Remarks at a Campaign Event in Nashua, New Hampshire
ANN ROMNEY: [in progress] — And it was with great pride that I also had my son Craig speak at the convention and what a joy life has been with those five boys, those five boys that were so raucous. If I could have seen into the future and known how good it was going to be when I was struggling with those boys — [laughter]. And what a joy it was as well to have my daughters-in-law there and my 18 grandchildren. [applause]
[inaudible] — she turns 17 tomorrow. So I'm now the grandmother of a teenager. And it is — it's been a great journey. We've been traveling all across this nation and we have come home here, haven't we? [applause] What I'm hearing and what Mitt is hearing are voices of those 23 million and all of the Americans that are out there that are telling us and begging us please help us, please — will you please save America for us. And we are here to tell you that help is on the way. [applause]
I was also grateful at the convention for other people to stand up and say we're tired of Mitt being maligned and lied to about how his behavior, even has character has been maligned.
MS. ROMNEY: And I loved it that people in our lives stood up and said, let me tell you another story, and that story is he's the man that was at the 14-year-old bedside when he was dying of leukemia. He was the man that was at the bedside of a mother who had a premature baby three months before it was due. That's where Mitt is. If you want to know where trouble is, find Mitt in trouble — along with trouble, helping out.
And that's the kind of character this man has and I love that people in America have been able to see through a different lens now in seeing what I see which is the goodness of this man. Now, on top of that, guess what. He's got experience too. [applause] This is a guy that knows how to fix things. And I can't wait to turn the engine and the keys to the car so that he can turn that engine back on and get this economy growing and get people back to work and get America working again. [applause]
So you've got my children out there now. I'm going to be out there a lot. We're all going to have to be out there. We're going to have to convince everyone that's now undecided that the guy that's been in office before, he said it best himself: if I can't turn this economy around, I'm going to be a one-term president. [applause]
[inaudible] — and we have this great joy together in January and have a wonderful party in Washington, D.C., and celebrate the next president of the United States. [applause]
AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY (R), THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT: [inaudible] — she's a little biased — a remarkable woman, a remarkable mother who raised those five sons beautifully. They respect her and admire her and I respect her and admire her. You know, as we began our marriage, I probably followed the old Woody Allen rule that 95 percent of history can be explained as a man trying to impress a woman. [laughter]
And I tried to impress her. And then as time went on, I realized that impressing her was not my object. Instead, I should listen to her because her perspectives and her ideas and her lines and how she evaluated things was oftentimes better than mine. And she had the capacity to help me in every responsibility I've had, not just in raising the kids that she helped me and she did that job primarily herself but also in my business life and at the Olympics and when I was governor and in my campaigns. Ann has always been a source of guidance and strength and stability. I love that woman and I appreciate you giving her such a — [inaudible] [applause].
Now, I'm now quite — I'm not quite sure what's going on behind me. Every now and then these things — [inaudible] [applause]. I'm sure it's great. I'm sure it's great. [laughter] You know, I'm excited. I have to tell you we just went through two conventions and people saw a pretty stark contrast between the two conventions as we talked about our vision for America. And my vision for America is to restore the principles that made our economy the strongest in the world, to restore the sense of unity that's always existed in America, of drawing people together and saying as a united people we'll overcome any challenge we have. My sense of those conventions is that I laid out a plan that's going to get America working again and make sure we can — [inaudible] [applause]
AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
MR. ROMNEY: Now, I know that today a number of you would come away with heavy hearts because we've given people a lot of bad news lately. We've seen over the last three-and-a-half years a lot of bad news. Americans are tired of being tired. These have been tough times. And just today another report came out on the jobs front, another disappointing, sad report that we're four times as many people who withdrew out of the workforce as the net new jobs created under this president.
And it's not just a1-month figure.
MR. ROMNEY: The White House has I think now for 31 straight months said, well, just don't look at the monthly numbers. Monthly numbers aren't that critical. Well, if you take 30 months and put them together that's pretty critical. When you see what's happened across this country, the American people had expected the president to deliver on his promises because at the convention four years ago he laid out a lot of promises.
