Romney previously supported a woman’s right to decide, but he is now adamantly opposed to abortions, unless it involves cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in mortal danger.
During the 1994 Massachusetts senatorial debate against the incumbent Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Romney explained that he does not belief in imposing his personal beliefs unto others, and that, as a result of the death of a relative from an illegal abortion issue, his family has supported Roe V. Wade since 1970, and the right of a woman to choose. In 2007, Gov. Romney subsequently explained in an interview with USA TODAY that he no longer feels the same about the issue, and cites his earlier position as wrong. “Ms. Sally Jacobs: If abortion is morally wrong, aren’t you responsible for discouraging it?
Gov. Romney: One of the great things about our nation, Sally, is that we're each entitled to have strong personal beliefs, and we encourage other people to do the same. But as a nation, we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want, and not to impose our beliefs on other people.
I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law, and the right of a woman to make that choice. And my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign. Too much has been written about religion in this race. I’m proud of my religious heritage. I’m proud of the values it has taught me, but if you want to know my position on issues, ask me, and I’ll tell you. I think the low point of this race was when my opponent and their family decided to make religion an issue in this campaign – brought it out, attacked me for it. I think that’s a mistake, I think the time has passed for that. John Kennedy was the one who fought that battle, but that battle lives for all of us of all faiths.
Senator Edward Kennedy: I would agree with Mr. Romney that religion has no place in this campaign and the best way to make sure that it doesn’t, is not to talk any further about it, and I don’t intend to do so. On the question of the choice issue, I have supported the Roe v. Wade, I am pro-choice - my opponent is multiple choice. I have not only introduced, introduced, the freedom of choice legislation, but I’ve fought for Roe and saw it successfully pass. The clinic access bill that will permit women to be able to practice their constitutional rights in selection of abortion. And I’ve also led the fight against judges in the Supreme Court of the United States that refuse to permit a woman’s right to choose.
Moderator (Mr. Ken Bode): Senator, time’s up.
Gov. Romney: Ken, on multiple choice, I gotta…
Mr. Ken Bode: Mr. Romney, you have fifteen seconds to rebut…
Gov. Romney: On the idea of multiple-choice I have to respond. I have my own beliefs, and those beliefs are very dear to me. One of them is that I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative, that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that, or being multiple-choice, thank you very much."
October 25, 1994: The Boston Globe/Herald Massachusetts Senate Debate between Senator Edward Kennedy and Gov. Mitt Romney
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is all too aware of that dichotomy. In 1994, when he challenged Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, Romney said he supported the abortion rights recognized in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
In 2002, when Romney ran for governor, he said he wouldn't seek to change abortion laws in Massachusetts, where most voters support abortion rights.
Now Romney, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, said in an interview that his views have changed over time.
“Understand over time one's perspective changes somewhat," he said. "I'm in a different place than I was probably in 1994, when I ran against Ted Kennedy, in my own views on that."
Massachusetts state Rep. James Vallee, a Democratic committee chairman who has worked with Romney on criminal justice issues, says the governor "is obviously trying to go a little bit to the right" as he weighs a bid for president.
What are Romney's views now? The governor said he was "personally pro-life" but declined to say more. "I choose not to elaborate on those because I don't want to be confusing to people in my state," he said
May 23, 2005: What’s a governor like you doing in a state like this? (by Susan Page, USA TODAY) “I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother.”
July 26, 2005, Boston Globe, Why I vetoed contraception bill Federal ban on abortions
No. Romney favors state level legislation. “But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”
July 26, 2005, Boston Globe, Why I vetoed contraception bill
Roe v. Wade
Favors a repeal “I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states and the elected representatives of the people, and the people themselves, have the ability to put in place pro-life legislation.”
5 June 2007, Republican Presidential Debate (Manchester, New Hampshire)
Agrees. "Furthermore, this legislation would make the morning-after pill available to young girls without any restrictions on age... this bill undermines the state's parental consent laws and represents a departure from the public consensus that minor children should not act without parental involvement in these matters."
Romney explaining his decision to veto the Contraceptive Bill
July 26, 2005, Boston Globe
Despite revelations that Romney attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in 2004 and his wife Ann, gave a $150 donation, Romney has been on record supporting moves aimed at de-funding the organization. "Mitt Romney supports the Pence amendment," Eric Fehrnstrom (Romey’s spokesman), 3 April 2011. The Pence Amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) aimed at eliminating all Title X grants for Planned Parenthood.
Embryonic stem cell research
Not in favor. “Altered nuclear transfer creates embryo-like cells that can be used for stem cell research ... I have a deep concern about curing disease. I have a wife that has a serious disease that could be affected by stem cell research and others. But I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming, because that will be creating life for the purpose of destroying it.”
3 May 2007, GOP primary debate, Simi Valley California
While Gov. Romney believes that the continued presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan should ultimately be decided by the military’s top brass, he cautions that the country should not be making similar commitments in the future. He also stressed that the bulk of the security obligation must lie with the Afghanis themselves.
Gov. Romney indicated in an interview with ABC on July 29, 2012, that while he is supportive of President Barack Obama’s Sept 2014 troops withdrawal deadline, he disagrees with the plan to order 23,000 troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 30. However, he admits that his position could change depending on the counsel of military commanders, while leaving open the possibility of keeping combat troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 should conditions change.
“I want those troops to come home based upon not politics, not based upon economics, but instead based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals … But I also think we have learned that our troops should not go off and try to fight a war of independence for another nation. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan’s independence from the Taliban.”
13 June 2011, Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire.
Romney believes our policy in Afghanistan should not be based on the economic costs alone.
“There will be some who argue it’s too expensive now, we’ve got to bring the troops home right now, or others will say, politically we need to make one decision or another … You don’t make a decision about our involvement in a conflict based on dollars and cents alone or certainly not with regards to politics.”
14 June 2011, New York Times
AFP reported that Romney made a private visit to Afghanistan in January 2010, and had a closed door meeting with President Hamid Karzai. Karzai’s office subsequently released a statement on January 10 that quoted Romney as saying, “ … the US is well aware of terrorists' presence in Pakistan and its border regions and this is a threat to Pakistan and Afghanistan … The situation in Pakistan is an indicator that terrorists are not only attacking Afghanistan but are causing lots of troubles for Pakistan too”.
From here, it is clear that Romney believes that there are elements of threat originating from Pakistan.
• Mitt Romney believes in the principle of reaganomics wherein you cut taxes which is believed to bring in economic growth. According to him the budget should cut taxes on people earning incomes less than $200,000 a year and also cut payroll taxes on people aged sixty five years or older.
• He supports setting up a national catastrophic fund to ensure that people are entitled to home owners insurance in the event of some natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes etc.
• He brought forward an economic stimulus package with a price tag of $233 billion which is aimed at generating long term growth incentives. This can be achieved by expensing capital expenditures in the next two years and lowering corporate tax rate so that businesses will thrive and generate revenue.
• He perpetrates the need for becoming energy independent by making investments in alternative energy sources, reduce gas prices and reduce taxes on middle income Americans.
• Mitt Romney suggests bringing a cut in the 342 odd different economic programs. Of course protecting the nation's defense and military personnel is important therefore allocation of funds for their welfare is important.
• He believes that he can bring in savings worth $300 billion dollars in 10 years by capping non defense discretionary spending at inflation minus 1% and will veto any budget that exceeds that cap.
