stronger. Instead, restoring freedom and opportunity will get America to work again and I'll do it. [applause]

And it's important. This is important. This election is not just about four years. It's about the course for America over decades. We're going to make a choice now which is going to affect the lives of our kids and theirs. it's important. People need to pay attention to the path that we're on and ask do we really want to keep going down that path or can we instead —


MR. ROMNEY: Or can we instead take a path that'll get us working again, restore the principles that made America the hope and the passionate leader and protector of freedom that it's always been. I was in Poland a few weeks ago and I got the chance to meet a world hero, Lech Walesa. [applause]

And he was the guy that stood up to the Soviet Union from the gates of the Gdansk shipyard. And I came in to see him and he looked at me and said, you've come from America. You must be tired. You sit. I'll talk. You listen. [laughter] And so I sat. And then he said this repeatedly: where is American leadership. We need American leadership. America's the only nation on Earth that's a superpower. We need American leadership. [applause] For the last four years, we've had a foreign policy led by a president who believes the strength of his personality is going to get people to do the right things. Well, we've seen fires burning in United States embassies around the world. We need the strength of American military, America's economy and America's principles if we're going to keep this world more safe and preserve liberty. [applause]

The greatest thing about this campaign for me personally has been meeting the people of this great country. I love America. I love the beauty of its rocks and rills and templed hills. But a lot more than that, I love the beauty of the American soul. The heart and passion of the American people is alive and well. We're a patriotic people. We love our country. The fact that you're here tonight, that you care about elections shows how much we care in America. [applause]

The world looks to us, as Lech Walesa said. It looks to America to lead with our values, with our principles, with an economy that's strong and growing. Our economy last quarter, did you see that? It showed that this year our economy's growing more slowly than the year before and the year before that was faster still. This economy is not in recovery. We're not seeing a real recovery. The president's policies have not worked. He doesn't get that. He doesn't understand that. We must get America growing again with a strong economy to support a strong military and strong homes to support both of those.

This is a critical time for America. We've had the benefit of the greatest generation that's held aloft a torch for us to see and for the world to see, a torch of freedom and opportunity. But the members of the greatest generation are not as few — or excuse me, are not as many as they used to be and they're not as strong as they used to be. They can't hold that torch as high. It's our turn. We've got to grasp that torch and hold it aloft for the world to see. [applause]

And I make — I make this commitment to you. If I'm elected — when I'm elected president of the United States — [applause] — I will do everything in my power to keep America strong, to strengthen our values and our homes, to strengthen our commitment to our principles, our founding principles. I'll do everything in my power to get this economy growing again, lifting all people, helping all people in this country. And I'll make sure our military is second to none, so strong no one would ever think to test America's military might. [applause]

And I have a request of you. That's my commitment to you. Your commitment to me is this. I'd like you to go out and find one person who voted for Barack Obama, or maybe two or three or four or five, and convince them to come join our team. I need you to go out and find people and say, you know what, it's not working. We need someone who'll get this America going again. I will with your help. We're taking back America. We're going to get it strong again. We're going to strengthen America from the very foundation. I love this country. I love you. Thank you for your help! Let's win this one for America! Thank you! [applause]

Mitt Romney, Remarks at a Campaign Event in Denver, Colorado Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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