Remarks in West Allis, Wisconsin: "Real Change From Day One"
Thank you. It's good to be in the home state of the next Vice President of the United States.
Next to Ann Romney, Paul Ryan is the best choice I ever made.
Tonight, we enter the final weekend of the campaign. At Obama rallies, they are saying "Four More Years." We are shouting "Four More Days."
We are so very grateful to you and to people across the country, for all that you have given of yourselves to this campaign. This is not just about Paul and me--it is about America, and the future we will leave to our children. We thank you, and we ask you to stay at it all the way — all the way to victory on Tuesday night.
The closing hours of a campaign have a dynamic of their own. Many voters have known for some time who they will vote for. Others are just now putting aside the demands of daily life and considering how their vote will affect their life, the lives of their children, and the course of the country we love.
We ask you to look beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads. Look to the record, the accomplishments and failures, and the judgment. Words are cheap. A record is real and earned with effort. Change cannot be measured in speeches; it is measured in achievements.
Four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short.
He promised to be a "post-partisan president" but he became the most partisan-- blaming, attacking, dividing.
He was going to focus on creating jobs. Instead, he focused on Obamacare, which killed jobs.
He said he was going to cut the federal deficit by half; then he doubled it.
He said that the unemployment rate would now be 5.2%; today we learned that it is 7.9%--it is 9 million jobs short of what he promised. Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office.
He promised that he would propose a plan to save Social Security and Medicare from insolvency. He did not; rather, he raided $716 billion from Medicare for his vaunted Obamacare.
He would lower health premiums by $2,500. Now they are higher by $3,000. And gasoline? The American family pays $2,000 a year more for gasoline today than when he was elected.
He said he would work across the aisle on the most important issues. He has not met on the economy, or on the budget, or on jobs, with either the Republican leader of the House or the Senate since July. Instead of bridging the divide, he has made it wider.
How is it that he has fallen so short of what he promised? In part, it is because he has never led, never worked across the aisle, never truly understood how jobs are created in the economy.
And today, he makes new promises, promises he will be unable to keep, because he admits that he will stay on the same path. The same course we have been on will not lead to a better destination.
The same path means $20 trillion in debt, crippling unemployment, stagnant take-home pay, depressed home values, and a devastated military. And unless we change course, we may be looking at another recession.
The question of this election comes down to this: do you want more of the same or do you want real change?
President Obama promised change, but he could not deliver it. I promise change, and I have a record of achieving it.
I built a business, and turned around another. I helped put an Olympics back on track. And with a Democratic legislature, I helped turn my state from deficit to surplus, from job losses to job growth, and from higher taxes to higher take-home pay.
This is why I am running for president. I know how to change the course the nation is on, how to get us to a balanced budget and how to build jobs and rising take-home pay. Accomplishing real change is not something I just talk about--it is something I have done. And it is what will do when I am President of the United States.
If you believe we can do better, if you believe America should be on a better course, if you are tired of being tired, then I ask you to vote for real change. Paul Ryan and I will bring real change to America, from Day One.
When I am elected, the economy and American jobs will still be stagnant. I won't waste any time complaining about my predecessor. I won't spend my effort trying to pass partisan legislation unrelated to economic growth. From Day One, I will go to work to help Americans get back to work.
People across the country are responding to our five-part plan to create jobs.
Part one is about taking full advantage of our energy resources. On Day One, I will act to increase the number of leases and permits to drill on federal lands. I will act to speed the approval of the Keystone pipeline from Canada. I will re-visit coal regulations that were designed by the administration to strangle the industry. On Day One, we will be closer to energy independence.
Second, I will move to boost trade, especially with Latin America. I will ask Congress for Trade Promotion Authority, a power every president has used or requested since it was first created in 1974, with the exception of President Obama. And I will finally designate China as a currency manipulator. It is time for trade that works for America.
Third, I will send to Congress the Retraining Reform Act, to make sure that every worker who feels left behind in this economy can get the skills and the chance for a good-paying job.
Fourth, I will move to tackle out-of-control spending. I will send Congress the first of several fundamental reforms called the Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act, to immediately cut--not just slow the rate of growth-- but cut non-security discretionary spending by 5%. I'm not just going to take office on January 20th — I'm going to take responsibility for the office as well.
And fifth, I will act to boost small business, and all business. I will issue executive orders aimed straight at the problems that are holding this economy back.
The first will grant state waivers from Obamacare, to begin its repeal.
The second will launch a sweeping review of all Obama-era regulations with an eye to eliminating or repairing those that are killing jobs and small businesses.
And every entrepreneur, every small-business person, every job creator will know that for the first time in four years, the government of the United States likes business and loves the jobs and higher wages business brings to our fellow Americans.
We have almost forgotten what a real recovery looks like — what Americans can achieve when we limit government instead of limiting the dreams of our fellow Americans.
You can choose your future. You know what you need to know. You can stay on the path of the last four years, or you can choose real change.
