Mitt Romney photo

Remarks at the Colorado Conservative Political Action Committee Conference in Denver

October 04, 2012

[cheers and applause]

MITT ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Colorado, thank you so much.

I heard that the Colorado CPAC was meeting, and we didn't have this planned, but decided to stop by just to say hello. When I heard my boys were going to be here, I couldn't resist. [cheers and applause]

I want to thank you for the work you're doing. I know how important it is. I know this is going to be a close-fought battle. We need to win Colorado. If we do, you know what? We're going to take back the White House. [cheers and applause]

I finally — I finally got here. It was fun to be here and to feel all the energy that you have here. I know of your enthusiasm, I know of your passion for America. [cheers and applause] [inaudible] — for the path for prosperity and peace, but for that to happen, you guys are going to have to cheer here and then go out and knock on doors and get people who voted for President Obama to see the light, come join our team.

And if you do that, why — why, we'll all be able to come together and have a wonderful inauguration celebration in January. [cheers and applause]

Now, you know, last night, I thought it was a great opportunity for the American people to see two very different visions for the country.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's right.

MR. ROMNEY: And I — I think it was — it was helpful to be able to describe those visions. I — I saw the president's vision as trickle-down government, and I don't think that's what American believes in. I — I — I see instead, a prosperity that comes through freedom. [cheers]

And we have two very different courses for America — trickle-down government or prosperity through freedom. And trickle-down government that the president proposes is one where — where he will raises taxes on small business, which will kill jobs.

I instead want to keep taxes down on small business so we can create jobs. This is about good jobs for the American people. [cheers and applause]

If — if we continue down his path, there's no question but the middle class — which the vice president noted has been buried — [laughter] — will continue to be buried with higher and higher expenses for gasoline, for food, for utilities, for health insurance. If I'm elected instead, we're going to see prices moderated because we're going to have people have higher incomes again, we're going to have rising incomes in America because we're going to have more jobs. We're going to have a stronger America with more jobs, rising incomes, moderated prices — that's a very different path than one with trickle-down government.

Now, there's another place there's difference, and that's with regards to energy prices. Under trickle-down government, you have the president saying that — well, you remember in his last campaign — that under his policies in energy the prices would necessarily skyrocket. Well, I believe that in alternative we should have North American energy independence, use the energy we have; it'll create jobs, keep our costs down and — (inaudible, cheers, applause) — with our economy. [cheers and applause]

And — and you heard — you heard the president last night describe how he plans on reducing the deficit. He said it was $4 trillion. But only in Washington would you count $4 trillion of reduction when in fact his plan calls for adding a trillion dollars of debt every one of the next four years. [boos] The Congressional Budget Office says by that the end of a four-year period, if he were to be reelected, trickle-down government would lead to a setting where we would have $20 trillion in debt.

I think that's wrong. I think we should instead take a course represented by freedom which says we're going to finally get America to cap our spending, to cut our spending and get us on track to a balanced budget. [cheers and applause]

It's — it's not often, I'm told, that Republicans are able to go out and talk about Medicare with such passion, as we do. But let me tell you: When someone is taking $716 billion away from our current seniors in their Medicare plan to pay for "Obamacare" we say, no way. We're going to put it back and we're going to get rid of "Obamacare." [cheers and applause]

And then — and then there's for the military. The president has proposed cutting our military budget, and then this sequestration idea that came out of the White House — [booing] — cuts our military budget even more. We're looking at about a trillion dollars in cuts. The secretary of defense has said that those cuts would be devastating to our military. Can you imagine allowing cuts of that nature to proceed, as this president seems to be willing to do? If I'm president, we will restore the strength of American military; we will not cut the — (inaudible, cheers, applause) — in my budget. [cheers and applause]

Now, you know — you know how important is this. Trickle-down government will not create the jobs Americans need. Trickle-down government will not bring down the cost of energy. Trickle-down government will not allow incomes to rise. Freedom is what drives America's economy. [cheers and applause] Free people pursuing their dreams, economic freedom — [applause] — and we're bringing it back.

And — and the consequence for doing it right versus doing it wrong is really extraordinary. This — this is about the 23 million people in this country that are out of work or stopped looking for work or just given up. This is about the one out of six people that have fallen into poverty. It's about the 47 million people that are on food stamps. We — we don't measure compassion by how many people we can put on food stamps; we measure compassion by how many people we can get a good job — (inaudible, cheers, applause.)

So this is about — this is about those 23 million people. It's about the next generation. For the first time in history, Americans believe the future's not as bright as the past and that their kinds won't enjoy the kind of prosperity that they've enjoyed. Well, that would happen, I'm afraid, if President Obama were reelected. It will not happen when I become the next president. [cheers and applause]

And it's — and it's — [inaudible] [applause] — of the world, as well. And I — I think you understand this. I — I've been fond over the last few weeks of describing my trip to Poland a few weeks ago, when I got the chance to meet with a world hero, Lech Walesa. [cheers and applause]

Champion of freedom. I came in to see him, by the way, and he — he met me graciously, shook my hand and said, you must be tired; you've come from America. You sit, I'll talk, you listen. [laughter]

So I did. I sat down and he began to speak. And over a period of about 15 minutes, he repeated these words time and time again: Where is American leadership? We need American leadership. [applause] We need American lead. I mean, he described an area of the world, the Middle East or other parts of the world, and he's — after — after each area and the tumult in that area, he'd say, where's American leadership? You are the only superpower on the planet. We need America to lead. And American leadership begins with strong values and principles in our homes and communities. [cheers and applause]

It — [inaudible] — economy. That's why we're spending so much time talking about our economy, because everything we do diplomatically, culturally, militarily, flows from having a strong economy. And so we must rekindle the American economy. These last three years, this has not been a real recovery. Oh, it bumps up, it bumps down, you're going to see ups and downs over the coming months I'm sure. But this is not the trend you want to see. So far this year, America's economy is growing more slowly than last year. And last year, it grew more slowly than the year before. This is not the recovery we need. The Federal Reserve, bringing more money, doing everything that they can, trying to prop this things up. We need to rekindle the strong economy.

If America's going to have that last builder of our strength, which is the strong military, I will not cut our military. It will be second to none. It'll be so strong — [cheers and applause] — [inaudible].

The people last night were given a choice. They were given a choice between two different visions for America: one where we continue down the road to become more and more like Europe, where a government gets larger and larger, more and more intrusive in our lives, spending more and more, borrowing more and more, putting us on a road to Greece.

And the other is a path that returns America to America; where we restore the principles of freedom and hope and opportunity that this nation has always been built upon. I will take us there, with your help. We're going to take back this country — (inaudible, cheers, applause.) Thank you so much. (Inaudible, cheers, applause.)

Mitt Romney, Remarks at the Colorado Conservative Political Action Committee Conference in Denver Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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