He said that he'd create jobs and instead we have unemployment now still over 8 percent for 43 straight months. He said by now it'd be down to 5.4 percent. Now, by the way, those numbers — 8.1., 5.4 — what difference do they make? Let me tell you what difference they make. The difference in those numbers is 9 million Americans working. That's the difference. And those are real people. Those are not just numbers. I was at a mine in Ohio. And a miner said to me, please save my job. And he had tears running down his face.
I met a woman at a rally. She came up and she said, I've been out of work for two years. Can you help me find a job? The same with a woman in Florida who said she'd been out of work for three years. She was a marketing executive and can't find work now. They were real people having real struggles because this economy hasn't created the 9 million jobs this president's plan was supposed to create.
And the reason it did not create jobs is because what the president did was not what it takes to make our economy work. He seems to think that if government gets larger and larger that that means that people are going to find jobs. That's not the answer. We need a private sector, entrepreneurs, innovators building enterprises and hiring people. (Applause.
You know, even people with jobs — even people with jobs, when the report comes out and you're one of those that has a job, that doesn't mean everything's just going swimmingly because if you look at what's happened over the last three years you see that the jobs we've lost have by in large been middle income jobs and the jobs that have replaced them have by in large been low wage jobs. And so the median income in America, instead of going up like the president said it would, has instead come down by $5,000 a family. And this is at the same time that health insurance premiums have gone up by $2,500. Utility bills have gone higher and food prices are higher. And of course, "Obamacare" costs, yeah, right — the bleachers up there.
And of course the cost of gasoline has doubled. All of these things have made it harder for middle income families, even those working. With lower wages and higher costs, middle income families are having a hard time. This president hasn't taken responsibility for what has been a failure of his economic policies. And it's one reason why he went up and gave a speech last night. I expected him to report, to come to the American people and say, when I ran four years ago, here are the promises I made and then describe why it was or why it was not that he was able to carry out his promise.
But he didn't talk about that. He said it was a whole new series of promises. He didn't deliver on the last ones. Why should we expect him to deliver on these? He has — [inaudible] [applause]. I want you to know that's the end of the bad news in my remarks, all right, because I'm absolutely confident the future is going to be bright for America. We're about to see — oh my goodness, up goes the cards again. It must be some words — [inaudible] [applause]
AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
MR. ROMNEY: New Hampshire's doing it well tonight. [applause] :Let me tell you, this economy is going to come back in a big way and you're going to see more jobs again and you're going to see rising home values again and you're going to see more take-home pay again. But it is going to require me being elected president — [inaudible] [applause].
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
MR. ROMNEY: You know, I love that cheer. I love that chant because you're absolutely right. What's going to make this country come back are the principles of the United States of America, the principles that made us the hope of the Earth. [applause] And now it's going to come back with new leadership. I told you I'm going to do five things and I want you to know what they are so when your friends ask you why are you voting for Mitt Romney you can say, look, the things that he's going to do that are going to get this economy going.
And those five things are these. Number one, I'm going to take advantage of our energy: our oil, our coal, our gas — [inaudible] [applause]. And people say, well, what are you doing to do in energy? How are you going to do that? Well, first of all, the president cut in half the licensing and permitting on federal lands and federal waters. I'm going to double the permitting on federal lands and federal waters. [applause] And open up ANWR in the Gulf and the outer continental shelf and I'm going to get that pipeline in from Canada — [inaudible] [applause].
That's number one. Number two, I'm going to get trade to work for America. I want to open up new markets for our goods so we can sell things around the world and I want to crack down on cheaters when they cheat and steal our jobs. [applause] Number three, I'm going to fix our schools. We're finally going to put our kids first and the teachers first and the unions last. [applause] number four — number four, this may not immediately come to your mind as being a way to help create jobs but let me tell you, if the entrepreneurs that are here tonight and big companies that think about growing their enterprises and building new facilities, if they think that America is headed to become Greece or Spain or Italy, they're not going to risk their life's savings to invest in America. Right now, major corporations in this country — the big ones — have lots and lots of cash. Why aren't they investing? Why aren't they building?
