Remarks at a Campaign Event in Mount Vernon, Ohio
[cheers and applause] Thank you. Thank you. [inaudible] — Chris. Thank you. Ah, thank you so much. Thank you. Very generous. Thank you. [applause] Thank you. Thank you so much. Jim. Thank you.
Thank you, Chris, for those words and that generous introduction. Good to have Governor Christie here. I'm sorry to take him away from New — New Jersey for the day, but he's on the bus with me and your great senator, Rob Portman. Thank you, Senator Portman, also for being here with us and getting us started today. [applause]
Thank you, Congressman Gibbs, for getting us started as well. You're going to get re-elected. We need to have you in Washington. I'll look forward to that, Congressman. [applause]
And special thanks also to Karen and Jim, Jim, who got this going, who figured out how to design a pump that the world now considers the world standard. Thank you, Jim, for your — your great work. [cheers and applause]
Stand up, so people know who you are. Stand up — [inaudible] — standing up. Thank you. [cheers and applause] Thank you.
For those that are — [applause] — now I'm hardly an expert on — on compressors, but for those who don't know what Jim did, he — he designed — he didn't just manufacture these pumps from someone else's drawings; he designed the — the technology, made the technology work that creates the pumps that are still being used today and that are that world standard and — and built this enterprise. And in fact, Jim, you and your family and these people who are sitting around us, you did build it. This was not built by government. Thank you, Jim. [cheers and applause]
Now Karen's around here somewhere., Where'd Karen go? There she is, right in the center.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh.
MR. ROMNEY: Karen is running the operation now, learned from her mom and dad and — and is running this business masterfully well. Congratulations. I — I appreciate your comments and your words.
And Chris Christie stealing your line like that — that's simply not fair. [laughter] But I'm — I'm glad he blurted it out. That was very helpful.
And let me also tell you how appreciative I am of — of something we share. Karen and my — my wife are both breast cancer survivors. And — [applause] — thank you. [inaudible] Thank you, Karen . [applause]
And Karen was — Karen was kind to remind me that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and gave me this pin, which I'm wearing this morning, in her honor and the honor of my wife and honor of all the women across America who have battled this terrible disease and know of our commitment to defeat it and to provide long lives to — to our fellow citizens.
This is a important time for America, and I appreciate your willingness to stop production for a few hours, hopefully not too long here, and — and to let me have a chance to speak to you. I — I'm going to turn to you for questions in just a few moments and let you ask any questions you'd like, and — and I'll answer some, and if they're real tough, I'll have Chris answer them. [laughter] And — and so you can think up those questions.
A few words before we — we get going. We — we had a debate last week about — actually about a week ago, and — and that was a good experience. [applause] I — I enjoyed that. [cheers and applause] We — we spoke about important things, and I think the — the president and I were each able to describe a vision of where we take the country, and our views were — were quite different.
The president would install "Obamacare," and it's been shown that the cost of "Obamacare" per family is about $2,500 more. I — I would instead repeal "Obamacare" and replace "Obamacare" with real reforms — [applause] — that bring down the cost of health care — [cheers and applause] — and save (more ?) money. (Sustained cheers, applause.)
The president indicated that you're going to see higher taxes under his administration. You already have under "Obamacare," but — but that will continue. Actually, the vice president blurted out the truth by saying that he's going to add about a trillion dollars in taxes, and taxes, by the way, do not create jobs. Raising taxes on people make it harder for enterprises to grow and hire people.
I will not raise taxes on small business. I'll not raise taxes on business. I'll not raise taxes on middle-income people. I won't raise taxes at all on the American people. [applause] It's a very different approach. [cheers and applause]
When the president was running as a candidate four years ago, he looked at the deficits under President Bush and found them to be excessive and un-American, and they're about half as large as the ones he's put in place over each of the last four years. He said he was going to cut the deficit in half; he's doubled it. There's no question but that if he were to be re-elected, we'd see trillion-dollar deficits again and again and again. Our national debt now is almost the same as our total economy, our GDP. This slows down the economy. It makes it harder for businesses to grow and hire more people and to raise wages. And so unlike the president, when I finally get this job, I will cap federal spending, I will cut federal spending and get us on track to a balanced budget. [cheers and applause]
There are — there are other differences, as well. The president is planning on, through "Obamacare," cutting Medicare for our current retirees for $716 billion. I think that's wrong. I think we must honor the promise made to our seniors. I will restore that funding and make sure we protect Medicare and Social Security.