• He wants to be known as the job senator by convincing the government to cut deficits and raise American's savings rate by making more capital available for companies for investment and thereby increase employment opportunities.
• Mitt Romney voiced his protest against a labor bill known as The Employee Free Choice Act that would make it easier for unions to organize describing it as a dangerous legislation saying that it would have a negative impact on the nation's ability to compete globally and would also dampen the scope of new businesses.
• Mitt Romney suggested that welfare recipients should go to work immediately. He suggested doing away with capital gains taxes for those firms that invest in inner city enterprise zones also advocated tax credits for hiring poor residents of those areas.
• He stands for writing off a lot of capital expenditures of business firms to induce them to buy more so that it will have the effect of other companies hiring more people thus generating more jobs.
• He believes a cut in Corporate Taxes will have a significant impact over time. It can stimulate the economy, create jobs and encourage foreign investment.
• He said that the American worker could be richer by $9000 a year by opening up the market to American goods and services. The workers can sell the products they manufacture around the world thus raking in more income.
• He is of the opinion that it is the businessmen and not politicians who should negotiate trade with foreigners so that patents, designs and technology etc are adequately protected.
• He encouraged Trade and commerce with Asian countries saying that it will only strengthen the Us economy and lead to further growth.
“From my perspective, there are two main camps when it comes to the death penalty. On one side, there are some people who believe there are certain crimes that are so offensive… so reprehensible…. so far beyond the bounds of civilized society that they demand the ultimate punishment. In the other camp are well-meaning people who believe that it is immoral for government to ever take a life. In the middle, I believe, are others who could support the death penalty if it is narrowly applied and contains the appropriate safeguards. It is with that group in mind that we have brought forward the death penalty bill before you today…
The appropriate response of society to terrorism carried out around the world or within the Commonwealth’s borders is to apply the death penalty. That is why the legislation I filed in April accounts for terrorism, along with a small number of other crimes, including the assassination of a law enforcement officer, judge, juror or prosecutor, for the purpose of obstructing an ongoing criminal proceeding. My legislation would also allow juries to consider the death penalty in cases that involve prolonged torture or multiple murders, as well as cases in which the defendant has already been convicted of first-degree murder or is serving a life sentence without parole.”
July 14, 2005, Death Penalty Testimony of Governor Mitt Romney to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in support of his April 28, 2005 filing of a death penalty bill that was ultimately rejected by the legislature.
China is one of the few issues that Romney appears to feel very strongly about. His comments concerning the communist nation have been intensifying over the last year, and he advocates an increasingly hardline approach in handling China.
“Well, China has an interest in trade. China wants to, as they have 20 million people coming out of the farms and coming into the cities every year, they want to be able to put them to work. They wanna have access to global markets. And so we have right now something they need very badly, which is access to our market and our friends around the world, have that same-- power over China. We-- to make sure that we let them understand that in order for them to continue to have free and open access to the thing they want so badly, our markets, they have to play by the rules.
They can't hack into our computer systems and steal from our government. They can't steal from corporations. They can't take patents and designs, intellectual property, and, and, and, and duplicate them, and duplicate them and counterfeit them and sell them around the world. And they also can't manipulate their currency in such a way as to make their prices well below what they otherwise would be.
We have to have China understand that like everybody else on the world stage, they have to play by the rules. And if they do, we'll have open trade with them and work with them. And they should in every way want to collaborate with us and not become a belligerent nation economically or militarily. But if you just continue to sit back and let them run over us, the policies of Barack Obama in China have allowed China to continue to expand their, their, entry into our computer systems, their entry… and, stealing our intellectual property…
And of course, their, their military capacity…
Well number one, on day one, it's acknowledging something which everyone knows, they're a currency manipulator. And on that basis, we also go before the W.T., the W.T.O. and bring an action against them as a currency manipulator. And that allows us to apply, selectively, tariffs where we believe they are stealing our intellectual property, hacking into our computers, or artificially lowering their prices and killing American jobs. We can't just sit back and let China run all over us. People say, "Well, you'll start a trade war." There's one going on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs. And we're gonna stand up to China.”
November 12, 2011: CBS News/ National Journal's GOP Debate, Spartanburg, South Carolina
“I will label China as it is, a currency manipulator. And I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property. And they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay. I certainly don't want a trade war with anybody. We are going to have a trade war, but we can't have a trade surrender either…
I'm afraid that people who have looked at this in the past have been played like a fiddle by the Chinese. And the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank, taking our currency and taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future. And I am not willing to let that happen.
I'm in this race to try to get America to make sure we're strong again and we're creating jobs where the best place in the world to be middle class again. And for that to happen, we have to call cheating for what it is.
And people say, we might have a trade war with China. Well, now, think about that.
We by this much stuff from China, they buy that much stuff from us. You think they want to have a trade war?
I mean, this is a time when we are being hollowed out by China, that is artificially holding down their prices, as you just said a moment ago, and that's having a massive impact on jobs here. It is the wrong course for us.
When people have pursued unfair trade practices, you have to have a president that will take action. And on day one, I have indicated, day one, I will issue an executive order identifying China as a currency manipulator. We'll bring an action against them in front of the WTO for manipulating their currency, and we will go after them. If you are not willing to stand up to China, you will get run over by China, and that's what's happened”
October 11th, 2011: Bloomberg/ Washington Post Republican Presidential Debate, Hanover, New Hampshire
“You know what, I think it’s important first for the American people to understand that China is not like the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union, Kruschev in particular, wanted to bury us. China doesn’t want to bury us. They want to see us succeed and thrive so we can buy more Chinese products. And they’re our competitor economically. More power to them. We know how to compete. We want to make sure the competition is fair and legal and they protect our intellectual property rights and they have a monetary policy that’s fair. So we’ve got some challenges to make sure that the playing field is level with China.
But we can compete, we can be successful with China and reach out to them. I’ve already met with their leadership and will do so again, if I’m lucky enough to be president. Making China a partner for stability in the world will be one of my highest priority. China is really key in many respects as they become a very large economy. Their GNP is going to surpass ours just given the scale of the nation’s population.
We have to recognize they are going to be an economic powerhouse. And with that reality, we’re going to make sure that we’re friendly, that we understand each other, that we’re open in communicating and we’re collaborating on important topics like keeping North Korea from pursuing the nuclear armament which they’ve begun, getting Iran to avoid, or to abandon their nuclear ambitions. China and we together will have a great deal of positive influence for stability if we’re able to work that relationship properly.”
June 21, 2007: Romney speaking to the Pittsburgh Tribune
Mitt Romney: That is normally a good thing. But China is playing by different rules. One, they are stealing intellectual property. Number two, they're hacking into our computer systems, both government and corporate. And they are stealing, by virtue of that as well, from us. And finally, they are manipulating their currency, and by doing so, holding down the price of Chinese goods, and making sure their products are artificially low-priced. It's predatory pricing, it's killing jobs in America. If I'm president of the United States, I'm making it very clear, I love free trade. I want to open markets to free trade. But I will crack down on cheaters like China. They simply cannot continue to steal our jobs…
Maria Bartiromo: How would you crack down on China?
Romney: Well, number one, I would do something this president should have done a long time ago, which is to label China a currency manipulator. And then I would bring in action at the WTO level, charging them with being a currency manipulator. Number three, where they have stolen intellectual property, where they have hacked into computers, and where their artificial pricing is causing their goods to have predatory levels of pricing, I would apply, if necessary, tariffs to make sure that they understand we are willing to play at a level playing field.