MR. ROMNEY: It's the policies of the president. And some of those policies are the massive debts that he keeps putting in place. These deficits — when he became president, there was $10 trillion of debt that our nation had — 10 trillion (dollars). That was all of the presidents combined got us to 10 trillion (dollars). He's now added 6 trillion (dollars) more. It's unthinkable.
MR. ROMNEY: If I become president of the United States, I'm going to cut spending. We're going to get to a balanced budget. We're going to get America — [inaudible] [applause].
AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
MR. ROMNEY: And I've got one more. I've got one more. And that last one is to be a champion of small business. [applause] This state and the history of this state — this state's economy has been driven by entrepreneurs, big and small, inventors as well as people who start a corner store and go to work and hire other people. That's the story of New Hampshire — the free people pursuing their dreams, building enterprises that put people to work. That's how this economy works and I'm going to make that the reality — [inaudible] [applause].
AUDIENCE: We want Mitt! We want Mitt! We want Mitt!
MR. ROMNEY: Thank you. Now, to make — to make a champion of small business, you have to have someone I believe who's actually worked in small business and I have. And I know that if government takes too big a slice of what the small business earns and they're not able to invest in their business and hire more people. And so I want to make sure we don't raise taxes on small business. The president wants to raise the marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent. That will kill jobs. I will not raise taxes on small business. [applause]
I want regulators to understand their job is not just to get the bad guys but also to encourage the good guys and make it easier for businesses to grow and thrive. [applause] And I want — I want to make sure that that big cloud hanging out over small business right now is pushed away. That big cloud is "Obamacare". We've got to get it out of the way. [applause] Three-quarters of the small businesses in this country that were surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said they are less likely to hire people because of "Obamacare".
Look, we need to reform our health care system in America to make sure that we get the costs down of health care, the extraordinary inflation in health care is just crushing so many families. I met with one woman — a waitress here — she said she couldn't afford health insurance for herself and her son. And I want to focus on getting the cost of health care down. And one way to do that, by the way, is to finally deal with the malpractice costs that are scaring — [inaudible] [applause].
Now, I know if we do those five things — if we do those five things, I know enough to know that we'll see this economy take off again. And the reason — the reason I'm so confident of that is that I've seen the American people. I've had the chance to go across the country and meet people from all different states and walks of life. And there's a passion for this country which is inspiring.
You see it particularly in those men and women who volunteer to serve in our military forces. [applause] You're a patriotic people. We love this country. And we'll serve this country. That's one part of the American heart I've seen. I've also seen a can-do, innovative, creative, problem-solving kind of attitude that you see across this country. I was in Las Vegas and met Debbie Summers and she has a business that rents furniture to casinos and conventions. And from what I could tell — I was in her warehouse — it's mostly black sofas made out of naugahyde, you know, and black coffee tables.
And when the economy turned down, she wondered how she was going to keep in business and how she'd keep her employees employed. And she had this extraordinary creative idea. She said instead of just renting furniture, I'm going to manufacture it. And so she taught her people how to make naugahyde furniture.
And now — now they rent the furniture they manufacture and they sell it to other places as well.
Entrepreneurs, innovativeness, problem-solving, can-do — it's part of the American spirit. There's something else. The president made a big error the other day and you heard this error in Roanoke, Virginia, when —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Which one?
MR. ROMNEY: Which one, yeah. [laughter] He said something that was so contrary to the American experience it shocked people, regardless of their backgrounds, he said when you've got a business, you didn't build that. Someone else did that.