And one more thing I'll mention. The president's budget calls for shrinking our military by hundreds of billions of dollars, and then this sequestration idea the White House came up with cuts it another few hundred billion. The secretary of defense has called those kinds of cuts devastating to our national security. I will not cut our military. I'll restore that funding and keep our military second-to-none in the world. [cheers and applause]
Now, there's one more place where you saw a distinction between the two of us. We were asked about how we'd get the economy going and create jobs.
And I hope you listened carefully to the president's response, because what he said was reminiscent of what he said four years ago, with stimulus and hiring more government workers and raising taxes. Those things don't create jobs. Those don't help the private sector employ more people and expand. Those don't encourage entrepreneurs to start new businesses. His plans do not create jobs for the American people or rising incomes.
I actually have a plan that will create 12 million new jobs and get rising incomes again. By the way, the median income of an American family over the last four years has gone down $4,300 a family, and that's even as gasoline, as you know, has doubled in price, food costs are up, health care fees are up $2,500 a person. These have been tough times for middle-income families. And so my plan, one, creates more jobs, and two, gets rising take-home pay again.
And how do I do it? I've got five things I'll do to get this economy going. Number one: We're going to take full advantage of our oil, our gas, our coal, our nuclear and our renewables. [cheers and applause] What — what you've seen over the last four years, as you know, is additional exploration and — and production coming from private lands, coming from private lands. On government land — on government land and government waters, the production is nada. As a matter of fact, oil production on government land is down I think it's 11 percent last year, and gas production down to I think it's 16 percent, but both are down.
That's the wrong direction. If I'm president, I will double the number of permits and licenses on federal lands and in federal waters, and we're going to get the federal land and federal waters to produce more energy — [applause] — just like the private sector is doing now on private land.
Number two, we're going to have more trade. We're going to open up trade, particularly in Latin America. We're going to crack down on cheaters. China has cheated in trade over the years. We can't have unfair trade practices. So number two, we're going to make trade work for us.
Number three, we're going to have great training programs so people who lose employment opportunities will find new ones (in ?) real jobs. And we're going to fix our schools by making sure we put our kids and their parents and the teachers first. We'll put the interests of the teachers' union behind. We want to make our kids first when it comes to education. [cheers and applause]
Number four — number four, I mentioned getting to a balanced budget. That's critical because, you see, entrepreneurs and businesses that are thinking of expanding aren't going to take their life savings or the savings of others to invest in America if they think we're headed to Greece, if they think we're headed on a path where our country will be in severe economic crisis, as Greece is. And if we keep spending like we're spending, massively more than we take in, that's where we're headed. I think this excessive spending is not just bad economics and not just bad for jobs. I think it's not moral for us to spend more money than we take in and pass it on to our kids; and I'll stop it. [applause]
And finally — finally, I want to champion small business. I want to help entrepreneurs and innovators open their doors. Two-thirds of new jobs over the last 50 years were created by small business. So I want to help small business do that, by keeping their taxes down, by getting regulators to get out of the way, as Karen said, by making sure that "Obamacare" doesn't scare away small business. I want to make sure that we help small businesses thrive and grow.
Look, this is the place in a — in a factory like this and in factory floors across America and in shops of all kinds, this is where jobs are created. This is where the American people get their incomes. I want to make it easier for people to be hired. I want to make these enterprises more prosperous, so they can afford to pay more money to the people who work here.
My whole passion is about helping the American people who are struggling right now. That's what this is about.
The president says he's for the middle class. How have they done under his presidency? Not so well. I want to help the middle class get good jobs and better take-home pay. I know how to do that. I spent my life working — working in enterprises. I understand how jobs come and why they go. I want to bring them back. I want to that skill and that knowledge to get America working again.
And I'll tell you this. I need your vote. I need your help, because if you vote for me, and if you get some other people to do the same thing, Ohio's going to elect me the next president of the United States. [cheers and applause] Thank you so much.
Thank you. Thank you. Now let's turn to you. Let's turn to you. We'll take a question here and a — (oh, this is not terribly shy — yeah ?), we'll see here. We'll give you a couple more minutes.