We want, we have to have free trade. That's essential for the functioning of a strong economy. But we cannot allow one nation to continue to flaunt the rules and kill our jobs by allowing them continue as they have.
November 9, 2011: CNBC "Your Money, Your Vote” Republican Presidential Debate, Oakland University, Rochester
“I want to make sure that when people cheat, when they don’t follow the rules in trade, we finally hold them accountable.
You know the president, the president has an opportunity, had an opportunity, was required as of last Friday to officially designate whether China is a currency manipulator... And yet over the past several years, the President’s failed to call China a currency manipulator... He had the occasion on Friday to come out with that official designation. Do you know what they said? We’re not going to make any determination until after the election... Let me tell you, on day one of my administration I will label China a currency manipulator. We’ve got to get those jobs back and get trade to be fair,”
October 13, 2012: Romney speaking at a campaign event at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio
While Romney is seen as a moderate on many issues, this is definitely not one of them.
Wendell Goler: I want to talk, gentlemen, about presidential power and the war on terror here at home. And Governor Romney, I’ll start with you. You have said that the government should wiretap some mosques to keep tabs on Islamic extremists. Would you do this even without a judge’s approval, sir?
Mitt Romney: No, of course not. We’d use the law to follow people who are teaching doctrines of terror and hate, and make sure that if they’re doing that in a mosque, in a school, at a playground, wherever it’s being done, we know what’s going on.
There’s no question but that we’re under threat from people who want to attack our country in this global effort. And I know there’s a lot of attention paid to, if you will, trying to respond to what would happen if we were attacked, and that’s appropriate. We need to have first response up to, up to the best standards.
But our focus has to be on preventing an attack, and preventing attack means good intelligence work. It means if people are coming to this country terrorizing or talking about terror in such a way that it could lead to the violent death of Americans, we need to know about that, track them, follow them, and make sure that in every way we can we know what they’re doing and where they’re doing it.
And if it means we have to go into a mosque to wiretap or a church, then that’s exactly where we’re going to go because we’re going to do whatever it takes to protect the American people. And I hear from time to time people say, hey, wait a second, we have civil liberties we have to worry about. But don’t forget the most important civil liberty I expect from my government is my right to be kept alive, and that’s what we’re going to have to do.
September 5, 2007: GOP Presidential Debate, Whittemore Center, University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire
“Conservatism has had from its inception vigorously positive, intellectually rigorous agenda and thinking. That agenda should have, mind you, three pillars: strength in the economy, strength in our security and strength in our families. We will strengthen our security by building missile defense, restoring our military might and standing by and strengthening our intelligence officers. Conservatives believe in providing constitutional rights to our citizens, not to enemy combatants like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Not on our watch. A conversation with a would-be suicide bomber will not begin with the words, "You have the right to remain silent.”
February 20, 2010: 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference, Washington
Mitt Romney will adopt a clear policy toward the Cuban regime: no accommodation, no appeasement. The United States should not relent until the day when the Castros’ regime meets its end and their history is written among the world's most reviled despots, tyrants, and frauds. The North Star that guides Mitt Romney’s policy toward the island is the realizable dream of a free Cuba.
Unfortunately, President Obama has adopted a strategy of appeasement toward the Castro regime. He unilaterally relaxed sanctions without making any demands of the regime. Predictably, the Castros responded to these naïve concessions by tightening their grip on the island and by taking an American, Alan Gross, as a political prisoner. Now, increased travel and remittances to Cuba prop up a regime desperate for foreign currency.
Mitt Romney will break sharply with President Obama’s appeasement strategy. Mitt Romney believes unilateral concessions to a dictatorial regime are counterproductive, helping to secure a succession of power and greater repression instead of a transition to freedom. Mitt Romney will send a strong message to both the regime and the Cuban people that the United States stands with the courageous pro-democracy movement on the island, and that our support will never waver. Mitt Romney’s policy toward Cuba will include:
•Reinstating Travel & Remittance Restrictions
•Adhering to the Helms-Burton Act.
•Demanding Release of Alan Gross
•Democracy Promotion Programs
•Breaking the Information Blockade
•Publicly Naming Oppressors.
•Holding the Castros Accountable for the Brothers to the Rescue Shoot Down
•Bolstering the Inter-American Democratic Charte
•Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America
•Hemispheric Joint Task Force on Crime & Terrorism
January 25, 2012: mittromney.com
Mitt advocating the assassination of Fidel Castro
"This is a critical time. I think you realise that. We've waited a long, long time for the opportunity that is represented by a new president, and by new leadership, or by old leadership finally kicking the bucket in Cuba… And I want to take advantage… I want to be the American president that is proud to be able to say that I was president at the time that we brought freedom back to the people of Cuba.
If I'm fortunate to become the next president of the United States it is my expectation that Fidel Castro will finally be taken off this planet… I doubt he'll take any time in the sky. He'll find a nether region to be more to his comfort…
I know I learned something about negotiating. I found that if I was trying to negotiate with someone else that before I gave them something, I wanted to know what I was going to get back. The idea that I’m going to negotiate, it’s a trade – I’m going to get something, and they’re going to get something.
What has occurred to me as I’ve watched our president over the last Castro years, is that from time to time we have a president who thinks that a tyrant, that a person who considers America their enemy, that that tyrant will give them something, just by virtue of us giving them something, with no trade whatsoever. Where we just say here, we’ll give you this thing and hope you’ll give us something nice back. Negotiations are not a matter of giving and hope. They’re a matter of giving and getting in return.
This president has decided to give a gift, to Castro, to allow remittances to come from the United States to go into Cuba and help the economy of Cuba. He’s allowed more traveling into Cuba. Showing that olive branch if you will. And how has it been met? It is met with a man, Wilman Villar*, who must sacrifice his own life through his hunger strike, with many, many people being oppressed in prison.
This president does not understand that by helping Castro, he is not helping the people of Cuba he is hurting them, he is not putting forward a policy of freedom, he is accommodating and encouraging a policy of oppression, and if I’m President of the United States, we will return to Helms-Burton and the law, and we will not give Castro any gifts.
*Wilman Villar is a political prisoner who died in January 2012 after a 50-day hunger strike
Jan 25, 2012: Romney speaking at the US-Cuba Democracy PAC event in Miami Freedom Tower
Update: Romney became the second Republican presidential candidate, after Jon Huntsman, to offer a full-fledged detailed economic plan when he announced a 59-point job and economic proposal during a speech at the McCandless International Trucks dealership in Nevada, Las Vegas on September 6, 2011. Called 'Day One, Job One', the plan's main objective would be to "restore America to the path of robust economic growth necessary to create jobs.".
If elected, Romney pledged to initiate 10 major actions on the first day of his presidency, consisting of five Bills and 5 Executive Orders, which are
5 Bills For Day One
• The American Competitiveness Act
Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25%
• The Open Markets Act
Implements Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
• The Domestic Energy Act
Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive energy review
• The Retraining Reform Act
Consolidates federal retraining programs and return these programs to the states
• The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act
Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent ($20 billion)
5 Executive Orders For Day One An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare
• Secretary of Health and Human Services to return the maximum possible authority to the states An Order to Cut Red Tape
• All agencies to initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that burden the economy or job creation An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production
• Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices
• Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator and the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports An Order to Empower American Businesses and Workers
• Reverses the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor
“Today, I’m introducing a plan consisting of 59 specific proposals — including 10 concrete actions I will take on my first day in office — to turn around America’s economy. Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs.”
