Mitt Romney photo

Remarks Following the Nevada Caucuses

January 19, 2008

Ann and I are delighted to be in Jacksonville, but we are delighted to receive the news that we have received overwhelming support from the people in Nevada. Frankly, the figures seem almost unbelievable with 40 percent of the precincts in. And so I'm not going to comment on the numbers themselves, but we're very, very heartened and we understand that people from across the state came together to support us. It means obviously a great deal to us. We love Nevada, what a great state, and they have just made a wonderful day for us.

In the last week, that means that two of the battleground states have come out strongly for our campaign. They've heard our message of change. They've heard our message that Washington is broken, that we need to have the kind of change that will solve America's problems. We won the primary together in Michigan, and we won this caucus process in Nevada. And if we were lucky enough to win Michigan and Nevada, that would be a pretty clear indication, in November of '08 that is, that would be a pretty clear indication we were going on to win the White House. We only have one other state that'll be key. That's the state we happen to be in right now, which is Florida. But if you can win those two states, Michigan and Nevada, it would mean you'd put together quite a coalition and have been able to make the kind of inroads you have to make to take the White House.

So it's huge for us and we're very, very pleased.

I'd also note that this is a campaign that does intend to participate across the country and we're not concentrating just on one region or a few states. We've made an effort to get to all of the early states and we're going to make our best effort to get to the other key states in the days that follow, although super-duper Tuesday is a difficult day to get 22 states. We're going to be working hard.

ANN ROMNEY: We've got the five boys.

ROMNEY: We've got the five boys. We'll be working -- and Ann. And we'll be working hard.

I do believe that our message is also the message that will connect with the voters here in Florida. What you see in Nevada and Michigan, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, the first five states that we've really concentrated on so far, is that people are very concerned about what's happening globally, but they're also concerned about what's happening here at home and they want to know how our economy is going to be strengthened both short term and long term.

Today, I announced a plan, which I'd like to see enacted within the next 30 days, to provide a stimulus to our economy on a short-term basis, as well as ignite long-term growth for the American economy.

It calls for three major features. One is help in the housing market by loosening and relaxing some of the requirements of the FHA program so that more loans can be guaranteed and more people can stay in their homes without having them foreclosed.

Number two, a very substantial investment to allow businesses to invest in capital expenditures and to expense those capital expenditures 100 percent for the next two years, which is a very substantial boost to purchases of equipment and other goods for capital -- for these companies and that will stimulate the growth of companies that supply equipment to them.

And number three is help for individual consumers and, specifically, lowering the tax rate, the marginal tax rate at the entry level of our tax rate from 10 percent to 7.5 percent, and we'll do that not only for the '08 year, but also put a refund in place for the '07 year so that people will get a check in '07, which averages -- excuse me -- for '07 in April of '08 which would average approximately $400.

And I am delighted that we have the opportunity to talk about this at a time which is timely. Our economy was strong last quarter. The growth was strong. But indications are that the economy is slowing down and that action, if taken now, could well avert a potential recession.

So as we come here to Florida, we're going to be talking about our short-term plan to stimulate our economy, our long-term plan to keep America strong and to make sure that our economy continues to lead the world, that we have great jobs for our kids.

And, of course, you're going to hear me say time and time again that Washington is broken, that it can't get the job done. It has not gotten the job done in the past. Now is the time with regards to this economy heading for a potential economic downturn that it has to move aggressively and quickly, but there are many other issues that also have to be solved.

And that includes everything from getting health care for our citizens that's affordable and portable, to improving our schools, to solving the problem of runaway spending in Washington, to finding ourselves finally on a track to becoming energy independent and to abiding by high ethical standards in Washington.

So there's a lot of work to be done and our campaign is focused on bringing change to Washington and one of those changes we'd like to see immediately is a 30-day turnaround on an economic stimulus plan.

So with that, a lot of topics covered, thanks to the folks in Nevada for their great support and we look forward to getting the support of the people here Florida, as well.


ROMNEY: I don't know that I have any particular reflections. I'll let other people take a look at those things. I made a number of comments about -- see? See? Maybe he wants to say something.

I think it was pointed out to me that I won in Nevada among evangelicals, as well, according to the exit polls, and I think based on Eric Fringdom's (ph) calculation, if no members of my faith had turned out at all, I still would have won in Nevada.

So I'm happy to have their support. I wouldn't want them to be disappointed that I didn't appreciate their support. But I won among Hispanic Americans, which is a very big statement for my campaign, very pleased that I got that kind of support, and I expect that this campaign will cross ethnic and religious and gender lines and will generate the support that I need to win the nomination.


ROMNEY: I'd love to win Florida, of course. It's a very big state with a lot of delegates and I care very much about Florida. I would note that other candidates and campaigns also spent some time in Wyoming and Nevada and as for my home field advantage in Michigan, going in with a week to go, as I recall, I was behind in those polls and people who were looking at my home field advantage, who were my competitors in the race, pointed out that it had been 41 years since I'd been there and I really didn't have a home field advantage.

And then when I won, they seemed to recognize that it was a huge home field advantage. I think the reason I won in Michigan was because our campaign there connected with the concerns of people in the state and I don't think there's any question but that the economy was the issue that drove my vote in Michigan, and a lot of people to come together and say, "You know what?" Our campaign and I, in particular, have experience in the private sector.

I understand how jobs come and go. I'll bring that experience to Washington and help us at a time when, as we face challenges around the world and domestically, you have to have a strong economy with good jobs to be able to stand up to our needs around the world.

So I reject the premise. I think we competed in all three states on a pretty aggressive basis. But I do acknowledge how important it is to win here in Florida and how much I'd like to win here. My guess is so would everybody else.

We're all neck-in-neck in Florida, from what I hear, and you're going to see a lot of campaigning going on in the next several days as get ready for the 29th of January and hope to get the support here that would be of particular help, as well, getting ready (OTCBB:GTRY) for February 5th thereafter.


ROMNEY: I think, as I've said, there will always be some people whose vote will be shaped by the faith of the candidate. I don't think that's the majority of people in the country.

That may play a bigger role in some states than others and I acknowledge that, and that's just part of the American experience. It's not something I encourage, by any means. It's not something I welcome, obviously, in a state like Iowa, but, nonetheless, that's just the way things are.

I think most people in Iowa and New Hampshire and across the country vote based upon the experience and the vision and the leadership capacity of the candidate and not based upon their religion, but there'll be some who focus on religion and that's just the way things are.

Mitt Romney, Remarks Following the Nevada Caucuses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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