Mitt Romney photo

Remarks at a Campaign Event in Newport News, Virginia

October 08, 2012

Thank you. Wow. Thank you. Wow.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: [chanting] USA! USA! USA! USA!

MR. ROMNEY: You know — thank you, Governor McDonnell, one of the great leaders that you have here. And by the way, if people want to know what a conservative can do to help build an economy, they can just look here in Virginia. This is a great governor doing a great job. Thanks a lot. Thank you. [cheers and applause]

And people wonder why is it I'm so confident we're going to win. I'm confident because I see you here on a day like this. This is unbelievable. Thank you so much. [cheers and applause]

Now, you may have noticed this. Earlier in the week we had a debate. That was last week. And — [cheers and applause] — that was a — that was a good debate. I enjoyed that debate, and — [cheers and applause] — there were some places where we agreed and some places we disagreed. Some of the places that we agreed were — were associated with the fact that we would take America in different directions. The president has his path. I have a path I take (that are ?) very, very different. And I — I'm not going to go through all this in great detail because you've been here a little while in this — in this — this sunshine. [laughter] What I want to do — I want to remind you of some of the places that are very, very different that we'd go.

Number one, he would continue to spend a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. In my view, that's immoral and wrong. [boos] If I'm president of the United States, I will cut federal spending, I'll cap it and finally get us on track to a balanced budget. [cheers and applause]

And, you know, if he's re-elected, why, he's going to install "Obamacare." And if he installs "Obamacare," your health insurance is going to cost $2,500 a year more than it would otherwise. And — and I know he likes to tell you all the free things you're going to get with "Obamacare," except it costs $2,500 more. And then you're going to have government bureaucrats in the doctor's office with you. If I'm elected president, we'll get the bureaucrats out, we're going to go back (to have a nation ?) which is not run by "Obamacare." (We'll have ?) "Obamacare" be repealed and replaced by real health care reform that helps hold down cost. [cheers and applause]

He has promised that if he's re-elected, why, he's going to cut Medicare for seniors, today's seniors, by $716 billion. [boos]

If I'm elected, I will honor the promise to our seniors and restore that money back into Medicare. [cheers and applause]

This president also has made it very clear if he's re-elected, why, he's going to continue to cut the military. His — [booing] — his budget plan and sequestration plan would take the military spending down by a trillion dollars. That would cut jobs in Virginia by approximately 200,000 people.

If I'm elected, I will restore funding to our military budget. I will not cut our military commitment. [cheers and applause]

And — and then of course there's jobs. He was given the opportunity in the debate to describe what he'd do to create jobs. And I didn't hear anything new. It was very clear he plans on four more years like the last four years. I don't think we can afford four more years like the last four years. [boos]

You know, he wants another stimulus. How'd that first one work out? [laughter]

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Boo!

MR. ROMNEY: And then — then he wants to pick winners and losers among companies — or losers, in his case — and then — [laughter] — then of course he — he wants to hire more government workers. Look, all of these things have not ignited our economy the way it should be ignited. We see the slowest recovery from a recession in history. As a matter of fact, I just read that if you look back 60 years and you look at all of the months we had with unemployment above 8 percent before President Obama, there were 39 months in all 60 years with unemployment above 8 percent. Under this president there have been 43 months, under one president alone. He does not understand what it takes to create a real recovery. I do. I will do five things that'll get this economy going again.

Number one, we're going to take full advantage of our oil, our coal, our natural gas, our nuclear and renewables.

[cheers and applause]

Number two, I'll make sure we get trade that works for up, open up new markets for trade and crack down on China — [inaudible] — when they cheat. [cheers and applause]

Number three, I'm going to make sure our training programs work for the workers of today and get our — our kids the education they need. I'm going to make sure that our parents and our kids and the teachers, they come first, and the teachers union will have to come behind. [cheers and applause]

Number four, I will — [inaudible] — get us on track to a balanced budget.

And number five, I will champion small business. I'll make our tax policy — [cheers and applause] — I'll make sure our tax policies and our regulatory policies and health care — all these things come together to make it easier for small business to grow and thrive. We have to do that to get jobs going again because small business is where two-thirds of jobs are created.