“And change is going to have to begin with us, in our party. We're the party of change. We are the party of fiscal responsibility, and when Republicans act like Democrats, America loses. And you've seen that over the last several years.
We're going to have to make sure that we rein in spending. It's not just the -- we -- we all agree on the -- the earmarks and the pork barrel spending and the "Bridge to Nowhere." That's -- that's an easy one to take a shot at. But the big one is entitlements and reining in entitlement costs, and that's -- that's where the big dollars are.
And then you go on to say how are we going to bring down taxation, because we have the highest tax rate, next to Japan, in the world. That's -- that hurts our economy.
What you're seeing in a weakening dollar, in a declining stock market, in -- in foreign countries coming here to -- to buy into our banks, you're seeing an underground -- the foundation of our economy being shaken by the fact that we haven't been doing the job that needs to be done in Washington. And I'm going to Washington to change Washington.”
January 24, 2008, Republican Presidential Debate, Boca Raton Florida
Deficit "It is instead however an objective for us to balance our budget and to take in as much money as we spent. How do you do that? Well you have to cut back on spending and I propose, I don't know if the other candidates are willing to sign for the same pledge, and that is, I'm going to take non-military discretionary spending and I'm gonna say I'm gonna cap that at inflation less one percent. So, one percent lower than inflation and that saves us 300 billion dollars over the next ten years. And that’s one commitment that I made, that’s what I’m gonna do. (If) Congress sends me appropriations bill which exceeds that amount, I will veto them. I like vetoing.
But I am a fiscal conservative. I believe in cutting spending and cutting taxes."
April 03, 2007, New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women's Lilac Dinner
Debts "I'd like to start by balancing our budget and get it to a point where we stop spending more than we take in our national debt you know is huge in its total scale and actually eliminating of the national debt is not something I would put down as an objective in the first four years that’s for sure."
April 03, 2007, New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women's Lilac Dinner
Romney, who prides himself on being a pragmatic and successful businessman, is a proponent of Reaganomics.
"The last time we had a recession, in the Bush years, President Bush recognized the best thing you can do is lower taxes and put forward a tax bill. And John McCain was one of only two Republicans to vote against it, and said he'd go back and vote against it again if he could.
He does not understand the first lesson of Reaganomics, which is, you cut taxes to grow the economy.”
January 27, 2008, CNN Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer
Romney believes that education is a central aspect of the American Dream. However, he believes that years of neglect by the federal government has rendered the national education system ineffective, broken even. He also believes that the continuing “flood of federal dollars” is driving up the cost of higher education.
He advocates wide-ranging reforms to the education system, and will take the unprecedented step of tying teachers’ compensations to their results instead of tenure. In addition, Romney will implement measures that will expand parental role in education.
“ … I came into a state where Republicans and Democrats had worked to, before I got there to make some very important changes. They said that they were going to test our kids every year. They said to graduate from high school, you're going to have to pass an exam in English and math. I was the first governor that had to enforce that provision. There were a lot of people that said, oh, no, no, no. Let people graduate even if they can't pass that exam. I enforced it. We fought it. It was hard to do. We added more school choice. My legislature tried to say no more charter schools. I vetoed that, we overturned that.
With school choice, testing our kids, giving our best teachers opportunities for advancement, these kinds of principles drove our schools to be pretty successful. As a matter of fact, there are four measures on which the federal government looks at schools state by state, and my state's number one of all 50 stays in all four of those measures, fourth-and-eighth-graders in English and math. Those principles, testing our kids, excellent curriculum, superb teachers, and school choice, those are the answers to help our schools.“
February 22, 2012: CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate
“… education has to be held at the local and state level, not at the federal level. We need get the federal government out of education. And secondly, all the talk about we need smaller classroom size, look that's promoted by the teachers unions to hire more teachers. We looked at what drives good education in our state, what we found is the best thing for education is great teachers, hire the very best and brightest to be teachers, pay them properly, make sure that you have school choice, test your kids to see if they are meeting the standards that need to be met, and make sure that you put the parents in charge. And as president I will stand up to the National Teachers Unions…
… I think the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is doing a good thing by saying, you know what, we should insist that teachers get evaluated and that schools have the opportunity to see which teachers exceeding and which ones are failing and that teachers that are not successful are removed from the classroom. ..”
September 22, 2011: Fox News/ Google Debate, Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida
“… I have issues that take me in the same direction. One is No Child Left Behind. I've taken a position where, once upon a time, I said I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education. That was my position when I ran for Senate in 1994. That's very popular with the base. As I've been a governor and seen the impact that the federal government can have holding down the interest of the teachers' unions and instead putting the interests of the kids and the parents and the teachers first, I see that the Department of Education can actually make a difference. So I supported No Child Left Behind. I still do. I know there are a lot in my party that don't like it, but I like testing in our schools. I think it allows us to get better schools, better teachers; allows us to let our kids have the kind of hope that they ought to have.”
May 15, 2007: Republican presidential primary debate, University of South Carolina, Columbia
“… America's post-WWWII commitment to public higher education directly contributed to the burst of productivity that rocketed our economy beyond every other. But other nations have made as great or greater a commitment to higher education than we have, particularly in engineering, computer science, and information. 15 years ago, China and India awarded about half as many master's degrees in these fields as did the US. Today, they graduate more than two times the number of students in these fields as we do. While our annual number of degrees has hovered around 7,000 to 8,000, China's has risen from 1,784 to 12,130--50% greater than ours. This is a stunning reversal of global preeminence in the priority attached to the highest level of educational attainment. Not surprisingly, China, Japan, and Taiwan claim a growing share of the world's patents…”
March 2, 2010: No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, a book by Romney
“And then there is energy, every year we send hundreds of billions of dollars out of our country to go buy energy from other nations,” said Romney. “I think this president faced a number of easy decisions that he missed, but this one is perhaps either at or near the top of the list: How in the world could he have said to Canada ‘No, don’t bring in that Keystone pipeline, we don’t need your oil. At a time like this, when we’re seeing gas prices like they are, we need to get that energy into this country.”
February 25, 2012: Romney addressing the audience of the Ingham Lincoln Day Breakfast at the Chisholm Hills Banquet Center in Lansing, Michigan
“… Unfortunately, the first three years of the Obama administration have witnessed energy and environmental policies that have stifled the domestic energy sector. In thrall to the environmentalist lobby and its dogmas, the President and the regulatory bodies under his control have taken measures to limit energy exploration and restrict development in ways that sap economic performance, curtail growth, and kill jobs…
... As president, Mitt Romney will make every effort to safeguard the environment, but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers. This will require putting conservative principles into action.
•Significant Regulatory Reform
•Research and Development
"Governor Romney: "We're using too much oil," Romney said. "We have an answer. We can use alternative sources of energy -- biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear power -- and we can drill for more oil here. We can be more energy independent and we can be far more efficient in the use of that energy.”
(Waterloo Courier, September 29, 2006)
"America must become energy independent... We're in a very vulnerable position. Our economic and military strength require us to become energy independent.
I'm not just talking about symbolic measures. I mean that we must finally take the actual steps that will produce as much energy as we use. This could take 20 years or more. Of course we're going continue buying fuels from our friends even after that time, but we'll buy and sell.
We'll end our strategic vulnerability to an oil shutoff by nations like Iran and Russia and Venezuela. And we'll stop spending or sending a billion dollars a day to other nations, some of whom are using that very money against us...”