Yes, sir. There's a question back there. Yes.
Q: (Off mic.)
MR. ROMNEY: I'm glad we didn't have a microphone for the first part of your question. [laughter]
Go ahead. Here comes the microphone. You can set it on the aisle here. Yes.
Q: Last Wednesday I was laying in bed with my wife — [laughter] —
MR. ROMNEY: You repeated it anyway.
Q: I was a good boy. And I was so excited and so nervous for the debate, praying for you, and I was so happy with the outcome of that Wednesday that it really brought joy to my heart, and you finally got your word out without the media distorting it, and you did a great job, and I just want to commend you, and I hope tomorrow we have another great job with Governor — not Governor Ryan, but Congressman Ryan. So keep up the fight, and we're all rooting for you. And my question is how do you — how do you handle the mainstream media out there? Do you — do you feel like you get a fair shake?
MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, yeah, good question, and thank you for the generous comments. I think what — what I liked most about the debate was that it gave both the president and me a chance to address the American people directly, and they could hear what we believe from us, as opposed to from the — as opposed to coming from the ads of the opposition campaign. And I've — [applause] — this morning my wife was on Good Morning America between the 8:00 and 9:00 time hour, and I got to watch her. But between her segments, I also watched some of the ads, some of the ads on me. And I — it's a good thing I don't do that very often because my blood pressure would be very high — [laughter] — because I saw these things that — I don't believe that. That's not me; I don't believe that.
And yet people here in Ohio are getting bombarded with things that simply aren't true, and so the debates are a good opportunity to break through that.
I — I actually think that the media in our nation is — is free; people are able to say what they want to say. They don't have a responsibility to slant things my way or the other way. They have a right to slant things any way they — they wish, because that's the nature of a free media and a free society. We have some members of the media that are more inclined towards my way of thinking, some others that are more inclined the other way.
The good news, in my opinion, about the — the political environment today is that you can choose those sources you find to be most reliable. And there's — there's radio, talk radio, there are cable TV stations, there are hundreds of stations, and so you can find those that you think are most credible, most reliable.
And I think that's in part why — why, for instance, on "Obamacare," while the so-called mainstream media was by and large supportive of "Obamacare," people were able to hear the other side of the story from other sources of news that might not have been available 25 years ago. And as a result, the American people recognized it for what it is, and they don't want it.
And — and so I'm — you know, I don't worry in my campaign about what the media says. I worry about what I communicate to assure that it's precisely what I feel, that people understand that, and the debates are a good chance to do it. And by the way, I think Paul Ryan'll do great. Thank you. [applause]
Q: Hello, Governor. I'm Jennifer Springer. I'm president of the Knox County Republican Women's Club. I'm also an assistant prosecuting attorney. I'm the proud mother of two young boys. My oldest son has special needs. He has spina bifida. Lately I've been hearing ads on the radio from — about "Obamacare" from Obama that basically I believe they're trying to scare parents like myself into voting for Obama because, you know, if you have a child with special needs, you need "Obamacare."
What do you think about those ads? If you're heard them or been briefed on those, what do you think about that?
MR. ROMNEY: Thank you. I haven't heard those — those ads. And congratulations to you for the two kids, and very best to your son that has spina bifida, and — and wish him the very best.
Actually, we had health care in America before "Obamacare" came along, and we still have health care in America. And we still have health care in America. [applause] And — and the idea that, somehow, we're not going to have health care in America if we don't have "Obamacare" is simply wrong and it's fearmongering and — and — and I think that's in part why the American people are so upset with the president.
What — what we don't need is the federal government telling us what kind of health care we should have for ourselves. Each of us today in America has a choice of the type of health care plan we might choose. People who are poor are able to get Medicaid, which is — which is a government support effort for those that can't afford to have insurance.
And — and these things aren't going to disappear without "Obamacare." What's going to happen without "Obamacare" is, we'll be able to get — finally get the premiums to come down a bit in cost and lower the rate of growth in health care expenditures; we'll let people choose the plans they want, as opposed to the plan that the president thinks he and the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., are going to impose on the American people. I — I don't think it's Washington's role to tell the American people how to live our lives or what kind of health care we can have.