MR. ROMNEY: Because the story of America and the story of New Hampshire, by the way, is of entrepreneurs of all kinds saying, I'm going to build it. and whether it's building a business or whether it's saying I'm going to build my career and get a promotion so I can do a better job providing for my family or whether it's a kid going to college saying I'm going to get the honor roll and prepare myself better, the people in this country take responsibility, individual initiative. They work hard and they build it. [applause]
A couple of my favorite experiences from the campaign trail — I'll just mention about people who have built. I was with a woman. She runs her own business. I said, how'd you get into business. And she said, well, you know, my husband lost his job and he took a class in upholstering. And she, because she was the better business-minded in the family, she decided to start her own company and hired him as her first employee. [laughter] And then, she went on to hire 39 more people as upholsterers. And now, she has the leading upholstery company. I thought, boy, isn't that remarkable and how much work it took for her to do that.
And then I met another guy name of Jim Liautaud from Southern Illinois. He graduated second in his class in high school — second from the bottom. [laughter] And Jim concluded that college was not in his future. So he went to his dad and asked him about a loan and his dad agreed to float him a loan and they agreed to split the business roughly 50/50. And Jim wanted to have a food business, a restaurant. And he went out to get the hamburger griddle and the hot dog rollers and, you know, the hood that takes out the smoke and all that.
And it was way more money to buy that stuff than he had in the loan. So he couldn't have the kind of restaurant he expected. But about the most he could afford was some tables and the ability to make sandwiches. So he got some tables and the fixings to make sandwiches and set up in a garage, make the sandwiches and then delivered them to people at work. Now, Jimmy John's Restaurants has 1,500 restaurants and employs 6,500 people. [applause]
It's a remarkable story. It's a remarkable nation we live in, where people are patriotic, where they're can-do and problem-solvers and where they want to build things themselves. Of course we benefit from our collective society and the greatness of America. But those elements of entrepreneurship and innovation and can-do and patriotism have made us the most powerful economy in the world. When the founders of this nation wrote the Declaration of Independence, they said things which changed the world and changed our lives. They said our rights came from God, not from the government, not from the king. [applause]
By the way, God is in the Declaration of Independence and in our lives. [applause] And among those rights were life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In America, free people would be able to pursue happiness as they choose, not as directed by the king or the king's advisors or the government or the bureaucrats but instead free people would pursue those dreams. And as they did, some would be highly successful. And as they were successful, they would help lift the rest of the economy.
This freedom that we have relies on the individual capacity of Americans, not our government. Our government helps preserve our freedoms and lets the individuals lift the nation. That's who we are. So in fact we did build it. This is our country — [inaudible] [applause].
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
MR. ROMNEY: You guys are great. You're going to see this economy come roaring back. You're going to see America strong again. We're going to make sure we get the jobs that our kids deserve and that we deserve as adults. We're going to make sure that we have the capacity to maintain the strongest military in the world, one so strong no one will ever think of testing it. [applause]
I commit to you I will do everything in my power to make America strong, to restore our vitality and our economy, to restore the principles that made us who we are, to make sure our military is the strongest in the world forever. I will do those things with all my energy. But I need you to do something for me. I need a commitment from you. And that commitment is I need you to find one person who voted for Barack Obama. There are at least a couple here in New Hampshire. I want you to find someone who voted for Barack Obama last time and ask that person did he do what you thought he'd do.
Yeah, incomplete, he gave himself his own grade — incomplete. And if they feel, as you do, that the best day in Barack Obama's presidency was the day he got elected, if that is the best day — best time you felt about him was the day he got elected, if they've been disappointed ever since, then I want you to convince them that while they may think he's a terrific guy and a nice guy, that he just doesn't know what it takes to get America strong again. I do. [applause]
So I need your help. I need your help — [inaudible] [applause]. I love this country. Let's take back America. We're going to do great stuff in America — [inaudible] [applause] — and prosperous. You deserve it. Your kids deserve it. The world demands it. This is the greatest nation in the history of the Earth. Thank you so very much. [applause]
Mitt Romney, Remarks at a Campaign Event in Nashua, New Hampshire Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315939