April 10, 2007: Speaking at former President George W. Bush’s Presidential Library Foundation event in College Station, Texas (View Video)
• Romney is of the opinion wherein the solution to our environmental problem lies in adopting a market approach. While solving the environmental challenges, we should also be supporting growth.
• Rather than establishing mandates, the United States should harness its power of innovation to enhance the alternative energy sources and discover innovative technologies that will help use the energy more efficiently.
• Romney gives importance to achieving the target of energy independence so that it can free itself from its enslavement to oil rich countries at the same time becoming an economic and military superpower. This will require a series of measures that will include energy efficiency to be adopted and conservation.
• The nation will also need to develop and harness alternate sources of energy such as nuclear energy, biodiesel, ethanol along with exploiting more domestic sources of oil such as Outer Continental Shelf and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
• Romney believes the nation will also have to invest a lot in research and innovation. The areas that will need heavy investment include fuel technology, power generation and materials science. There needs to be an emphasis on clean technology and more efficient power generation.
• Mitt Romney is against the Kyoto Protocol believing that it will result in jobs leaving the United States.
• Romney is also criticized for flip-flopping on the environmental question. He was blamed for subjecting his will to the likes of big companies.
• The foreign policy outlined by Mitt Romney charts down two main issues in the forefront which will strengthen the United States position as an economic and military super power. One pertains to 'defeating the Jihadists' and the other relates to 'competing with Asia'.
• Romney feels that since the Asian economies are rapidly expanding, the United States need to shed its protectionist approach in the matters of its economy. It will need to open up its market even further. This can be done through reducing the tariffs, bringing down the corporate taxes and by employing a competitive advantage in the market.
• To make the United States a more competitive economy, Romney wants looser laws of immigration so that the economy can take advantage of highly skilled workers. The policy is specific to the highly skilled workers and is clear from its insistence to keep the low-skilled workers who migrate illegally from the South.
• Romney believes that a three pronged approach would take care of the Jihadists. The first aspect would be the employment of military options and pressure. The second approach would be diplomacy which would involve the regional and international players. The third approach would exhort the Muslims to reject extremism. In those nations where the Al Qaeda is developing its roots, such as Bali and Pakistan, the United States should send its forces in order to work in synergy with the local population to contain the terrorists.
• Romney believes that Iran offers a serious challenge to America and that the US has to assure that Iran does not develop a nuclear arsenal. Romney believes economic sanctions and similar strategies would work. The military option may also be left open.
Romney is a noted advocate of GITMO and has been on record criticizing former President Bush for contemplating its closure and President Obama for his calls to close it.
“Guantanamo Bay plays an important role in protecting our nation from violent, heinous terrorists…”
June 22, 2007; Speaking to reporters during a campaign stop in Helena, Montana
“ …You said they’re gonna be at Guantanamo? I’m glad they’re at Guantanamo. I don’t want them on our soil. I want them at Guantanamo where they don’t get the access to lawyers that they’d get when they’re on our soil. I don’t want them in our prisons, I want them there. Some people say that we should close Guantanamo, my view is we outta double Guantanamo.”
May 15, 2007; FoxNews Republican Presidential Debate, University of South Carolina, Columbia
"Today, the Supreme Court will once again hear arguments on the detention of captured terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay. Some people view Guantanamo as a symbol of American aggression. I view it as a symbol of American resolve.
"Our country is asking young men and women in our military and intelligence services, and their families, to sacrifice beyond all knowing to capture or kill radical Jihadists before they plan and execute another attack on the United States. To win this fight, we must be able to detain and interrogate the terrorists they catch.
"The base at Guantanamo is designed to hold and question enemy combatants who pose a threat to the nation or have intelligence value. Closing and relocating the facility to the heartland of the United States, as some have suggested, would pose an undue risk to innocent Americans and, as today's arguments demonstrate, could have profound legal implications. So long as it remains a vital tool to keep America safe, I will fight to keep Guantanamo Bay open."
December 5, 2007; Press release on Guantanamo Bay
On Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
“But I do not believe, as a presidential candidate that it’s wise for us to describe precisely what techniques we’ll use in interrogating people. I oppose torture. I would not be in favor of torture in any way, shape or form. As I just said, as a presidential candidate, I don’t think it is wise for us to describe specifically which measures we would and would not use. And that is something I would like to receive the counsel of not only Senator McCain but of a lot of other people. And there are people who for many, many years get the information we need to make sure to protect our country. By the way, I wanna make sure these folks are kept at Guantanamo. I don’t want people who are carrying out attacks in this country are brought into our jail system and be given legal representation in this country. I wanna make sure that what happen to Khalid Sheikh Mohamed happens to other people who are terrorists. He was captured, he was the so-called mastermind of the 9/11 tragedy, and he turn to his captors and he said, “I’ll see you in New York with my lawyers.” I presumed ACLU layers. That’s not what happened. He went to Guantanamo and he met G.I and CIA interrogators and that’s just exactly how it ought to be.”
November 28, 2007; CNN/Youtube Republican Presidential Debate, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Second Amendment: Individual or Collective Right?
In favor. "Let me speak very directly and candidly about where I stand. I support the Second Amendment as one of the most basic and fundamental rights of every American. It's essential to our functioning as a free society, as are all the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights..."
Sep 21, 2007, in a taped message to the NRA's Celebration of American Values
After throwing his support behind several gun control laws at the early stage of his political career, most notably, the Brady Act, Romney has reevaluated his position is now opposed to any further gun control legislations
"I believe we need to focus on enforcing our current laws rather than creating new laws that burden lawful gun owners. I believe in safe and responsible gun ownership and that anyone who exercises the right to keep and bear arms must do so lawfully and properly. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all federal approach to gun ownership because people keep and use firearms for different reasons. Law-abiding citizens have a right to protect their homes and their families and as President, I will vigorously defend that right."
January 7, 2008, The Washington Post
Healthcare is a very tricky and awkward issue for Governor Romney. On one hand, he has repeatedly declared that a Romney presidency would signal the immediate dismantling of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare). On the other hand, thanks to the Romney’s line-up of challengers for the Republican nomination and the season-spanning 20 presidential debates, almost every politically aware Americans are convinced that Romney’s own health care legislation in Massachusetts is the progenitor of Obama’s health-care plan.
Romney has been at pains to point out that the Massachusetts health care reform that he actively pushed for - alongside the late Senator Edward Kennedy - and subsequently signed into law as Governor of Massachusetts, was a state-level solution for a state-level problem - and in no way does it endorse a federal health care mandate.
Further, Romney contends that his veto of the legislation’s penalty clause, among others, was overridden by the state legislature. However, detractors argue that Romney’s attempt was made well after the finer details of the legislation had been finalized and agreed upon by both the state Republican and Democratic legislators, and was nothing more than a symbolic pandering attempt.
In addition, Romney’s critics from within the conservative circles point to several anecdotal and statistical data that show rising premium levels in the state as a result of Massachusetts’ universal health-care plan. The increased regulatory red tape stemming from the introduction of the new Health Care Connector into the buying process has also been widely criticized.
Another issue that has been gnawing at Romney’s campaign is the lack of an alternative health plan, beyond sporadic campaign rhetoric. Romney, however, has indicated that he will be unveiling his health-care plan before the presidential debate in October.