And — [applause] — and I can sure tell you this. Everything I will do, when I'm president of the United States, will be designed to help people who have needs like your son, to make sure we care for them, to seek — to seek for the cures for diseases of all kinds. Almost every family I know has been touched by — by some type of disease or tragedy, and they want to know that we're working together to try and help.
And I will do that. I care for — for the American people and want to help families like yours.
At the same time, I know the best way to do that is not always to have the government get between the entrepreneurs and the innovators and the doctors and the people who need help. And I'm not going to put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor. Thank you. [applause]
Go over there. I'll give you this — oh, that's a long question.
Q: It's not every day I talk to the future president, so I figured I better prepare. (Laughter, applause, cheers.)
Section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act gives the president the explicit power to detain, via the armed forces, any person, including us, U.S. citizens, for an indefinite period of time without trial. Given that the NDAA determines the actual budget for the military, it's kind of politically risky to veto it.
Would you have vetoed it because of that part of the bill that says, hey, we can detain you no matter what, and sent it back to Congress, or would you have signed it?
MR. ROMNEY: I'll look at that particular piece of legislation. I can tell you this, that I believe that much of what happens in Washington is driven by the leadership we have there. And I can assure you that when I become president — you introduced it that way — when I become president, I will not do things that interfere with the rights of our citizens and their freedom.
At the same time, I support efforts like the Patriot Act and others to secure our nation from those who would attack us. We were just attacked, as you know, in Benghazi. Terrorists successfully killed our ambassador and three of — of our citizens.
And — and I will — I will work very hard to ensure that ensure that we use every source of our intelligence and our security personnel to protect the American people, to protect our lives.
As to that specific piece of — of legislation, I'm happy to take a look at it, but I — I — I don't believe that this is a time for us to be pulling back from our vigilance to protecting America and keeping us safe from the kinds of threats we face around the world. [applause]
Q: Governor Romney, that's a very nice title, governor, but I hope we can soon address you as Mr. President. [cheers and applause]
The president never seems to miss the opportunity to apologize for the greatness of this country as he travels around the world. The Mideast is in turmoil right now. As you mentioned, our president — our ambassador was assassinated in Libya. The American flag is being burned in the Middle East. Our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, seems to wonder whether we've given them the cold shoulder. The clock continues to tick with Iran building a nuclear bomb. How would you handle this international situation when you become president of the United States? [applause]
MR. ROMNEY: Thank you. I'll begin by quoting something I have for — for the last several weeks, which was a — a conversation I had with Lech Walesa when I was in Poland. And — and he said, where is American leadership? The world needs American leadership.
We have to have a — [cheers and applause] — we have to have a strategy in the Middle East and other parts of the world so that we are helping shape events as opposed to just living at the mercy of events.
So we see things happening in Syria, for instance, 25(000), 30,000 people killed. Are we shaping events there, or are we simply watching what's happening? My own is in a place like Syria, for instance, we should, through our partners in the region, work to identify dissidents within Syria that are reasonable and responsible people, try and coalesce them, bring them together, provide funding and weapons to them so they can defend themselves and they can promote their agenda, as opposed to sitting back and wondering, well, will the extremists take over, or will Iran support Assad and allow him to keep Syria? We should play an active role.
That doesn't mean sending in troops or dropping bombs, but it does mean actively participating in a place like Syria to assure that Assad goes and that a reasonable and responsible government follows. In other words, toward the Middle East, we have to look nation by nation to say, how could American exert our economic and diplomatic powers, as well as have strong military standing behind our powers and our words, such that people listen and know we can — we can do what we say, in such a way that we help move people towards a more greater degree of freedom and opportunity and hope?
In places like Egypt, for instance, we send billions of dollars there as foreign aid. Well, what's the purpose of that? Are we linking our foreign aid to an American purpose? Are we shaping events there? Should we not say to Egypt, by the way, these funds are conditional upon you honoring the peace treaty you have with Israel? Should we not also say, these dollars are conditional upon you, as the new government, protecting the rights of minorities in your nation, as well as of the opposition party; we don't want to see you killing people that disagree with you; if you do, we won't continue to support you financially, our — our foreign investment in your country.
We'll also jawbone employers in this country to say, look, we want you to invest in — in countries that are following these guidelines because we want to shape events.