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress. He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy. The President was right when he said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case, you can take him at his word.
When I am elected, I will work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress. I will meet regularly with their leaders. I will endeavor to find those good men and women on both sides of the aisle who care more about the country than about the politics. Together, we will put the nation on track to a balanced budget, to reform our tax code, and to finally reaffirm our commitment to financial responsibility.
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will continue his war on coal and oil and natural gas. He will send billions more dollars to his favorite solar and wind companies. And all of this will guarantee higher energy prices at the pump and fewer jobs. Today, gas costs twice what it did when President Obama was elected.
When I am elected, we will change course on energy. I know just how much energy means to middle-class families. We can help hold down prices at the pump and grow new energy jobs and manufacturing jobs.
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will continue to promote government and demote business. He chose his own jobs council, made up of business leaders. And he hasn't met with them in 9 months. 9 months.
I like business, I don't see it as a necessary evil. I see it as a means for people to fulfill their dreams. Yesterday, I met Rhoda Elliott. She has been running her family restaurants for years, a business that has been in her family for 82 years. At its high point, she employed 200 people. She just closed it down telling me that regulations, taxes and the effects of the Obama economy put her out of business. She teared up--this wasn't about money, this was about a future for her family and for her family of employees. I want to help the hundreds of thousands of dreamers like Rhoda. And I will.
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will say every good thing he can about education, but in the final analysis, he will do what his largest campaign supporters--the public-sector unions--insist upon. And your kids will have the same schools with the same results.
When I am president, I will be a voice of the children and their parents. There is no union for the PTA. I will give parents the information they need to know if their school is failing, and the choice they need to pick the school where their child can succeed.
I have watched over these last few months as our campaign has gathered the strength of a movement. It's not just the size of the crowds, it's the depth of our shared conviction ... the readiness for new possibilities ... the sense that the challenges are clear and our work will soon begin. It has made me strive even more to be worthy of the office ... to campaign as I would govern ... to speak for the aspirations of all Americans.
I learned as Governor of Massachusetts that the best achievements are shared achievements. I learned that respect and good will go a long way, and are usually returned in kind. That is how I will conduct myself as president. I will reach out to both sides of the aisle. I will bring people together, doing big things for the common good. I won't just represent one party, I'll represent one nation. I'll try to show the best of America, at a time when only our best will do.
Throughout this campaign, using every argument he can think of, President Obama has tried to convince you that, yes, these last four years have been a success. He's so sure of this that he's got one big plan for the next four years: Let's take all those ideas from the first term — the stimulus, the borrowing, Obamacare, and the rest — and go back and do them all over again.
But it could be boiled down to four words: More of the same.
I do not believe this is a moment when our big dreams will be satisfied with a small agenda. I will lead America to a better place, where confidence in the future is assured, not questioned. This is not a time to settle!
We are four days away from a fresh start. Four days away from the first day of a new beginning. My conviction that better days are ahead is not based on promises and hollow rhetoric but solid plans and proven results.
And an unshakeable faith in the American spirit.
If there is anyone worried the last four years are the best we can do, if there is anyone who fears that the American dream is fading away, if there is anyone who wonders whether better jobs and better paychecks are things of the past, I have a clear and unequivocal message: with the right leadership, America will come roaring back.
We are Americans. We can do anything.
The only thing that stands between us and some of the best years we have known is lack of leadership. And that's why we have elections.
This Tuesday is a moment to look into the future and imagine what we can do ... to put the past four years behind us and start building a new future.
You saw the differences when President Obama and I were side-by-side in our debates. He says it has to be this way. I say it can't stay this way. He's offering excuses, I've got a plan. He's hoping we'll settle. I can't wait for us to get started.
Americans don't settle. We build, we aspire, we listen to that voice inside that says, "We can do better." A better job; a better life for our kids; a bigger, better country.
That better life is out there, waiting for us. Our destiny is in your hands.
Four more days. Four more days and we can get to work rebuilding our country, restoring our confidence and renewing our conviction. Confidence that we are on a solid path to steady improvement. Confidence that college grads four years from now will find better jobs. Confidence that the single moms working two jobs will have a shot at a better job.
On November 6th, we come together for a better future. And on November 7th, we'll get to work. We'll reach across the street to that neighbor with the other yard sign and we'll reach across the aisle in Washington to people of good faith in the other party.
This is much more than our moment. It is America's moment of renewal and purpose and optimism. We have journeyed far and wide in this great campaign for America's future. And now we are almost home.
One final push will get us there. We have known many long days and short nights and now we are close.
The door to a brighter future is there, open, waiting for us. I need your vote, I need your help. Walk with me, walk together. Let us start anew.
God bless each of you and God bless the United States of America.
NOTE: As prepared for delivery.
Mitt Romney, Remarks in West Allis, Wisconsin: "Real Change From Day One" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/303673