Essentially though, Romney is a supporter of universal health care. However, he wants to delegate its implementation to state level. He is against financial penalties for those who fail to comply with mandates. And similar to the Ryan plan, Romney proposes to divert money from Medicaid and other federal source of funding to the states.
Nonetheless, Romney clouded his position on the issue during an interview with David Gregory on NBC’s Meet The Press in September 2012 by stating that he is “not getting rid of all of health care reform” and intends to keep several aspects of it, namely, coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions and extended family policies for adult children.
I want to thank the many, many people in this room who are critical in crafting and (unintelligible) the bold health care initiative that I’m about to sign. There are a lot of parents for this initiative, as you know, and I’m gonna mention a few by name, and just a tiny part of their contributions…… Senator Kennedy, together we pitched the secretaries on our vision to insure all our citizens and on the need for federal support to make the vision real. His work in Washington and behind the scenes on Beacon Hill was absolutely essential…… It’s now my pleasure to introduce my collaborator and friend, Senator Edward Kennedy. Senator…
April 12, 2006: Romney speaking at the signing of the Massachusetts health care reform bill in Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts.
Baier: About your book, you talk about Massachusetts healthcare, and we've heard you many times, in the debates and interviews, talk about how it is different in your mind than the president's healthcare law, Obamacare. The question is, do you still support the idea of a mandate? Do you believe that that was the right thing for Massachusetts? Do you think a mandate, mandating people to buy insurance, is the right tool?
Romney: Bret, I don't know how many hundred times I've said this too. This is an unusual interview. All right. Let's do it again.
Absolutely. What we did in Massachusetts was right for Massachusetts. I've said that time and time again, that people of the state continue to support it by about 3-1, but it's also designed for Massachusetts, not for the nation, and at the time our bill was passed, and that was brought forward as an issue, there were people who said, is this something you'd like to have the entire nation do? I said no. This is not a federal plan, it's a state plan. And under the constitution, states should be able to craft their own plans…
Baier: So, Governor, you did say on camera and other places that, at times, you thought it would be a model for the nation.
Romney: You're wrong, Bret.
Baier: No, no. There's tape…
Romney: No, the tape out there, continue to read the tape, and the tape goes on to say, ‘for each state to be able to look at’. I was asked time and again, in the last debates. Look back at the 2008 campaign, on the stage, I was asked at the debate ‘is your Massachusetts plan something you would have the nation do as a federal plan?’
Each time said no, the answer is no.
When you write a book, you have the ability to put down your entire view. And I put in that book as clearly as I possibly could, that the plan we did in Massachusetts had many features that I thought should be adopted by the states. I thought there were very good ideas in there. They could be a model for the entire… states
Baier: nation? You think that you are well positioned to go up against President Obama on the issue of health care?
Romney: Of course! The best, the best equipped. The best equipped. I understand healthcare. Spent a good portion of my career working in healthcare. I came out with a plan, unlike his, that doesn’t cost a trillion dollars. Unlike his, we didn’t raise taxes. Unlike his, I didn’t cut Medicare by half a trillion dollars. Unlike his, my plan’s constitutional. So what I did, worked for our state in the way the Constitution intends, which is states crafting plan that worked for their states – not a federal one size fits all plan…
November 29, 2011: Romney in an interview with Bret Baier on Fox News
David Gregory: A couple of specific areas on health care. You say that you would rescind the president's health care plan on day one. Does that mean that you're prepared to say to Americans, young adults, and those with pre-existing conditions, that they would no longer be guaranteed health care?
Gov. Romney: Well, of course not. I'd say we're going to replace Obamacare, and I'm replacing it with my own plan. And you know, even in Massachusetts, where I was governor, our plan there, deals with pre-existing conditions, and with young people.
Gregory: So you'd keep that as part of the federal plan?
Gov. Romney: Well, I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform, of course. There are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm gonna put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family, their family up to whatever age they might like. I also want individuals to be able to buy insurance, health insurance, on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantage basis through their company.
Gregory: Well that brings us to Medicare, because one of the things you believed in was the idea of premium support or a voucher for seniors under Medicare is to achieve the goal of solvency. Direct question: if competitive bidding in Medicare fails to bring down prices, you have a choice of either passing that cost on to seniors, or blowing up the deficit. What would you do?
Gov. Romney: Well, let's stand back, first. There's nothing about seniors in our plan…
Gregory: You'd wait ten years to implement any plan?
Gov. Romney: … because there's no change for anyone who is retired or nearing retirement. It's only dealing with people in their 30s, 20s, 40s, and early 50s. That's the group we're dealing with and saying what's the best deal for them? It strikes me the best deal for them is to either buy current Medicare or to have a private plan. A lot like Medicare advantage today. I like Medicare advantage.
Gregory: That didn't drive down prices, governor.
Gov. Romney: Oh, it sure did. Actually what, what you're saying with Medicare today was Medicare part "D" the prescription drug benefit, is that congress, in putting this together, said look we're gonna allow companies to compete for a package of prescription drug benefits, and the cost that they've come up with is far less than anyone predicted. Competition, look competition works.
“His plan is not the plan I’ll put forward, I have my own plan… I’ll be putting that out before I debate President Obama."
Jun 2, 2011 : Interview with ABC News’ John Berman “Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced.”
April 11, 2006: Op-ed for The Wall Street Journal “Free enterprise is the way America works… We need to apply that to health care… Regardless of what they do, it’s going to be after the next president to either repeal and replace or replace Obamacare - and I intend to do both.”
June 12, 2012: Romney speaking to a group of small business owners in the warehouse of Con Air Industries, in Orlando, Florida. Step 1: Give states the responsibility, flexibility and resources to care for citizens who are poor, uninsured or chronically ill. This reform speaks to the central advantage of our federalist system — that different states will experiment with and settle on the solutions that suit their residents best. Some states might pass a plan like the one we did in Massachusetts, while others will choose an altogether different route. We can empower states to expand health care access to low-income Americans by block-granting funds for Medicaid and the uninsured. My reforms also offer the states resources to help the chronically ill — both to improve their access to care and to improve the functioning of insurance markets for others.
Step 2: Reform the tax code to promote the individual ownership of health insurance. The tax code offers open-ended subsidies for the purchase of insurance through employers. This subsidy is unfair — as it doesn't apply to insurance purchased on one's own. I propose to give individuals a choice between the current system and a tax deduction to buy insurance on their own. This simple change creates the best of both worlds. Absolutely nothing will change for those who like their current coverage. And individuals who don't get coverage through their employers will have portable, lower-cost options.
Step 3: Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work. This means both correcting common failures in insurance markets as well as eliminating counterproductive federal rules. For example, individuals who are continuously covered for a specified period of time may not be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions. And individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, free from costly state benefit requirements. Finally, individuals and small businesses should be allowed to form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice.
Step 4: Reform medical liability. We should cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice litigation. The federal government would also provide innovation grants to states for reforms, such as alternative dispute resolution or health care courts.
Step 5: Make health care more like a consumer market and less like a government program. This can be done by strengthening health savings accounts that help consumers save for health expenses and choose cost-effective insurance. For example, we should eliminate the minimum deductible requirement for HSAs. The market reforms I am proposing will drive down costs, better inform consumers and improve the quality of health care in our nation.
May 11, 2011: Romney’s Op-Ed with USA Today, As first act, out with ObamaCare Mitt's Plan
On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible. In place of Obamacare, Mitt will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.