America is looking like a nation that is following. They call that, in this administration, leading from behind. I call that following. America is the leader of the free world. That doesn't mean we send troops everywhere and we shoot everybody. It means instead that we use our considerable economic influence and diplomatic influence to try and move nations in ways that will make them more peaceable and provide greater opportunity and hope for their people. This is, in the Middle East, a time of extraordinary opportunity, but also danger, and America sitting on the sidelines is not the right approach.
So my plan is to make sure that we substitute strategy for hope, we actually have a strategy, use our power, our economic and diplomatic power to assure that nations around the world move towards the kind of principles that preserve peace, that open opportunity, that allow people to fulfill their dreams and their potential. And I will be active as a president encouraging a movement towards — towards freedom and opportunity and hope and use our economic muscle to do so.
But let me also note that the world looks to see whether we're serious militarily. I want a military that's so strong that we don't have to use it, because people look at it and say, I don't want to touch that military. [cheers and applause]
Chris has designated himself as batting cleanup, and so far he thinks I'm doing OK. All right, all right.
Yes, ma'am, right there. Oh, well, Carrie has the microphone for you. Hold on just a second. They'll see that — turn that microphone on — what color is that on there? Red. It's the red microphone. Can you turn that up?
[inaudible] I believe that you won't raise taxes on all of us, but I'm on the city council here in Mount Vernon. Are you going to take money away from our city and what our tax rate is for something is for something for the federal government? Because we have a balanced budget, and we have a great auditor, Terry Scott, and —
MR. ROMNEY: Where's Terry? Is he in somewhere? There's Terry.
Q: He's right there.
MR. ROMNEY: Hello. Hi, Terry. [applause]
Q: He has gotten awards for 15 years straight in a row for his accounting ability. But that would mess us up if the federal government comes in and starts taking away from us.
MR. ROMNEY: I — I didn't know we could take away from you. I'm not in the federal government, but I — I — I have to tell you, as the governor of my state, I learned that you had to balance budgets. And — and as a businessperson for 25 years, I learned if you don't balance your budget, you go out of business. And when I went to the Olympics and helped guide the Olympics, I learned as well you got to balance the budget here or we'll be in real trouble. And I can't imagine the federal government coming in and saying to you or to any state, we're taking money away from you to help us.
Now sometimes what the federal government does is come in and mandate that you do certain things and then it doesn't provide the funding to do that, and that's another way of — of — [inaudible] — your — your — your potential.
Q: (Off mic.)
MR. ROMNEY: The — the — for those that didn't hear her, she indicated that the — that President Obama is talking about taking away from smaller cities and giving to bigger cities. I'm not familiar with that — with that proposal on his part. I'm not — look, I'm not looking to take away from cities and towns of any scale and having the federal government take from you guys to — to balance the federal budget.
The right course for balancing the federal government is to do two things: Number one, to cut back on spending, to stop programs that we simply can't afford, and number two is to grow the economy, is to get people working again.
I hope we — you know, when you have discussions with politicians about balancing the budget, they only seem to want to talk about taxes and cuts. But there's a third approach that has to be employed, and it's the most powerful. It's growing the economy, because when more people work, more people are paying taxes. And when more people are working, wages tend to go up. And when wages go up, they pay more taxes. So if you want more revenue, why, you want more people working and more taxes being paid by people. That's the most powerful.
And the problem with raising taxes as a way to balance the budget is that you slow down the rate of growth of the economy. And it becomes a self-defeating thing; it's like a dog chasing its tail. You — you never get there. And so what I want to do is cut back on spending and then, through my plans for energy and taxation and for our — our school system and training programs and trade and so forth, get the economy going; get more people working; get rising take-home pay; get home values up. All of these things will help us balance the budget. But I have no plans for taking away from your town, embarrassing your auditor after that great record — [laughter] — and — and try to balance my budget based on your success. Thank you. [applause]
GOV. CHRISTIE: You know, I want to tell you one other thing that I think is really important, to amplify what Governor Romney just said. You will hear from the Democrats all the time that the way to balance the budget is enhanced revenue. Now, of course they don't say "raise taxes," because that's a bad thing. They call it "enhanced revenue." See, when I got to Trenton, I needed a Trenton-to-English dictionary in my state, because they talk in all kinds of different ways. "Enhanced revenue" — well, that means raising taxes.