These five things will create 12 million jobs and bring rising take-home pay again. America needs this new direction. We cannot go on the path we've been on. We must restore America's strength. And I will do it with your help. [cheers and applause]

And I — and I want you to know I'm confident this is going to happen. We're going to have good years ahead. The — the best is not in the past. The best is in the future. It's getting better. Let me — [cheers] — I've seen throughout my life. I've had the chance to witness the — the great qualities of the human spirit that I've seen in my fellow Americans.

In — in early times and my life and later — I was a relatively young man and serving as the pastor of my congregation, a part-time job of my church. And I happened to visit a family on a regular basis, the Oparowski family. And they — he's a firefighter from Medford, Massachusetts, or was. He's retired now. And their son, age 14, developed leukemia and was very, very ill. It was clear that he was not going to make it. I used to visit David, became close to him.

And on one occasion, he — he brought me into his room. He was on his bed there. And he said to me, he said, what comes next? And I spoke to him about what I believe comes next.

Another occasion, he was in the hospital. And he got in touch with me, and he said, you got a law degree, right? Yes, I do. He said, I'd like to write my will. Could you come do my will for me? And I said, sure. So I got my long pad, my legal pad, went over to his hospital room and then — and he proceeded to describe where he wanted his fishing rod to go and where he wanted his stakeboard to go. And he wanted to give his rifle to his brother.

Throughout all of this, David had courage and strength of character. I'm reminded of that slogan: full eyes — clear eyes, rather, clear eyes, full heart, can't lose. David didn't make it, but he did not lose. David's one of my heroes, one of the confidence builders that I have in America's future.

I — I had the chance at the Republican Convention in Tampa just a few weeks ago to meet a — a wonderful person, Jane Horton . Jane — Jane's the wife of a sharpshooter who was sent to Afghanistan. On the day she was packing a box for his birthday, there was a knock at the door informing her that he had been killed in Afghanistan. And this was at a time when that misguided group was going to the funerals of our servicemen and -women and protesting. (Muted boos.) And she was asked what she thought about that as they were protesting her husband's funeral. And she said this: Chris died so people like him can protest.

This is the greatness of the human heart as demonstrated time and again among the American people. I know that America is going to come back because I've seen the heart of the American people.

We face real challenges right now, but they're not greater than we're able to overcome, as long as we have leaders that will take us on the path (that will ?) restore America's strength and vitality.

[cheers and applause] I'll bring us back — I will get us back on track. I will keep America strong, with strong values and strong homes. I'll make sure we rebuild our economy, we put people to work, and I'll make sure we have the strongest military in the history of the world. [cheers and applause] We'll keep the military second to none. [cheers and applause]

And I have a friend who just joined us, and he doesn't have a raincoat. This is Congressman Scott Rigell. Come on in, Scott. Come in here and say hi to everybody. [cheers and applause] You guys, we're going to win this. Let him say a word or two. I want to shake the hands of the people up front here, but I'm going to let the congressman here — Scott, come say hello to us, will you? [inaudible] — he was supposed to be here first to get us started, but he didn't know we were going to start early. [chuckles]

REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT RIGELL (R-VA): That's right. I think there was a motorcade that might have taken precedent (sic) here. [laughter]

Look, Governor, welcome to Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. This is Navy weather right here. [cheers and applause]

What an honor it is to be here with you today. You're such an encouragement to me and, I know, to the governor. You know, Governor, the finest ships in the world — [inaudible] — are produced right here at Newport News Shipbuilding. [cheers and applause]

Look, from one American to another, thank you so much. And to all of our veterans who are here today, thank you for your service to our country. We have the highest concentration of men and women serving, both active-duty and retired, in any congressional district in America. [cheers and applause] This is a special district.

Governor, we stand with you. We are proud of what you're doing and the leadership that you're going to provide to this great country for every veteran, for every student, every walk of life. We've got a great product. That is, we have the best ideas and the best values. And I'm proud to stand here in the rain with you. It doesn't matter. Our country's worth fighting for.

Thank you so much. The next president of the United States, Governor Romney! [cheers and applause]

Thank you, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: You guys, you're the best. We are going to win this. We're taking back the White House. [cheers and applause] Virginia's going to help us do it. I need your help. Get out there and vote.

Thank you so much. Your courage encourages me. I can't wait to have your help. Thank you so very much. [cheers and applause] We love you. Thank you!

Mitt Romney, Remarks at a Campaign Event in Newport News, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/316013

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