Restore State Leadership and Flexibility
•Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
•Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
•Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
•Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
•Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution
Promote Free Markets and Fair Competition
•Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
•Empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools
•Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage
•Facilitate IT interoperability
Empower Consumer Choice
•End tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance
•Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
•Unshackle HSAs by allowing funds to be used for insurance premiums
•Promote "co-insurance" products
•Promote alternatives to "fee for service"
•Encourage "Consumer Reports"-type ratings of alternative insurance plans
“I am a great proponent of legal immigration… Many of you are living proof of the unique strength of America that is constantly renewed by new Americans. The promise of America has brought some of the world’s best and brightest to our shores.”
September 2, 2011, speech to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly Convention in Tampa, Florida
"I love immigration. I love legal immigrants coming into our country ... My guess is everybody in this room is a descendant of an immigrant or an immigrant himself. So we love immigration as Americans. Immigration brings us education, new cultures, ideas, innovative talent. It's wonderful to have legal immigration. I don't like illegal immigration."
February 8, 2007; Radio Iowa News
Very much against.
Illegal immigration has got to end and any form of citizenship amnesty is troublesome.
September 13, 2007; Midland Reporter-Telegram
"The idea of an amnesty-type provision is something I oppose and continue to oppose."
"Governor Romney believes more state and local authorities should work with the federal government to enforce immigration laws. This builds off of his experience in Massachusetts where he deputized the State Police to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and enforce federal immigration laws ... Governor Romney will provide additional resources to enforce existing immigration laws throughout the nation. We cannot be serious about our immigration laws until we provide the resources needed to enforce them. "
November 9, 2007, Official Press Release from MittRomney.com
"We must stop providing the incentives that promote illegal immigration… As governor, I vetoed legislation that would have provided in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants and I strengthened the authority our state troopers had to enforce existing immigration laws."
September 2, 2011, speech to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly Convention in Tampa, Florida
"Let me tell you about immigration from my standpoint. I think number one, we should secure out border, and number two, We should put in place an employment verification system. And by that I mean that everybody who is not a United States citizen with a valid social security number would be expected to get a card with their name and number and some biometric information and would indicate their work status. Whether they have a visa that allows them to work here or not. And then when an employer is thinking of hiring someone, if they don't have a valid social security number, he/she ask for the card, they put the number in the computer, and the federal database immediately tells them whether they are available to be working or not. If they're not, you can't hire them. And if you do, you get the same penalties and fines as if you are not paying your taxes."
April 3, 2007, Romney answering questions in the "Ask Mitt Anything" forum in Derry, New Hampshire.
•U.S. Mexico Border Fence
“civil but resolute ... to do a better job of securing its borders, and as president, I will. That means completing construction of a high-tech fence, and investing in adequate manpower and resources.”
September 2, 2011, speech to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly Convention in Tampa, Florida
Well, let’s — let’s start back from there and let’s talk about where we are. This is, of course, President Obama’s greatest failing, from a foreign policy standpoint, which is he recognized the gravest threat that America and the world faced as — and faced was a nuclear Iran and he did not do what was necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. What he should have done is speak out when dissidents took to the streets and say America is with you and work on a covert basis to encourage the dissidents. Number two, he should have put — put in place crippling sanctions against Iran. But instead of getting Russia, for instance, to when — when he gave in our — our missile defense system, to agree to — to stand with those crippling sanctions, he gave Russia what they wanted, their number one foreign policy objective, and got nothing in return...
... Finally, the president should have built a credible threat of military action and made it very clear that the United States of America is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Look, one thing you can know and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you elect me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon...
... Well, it’s worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It’s worth working with the insurgents in the country to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we’ve done, there’s nothing else we could do besides mil — take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This term unacceptable has been applied by several presidents over history. And our current president has made it very clear that he’s not willing to do those things necessary to get Iran to be dissuaded from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course. I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition.
January 7, 2012: Romney speaking at the ABCNews - WMURTV GOP Debate at St. Anselm College, New Hampshire
• In Mitt Romney's opinion amidst the many critical challenges that America faces today, the threat of violent and radical Jihad and the threat of nuclear proliferation stand at the top.
• Romney cites the former President Jimmy Carter's view with regard to bringing peace to the Holy Land and thinks the opposite. According to him, it is only helping to prevent terror and bloodshed and violence.
• Romney quotes. "State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel."
• Romney fears that radical Islam has one goal; to replace all Islamic states in the world under one caliphate and convert the non-believers of Islam forcibly, if necessary, to Islam. He says that this plan is more irrational than the Nazi Germany policies of the 1930s and Stalin?s Cold War or the 1940s.
• Mitt Romney has committed that he would defeat the jihadists all around the world. Most of his speeches however focus on restricting Iran rather than making decisions to resolve the tension between Israel and Palestine.
• Romney requested the Arab states to stop providing weapons and financial support to Hezbollah and Hamas and instead to put pressure on the Palestinians to "drop terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist."
• Mitt Romney strongly supports the security wall that divides Israel from the West Bank.
Romney appears to have had a 180 degree turn on the issue within the space of three months. At a campaign event in New Hampshire in January, Romney was supportive of increasing the minimum wage. However, in March, Romney seems to have had a change of heart during an appearance on The Kudlow Report .
“My view has been to allow the minimum wage to rise with the CPI or with another index so that it adjusts automatically over time.”
Question: So you’d support that as president?
Romney: I already indicated that when I was governor of Massachusetts and that’s my view.
Jan 7 2012: Romney answering a question during a campaign event before the New Hampshire primary
“Larry Kudlow: All right, last one. It's an economic question. A lot of conservatives, led by The Wall Street Journal editorial page, were horrified when you said you want to index the minimum wage for inflation. And they said, `Look, that's just going to raise the minimum wage. That's going to raise the unemployment rate, especially for young people, especially for minorities. It's sort of a little bit of unfinished business.' Why do you want to raise the minimum wage? Why do you want to index it for inflation?
Mitt Romney: Well, actually, when I was governor the legislature passed a law raising the minimum wage. I vetoed it… And I said, `Look, the way to deal with the minimum wage is this. On a regular basis,' I said in the proposal I made, `every two years we should look at the minimum wage, we should look at what's happened to inflation. We should also look at the jobs level throughout the country, unemployment rate, competitive rates in other states or, in this case, other nations.' So, certainly, the level of inflation is something you should look at and you should identify what's the right way to keep America competitive…
… Yeah, so that would tell you that right now there's probably not a need to raise the minimum wage. What I can tell you is had one indexed the minimum wage back to, let's say, 1990, the minimum wage would be lower now than it actually is. Democrats make big hay of this every few years, `Oh, we're going to raise the minimum wage', and get a lot of hoopla for it. Frankly, the right way to process it is to look at the minimum wage, look at how unemployment rates are, make adjustments as time goes on based upon our need to compete, the need of the job market, and, of course, what's happened to inflation.”
• Mitt Romney feels that USA should hike up military spending to 4% of the country's GDP. He also believes that the Government should increase the active duty work force by ten thousand.
• Mitt Romney stands for wire tapping mosques to keep a check on Islamic terrorists and feels that USA should stridently hike up the military investment to counter act racial jihad.
• Romney feels that USA should employ both military and diplomatic actions to win the Jihadists. He supports bringing in a global and non military effort to counter act jihad. He also told the press "I want to bring in a real strong team of people who have different backgrounds, a lot from the private sector, and I want to take on a whole series of efforts."