Now, if raising taxes is the way to do it, everyone should look at New Jersey. Look at New Jersey for the eight years before I became governor, because in the eight years before I became governor, Democratic governor and a Democratic legislature raised taxes and fees at the state level 115 times in eight years — 115 times in eight years.
Just so you understand what that would have meant for you, if you lived in New Jersey, that means there was tax or fee increase for the state every 25 days for eight years. Every 25 days, the government came into your pocket for one thing or another and took more out.
Now, if you agree with that philosophy, then I should have — when I came into office, after eight years of that, should have had a surplus, right? Because if you keep raising taxes all the time, basically that's the way to get more money and you get a surplus.
When I walked into office, my treasurer came to me and said, Governor, if we don't cut $2 billion in spending in the next six weeks, we won't meet payroll for the second pay period in March. New Jersey, the second wealthiest state per capita in America, wasn't going to meet payroll. And then they told me, oh, by the way, when you start working the budget for next year, we have a projected $11 billion deficit on a $29 billion budget — a 37 percent deficit, the biggest in America.
So if they're right and raising taxes and raising fees is the way to balance the budget, how come I got stuck and the people of New Jersey got stuck after eight years of 115 increases with $13 billion worth of deficits in our first six months? I said this at the convention at the keynote speech, and I absolutely believe it. I'm going to repeat it to you again. This is the truth, the simple truth. You listen to that one example, our ideas, Republican ideas, Governor Romney's ideas are right for America, and their ideas have failed America, and that's why we have to win this election on November 6th. [applause]
MR. ROMNEY: There comes a microphone. And this is a red microphone, I'll bet. Yes, it is.
Q: Hi, Governor Romney.
MR. ROMNEY: Hi.
Q: Mount Vernon is not just a great industrial town here in the area but we're also a college town. We're home to Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Kenyon College. A lot of their College Republicans are sitting right — seated right behind you. [applause]
I guess my question is, as a lot of people my age are getting ready to graduate, we see the way the economy is right now. We see the spending, the huge deficit. What are you going to do as president — and I'm confident that you'll be the next president — what will you do to help America's college students find jobs or create environments for them to go out and get jobs?
MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, that's — that's a great question. And — and the parent who has worked hard to help their child go to school and go on to college expected that when their son or daughter came out of college, they'd get a great job. And to find last graduation day that half the kids coming out of college couldn't find work, or work that was full-time work or work that was consistent with a college degree, that broke a lot of hearts.
I don't know how much debt you have and how much debt each of you have. The federal government is providing loans to people so they can go to college, as we should, and in some cases, where people are low-income, provide Pell Grants and that's also helpful. But there are a lot of young people coming out of college with a lot of debt and no job.
I was in Philadelphia some months ago, and a young woman there was pretty emotional about the fact that she was graduating, she had three part-time jobs but very modest income from those part-time jobs, and she said, my student loans come due in six months; I've got to start paying them; I don't begin to have enough money to pay; what am I going to do?
The best thing I can do is to immediately get a boost in this economy such that enterprises small and large conclude that this is a good time to grow and hire people, so that by the time you're coming for a job next May or June in graduation, you'll see employers around the country saying, yeah, we're hiring again; we want to hire people because we think good times are coming, and good times already look like they're coming.
And you might think, well, what are you going to do to make things turn around that fast? Well, number one, electing someone who cares about the economy and understands it is going to create enthusiasm and confidence in America — [applause] — and bring back some — bring back some growth. (Sustained applause.)
And — and number two, and — and — you know, we've spoken about energy for years, but there's something unusual about energy at this stage, and that is, as you know, through new technology and drilling, drilling not just vertically but horizontally, tapping into various pockets of oil and gas, fracking technology that pushes out the oil and gas, compressors that get it into the — the marketplace, we have an opportunity with energy to do something we've spoken about for years but frankly in the past was kind of hard to see how you'd get there. Now we can do it.
In eight years, North — North America could be energy independent. And to get there requires pipelines and pumps and — and — and drilling and lots of jobs in the energy sector, but also in manufacturing like right here and other manufacturing, be — whether it's a chemical industry that uses natural gas as a feedstock; they'll start building facilities here again.