• He thinks that USA should not weaken Musharaff of Pakistan as they need an ally to counter act Bin Laden.
• One of the most important things that Romney regrets in life is not having joined the military even though he was eligible for the draft.
• Romney believes that the FBI should have the power to wiretap mosques and spy on new Muslims who came to reside in the country.
• He once stated, "my view is, we ought to double Guantanamo" so that the terrorist will be prevented from getting any access to lawyers.
Romney distrusts the North Korean’s sincerity at the bargaining table, and prefers a firm and comprehensive approach in dealing with them.
Well, I'm hopeful that the key to the deal which is additional inspectors by IAEA -- inspectors, will let us determine whether or not they're cheating. Because I think the experience we've had with North Korea is, just like the last time that President Clinton entered into an agreed framework, that the North Koreans cheat… I'm not going to tell you whether right now it's a good agreement. But I know what the problem is in the agreement, and that's unless the IAEA has the kind of inspections that we could be sure they're not cheating, then it would not be a step forward. And that's going to be critical.
February 18, 2007: Romney commenting on President Bush’s proposed deal with North Korea, to reward the regime with aid in return for freezing their nuclear program.
“What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity—opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don’t have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves—a “Purpose Driven Life.” And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation’s strength and they always will be!
The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960’s welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven’t given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug—we have got to fight it like the poison it is!”
January 7, 2008: Romney speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in New Hampshire
“Well, my system is primarily based on trying to create jobs, not handing out cash to individuals. I do lower the lowest income tax bracket from 10 percent to 7.5 percent. And that helps, of course, people at the low economic level.
But also for individuals 65 and older, the fact that they're not going to be paying any Social Security or Medicare taxes anymore, no more payroll taxes, means that that's going to be a break for them.
But the heart of what I'm doing is trying to get businesses to become more active, buying capital equipment, trying to get businesses to grow in this country and to create more jobs, because the best, obviously, the best antidote to having an economic slowdown is growth in the business sector, creating jobs, putting more people at work and, of course, that generates more income for everybody…
Well, it's jobs. It's focused on jobs. And certainly, what you want to do is provide the incentives to help companies to be creating new jobs. I think the number of 50 million strikes a little high. But for those that are not paying any taxes at all, simply writing a check doesn't seem to me to be the right course to follow.”
January 20, 2008: Interview on FoxNews Sunday
“I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I will fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich. They're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 99 percent of Americans who right now are struggling. And I will continue to that mistake across the nation…
… Well, you had to finish the sentence, Soledad. I said I'm not concerned about the very poor that have the safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them…
… You've got to take the whole sentence, all right, as opposed to saying, and then change it just a little bit, because then it sounds very different. I've said throughout the campaign my focus, my concern, my energy is going to be devoted to helping middle income people, all right? We have a safety net for the poor in, and if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that. And if there are people that are falling through the cracks I want to fix that.”
February 1, 2012: Romney, in an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien
“The final product on Medicare Part D, that final bill was sort of sausage squared, the idea you don't want to see how sausage is made… (President Bush) wanted to bring prescription coverage to seniors. He got that done, that's huge.... It has with it a financial burden which is very large. I don't imagine that that was what he was aiming for when he thought about this during his campaign… I would have hoped to do it differently, I would have hoped to include within the additional prescription benefits certain reforms to Medicaid, Medicare, and our entire healthcare system to be able to pay for a very helpful prescription drug benefit.”
January 27, 2006: Romney, speaking at a Christian Science Monitor-sponsored lunch, voicing his criticism on former President Bush’s Medicare Part D, a prescription drug program under Medicare, which extends coverage for ‘donut holes’ in existing plans.
Romney’s position on the issue of LGBT has undergone an evolution over the course of his 18-year political career, reflecting his personal struggle over the issue – although, for the record, he insists that his stance has always been the same, and cites the changing definition of the term ‘gay rights’ as the source of the misconception.
He was supportive of the LGBT movement’s cause early in his political career, especially during his campaign for the Massachusetts Senate seat in 1994. Following a meeting with the local chapter of the Log Cabin Club, which is the only pro-LGBT Republican organization of note in the country, Romney wrote to the club members’ to reaffirm his commitment to their cause ( original letter ).
“I am pleased to have had an opportunity to talk with you and to meet many of you personally during your September meeting. I learned a great deal from those discussions and many thoughtful questions you posed. As a result of our discussions and other interactions with gay and lesbian voters across the state, I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.
I am not unaware of my opponents considerable record in the area of civil rights, or the commitment of Massachusetts voters to the principle of equality for all Americans. For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponent's record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.”
In an appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight last year, Romney outlined his views on the subject, making a clear distinction between his faith and politics.
Morgan : What is the gay right that you’re in favor of?
Romney : Equal rights in employment, equal rights in, I mean, for instance, as the Governor, I had members of my team that were gay. I appointed a couple of judges who apparently I find out were gay. Look, I didn’t ask people their sexual orientation
Morgan : Does your faith mean that you view homosexuality as a sin?
Romney : I separate quite distinctly matters of personal faith from the leadership that one has in a political sense.
Morgan : Can you do that?
Romney : Absolutely.
Morgan : Seriously?
Romney : You don’t begin to apply the doctrine of religion to responsibility for guiding a nation or guiding a state.
Morgan : But what is the Mormon position on homosexuality being a sin?
Romney : You know, that’s something you can take up with the church. I’m not a spokesman for my church. I’m not a spokesman for my church, and one thing I’m not gonna do in running for president is become a spokesman for my church, or apply a religious test which simply is forbidden by the constitution. I’m not going there.
June 7, 2011: Romney on Piers Morgan Tonight
Romney on Marriage
I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I disagree with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. I will support an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution to make that expressly clear. Of course, basic civil rights, and certain appropriate benefits should be available to people in non-traditional relationships. But marriage is a special institution between a man and a woman, and our Constitution and laws should reflect that.
November 18, 2003: Romney’s statement as Governor of Massachusetts, reacting to the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is protected in the Massachusetts Constitution.
Romney on Civil Unions<
From day one I've opposed the move for same-sex marriage and its equivalent, civil unions
February 21, 2005: Speaking at a Republican rally in South Carolina Republicans
Chris Matthews: Do you think there's any difference, really, between a gay marriage and something called a civil union? Mitt Romney: Well, I would rather have neither, to tell you the truth. I'd rather that domestic partner benefits, such as hospital - hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples. I don't want civil unions or gay marriage. But there is a difference, even when just the word is the difference.And the difference is that, if you indicate as a society that you're indifferent between a same-sex couple marrying and a heterosexual couple marrying, then it means our schools and other institutions are going to have to indicate that there is no difference whatsoever, and that obviously has societal consequences that are important.
Question: How do you feel about gays serving openly in the military.
Romney on DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell)
Question: How do you feel about gays serving openly in the military. Romney: That’s already occurred and I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage. < Question: But you’re comfortable with it? Romney: I was not comfortable making the change during a period of conflict, by virtue of the complicating the features of a new program in the middle of two wars going on, but those wars are winding down and moving to that direction at this stage no longer presents that problem.
November 9, 2011: Romney meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.
Romney on ‘Defense of Marriage Act’
The actions that I take as president depends on part on the state of play in Washington, the people that are there and what options exists - but certainly I would defend the Defense of Marriage Act which the current president has refused to defend. I believe that the Defense of Marriage Act was well constructed and should be maintained.
November 9, 2011: Romney meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.