So I — I can, on day one, say to the — the Department of Commerce, to the secretary of commerce, let's start providing permits and licenses to people who've already been approved to drill on federal lands and in federal waters and in Alaska. Let's start building that pipeline from Canada. Let's get these jobs coming into America.
You do that, and by next May or June you're going to see a better employment picture than you're seeing today.
Thank you. We'll get it done. [cheers and applause]
Here's a question over here. I — I've been — I've been going over here, so I'll be back in just a second. I've got a gentleman over here that's ready to ask a question. Thank you. You make engines, jet engines?
MR. ROMNEY: Yes.
MR. ROMNEY: Ah.
Q: Being part of industry, one of the issues we have is the increased competition from China, typically cheaper but inferior parts. What can you do to help us kind of protect ourselves from that constant barrage?
MR. ROMNEY: Yeah. Yeah. Governor, I didn't let you answer after that last question, so I'm going to let you answer — answer both these, all right? All right? I'm not used to having another person onstage with me. I like it, though. It's good. [laughter]
Let me — let me come back to that question about China. And — and I mean, China is a — a major — well, now the number one manufacturer in the world. And — and China's economy is not as large as ours, but it's the second-largest in the world and on track to become larger than ours. It's growing much faster than we are. Last quarter our economy grew at 1.3 percent. Theirs grew at 7 (percent) or 8 percent. So they're gaining fast. And — and they're — they're smart, capable people, and productive.
And what they've done is they've taken advantage of our — our laxity in enforcing fair trade, making sure that we — we — we can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. But China's been aggressive, and they've done a few things that have made it hard for us, unfair.
One is they've held down the value of their currency artificially. And you might think, well, what difference does that make? Well, that means the prices of their products are artificially low. And when they do that, they're able to win bids or win business away from manufacturers that are paying in dollars.
And — and the result of that is American companies have lost a lot of jobs and gone out of business.
There is something else they do. They counterfeit your products. I — I was with a — a manufacturer that makes valves for industrial uses, (big ?) valves. He said that — that they were showing up as some of their customers and having to replace the valves that had failed, and they were surprised to have their product failing, and it had their serial number on it and their packaging. It turned out it was not their product. It was being counterfeited in China, brought over here as their product with their brand name, and their — you know — [chuckles] — and — and their serial number on it.
And — and this — this is — and then of course, the other way that — that a nation can cheat as they have is hacking into our computers and looking at the designs that Jim has put in place over the years and saying, oh, look, I can take that and take that and take that, put it in our products so they don't have to pay anything for engineering or testing because they just steal someone else's product.
This can't go on. And we've looked the other way for a long time because for a long time China was poor and — and just an emerging economy, and we hoped that they'd do better. Well, now they're serious. They're taking jobs. And — and we've been looking the other way too long.
And so on day one, I will do something which is authorized under our statutes, under our law, which is to label China a currency manipulator and will instruct us to apply tariffs is they are stealing our technology, counterfeiting our products or artificially holding down the — the price of their goods. I — I — we will compete with China, and we will win with most productive, innovative people in the world. [applause] But we will not allow to keep taking our jobs on unfair — [inaudible]. (Sustained applause.) Thank you, (folks ?).
GOV. CHRISTIE: [inaudible] — to your question, too — one of the other things that's going to help us in this regard is what Governor Romney's planning to do regarding energy. You know, as manufacturers, that one of the largest costs we have is the cost of energy here, but we also know that we have 75 to 100 years of natural gas under this country right now. And Governor Romney's talked about us getting energy independent here in North America.
It is so key to unleash the natural gas and the other natural resources we have in the country. It would lower our energy costs, because you know that if we lower your energy costs in manufacturing, that's going to eliminate a lot of these artificial advantages that Governor Romney's talked about China having, and that combined with the stricter enforcement that Governor Romney's talking about is going to be like dropping fuel on a fire for manufacturing in the United States. And you can't — you shouldn't do one without the other, and that's why his five-point plan makes so much sense in terms of job creation.
Because it's not relying on one small niche thing to get the job done, it's saying, we've got to look at the full range of all our energy resources, utilize all of them. We have to work hard on trade to make trade fairer. We have to focus on small business to give them that leg up so they become the bigger businesses as they grow and they innovate and they use their ingenuity. And so the energy issue is just absolutely indivisible for restoring manufacturing jobs in this country again, because when we can make our energy costs lower than anyone else around the world with the natural resources we have and harness here, combined with our ingenuity and the work ethic of our employees, there will be nobody who will be able to stop the United States of America from being the number one manufacturer in the world again. [applause]
MR. ROMNEY: Thank you, governor. You guys, I want to — I want to just share an experience with you that you will, I think, find touching, as I did, and will mention to you something about my belief in the future of America. I believe in America. I believe not just in the rocks and rills and templed hills, I believe in the people of America.
I believe the people of America will keep this nation strong, will rebuild an economy that's second to none in the world. We're the most productive workforce in the world, the most innovative, and America's going to continue to lead the world and must continue to lead the world for the sake of our kids and for the sake of the world at large. America must remain the leader of the free world, and the free world must remain the leader of the entire world. And I'm confident that's going to happen.
I have seen throughout my life great qualities of the human spirit evidenced in the lives of my fellow Americans, and it's inspired me. I — I was at an event in Atlanta just a couple of weeks ago, and a big crowd of people there, and I noticed that there was kind of an empty section where the — the people had made a gap, and it turned out it was a person in a wheelchair. And so I sort of looked in and waved them forward, and they brought the wheelchair forward, and it turned out it was a classmate of mine from business school. And this is a guy named Billy Hultz . He'd been in a — in an automobile accident — or in an accident, I think it was automobile — but had become quadriplegic. And — and I — I saw him, and he came up and got a little closer.
After his accident, instead of becoming despondent and depressed, he became involved in his business. He got involved in raising money for spinal cord injury research, because he wanted to help other people avoid the tragedy that had occurred in his own life. He didn't give up. He stayed involved. The American spirit, even when the body is weak, is strong. By the way, I placed my hand on Billy's shoulder and leaned down and said to him, Billy, I love you, God bless you. How shocked I was when I learned he passed away the next day.
The American people have passion and heart.
I — this is about two years ago, I think. I was invited to a neighborhood Christmas party. I got one of these fliers in my mailbox, and it said, there's a Christmas party. Everybody should come. You know, come one, come all. And on the night of the announced Christmas party, I noticed the lights in the house kitty-corner from ours were on, and people were on the deck and the porch, and they — they can see our house. Our lights were all on, so they knew we were home. And I figured we had to go over there to make an appearance or they'd think we just, you know, weren't sociable.
So I said to Ann, we got to go over to the party, you know, because it — they won't — wonder why — they'll wonder why we're not there. So we both got sort of dressed up and went over to the party, knocked on the door. They invited us in. It was a great event. They had dinner and — and wonderful friends.
And after a little while, we finally figured out this wasn't the neighborhood party, all right? [laughter] This — this was a — this was some guy having some friends over — [laughter] — and — and we just happened to show up for dinner. [laughter]
And — but I met some wonderful people. [laughter] One was a former Navy SEAL, and I — Glen Doherty, and he — and he — we chatted for a while. He — he came from Massachusetts, where I'd been governor, and had family there. He also skied in some of the places, snow-skiing, that I had found during the Winter Olympics in Utah that I'd skied at, and we had a nice chat together.
He — he served as a Navy SEAL. And — and after his service as a SEAL, after a number of years, he — he had stayed involved helping in the Middle East providing security services to our government and to other enterprises to provide help to them.
And you could imagine how shocked I was to learn that he was one of the two Navy — former Navy SEALs killed in Benghazi just a couple of weeks ago. And — and I read on CNN International that when the report came that our consulate had been attacked, that he and the other SEAL that was killed with him, that they were in a different place.
They were about a mile away, in an annex somewhere else in the city. And when they heard that the consulate was under attack, they went to the attack. They didn't hunker down and — and — and hide themselves. No, they went there.
That's what Americans do. When there's a challenge, when there's a threat, we go there. When things are tough, we don't give up; we keep fighting. There's a — there's a — a saying that I've found pretty compelling: Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. That's Americans. We have clear eyes — we know what we believe; full hearts — we love this country; and we can't lose. This is a time for America to make a choice. With clear eyes and full hearts, we will not lose. We're going to take back this country and keep America the hope of the earth. [cheers and applause] Thank you so very much. Great to be with you. Thank you. [cheers and applause]
Mitt Romney, Remarks at a Campaign Event in Mount Vernon, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315845