GOLDEN, Colo. -- Making his first public campaign appearance since returning stateside in the battleground state of Colorado, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney talked up a five-point economic plan he believes will help bring America “roaring back.”
The five parts of the plan: (1) Energy: “take advantage of our energy, number one; (2) Education: “get our skills right. I’m talking about our kids and also our adults- right programs to get people back to work and have the skills to succeed; (3) Trade: “opening up trade and keeping the cheaters from being able to steal American jobs; (4) Balancing the budget: “getting us on track to a balanced budget by lowering our deficits”; and (5) Deregulation of business: “championing small business, making it easier for small business to grow and thrive in every way possible.
“We do those things,” Romney insisted, “you’re going to see this economy come roaring back- manufacturing, jobs of all kinds are going to come back.”
However, these five points aren’t new; they were ones he has talked about previously on the campaign trail. In fact, his campaign acknowledged this morning in a conference call with reporters that he would not likely tread new economic policy ground in this election.
So far, the campaign has offered few specifics on these five points. Yet the campaign later passed around an eight-page “white paper” with more on his plan and defending its rationale (which was pasted below).
Romney’s event in this Denver suburb Thursday was just 30 miles from where the shootings in Aurora, CO, took place nearly two weeks ago. Romney mentioned the tragedy during his 25-minute speech, prompting a standing ovation in support of the victims, and then told the crowd he met with one of the victims this morning.
“I'm sure you know this,” Romney said, “this tragedy has impacted the community of Aurora. I'm sure it’s impacted the entire state. The trauma here has got to be extraordinary. But across the country, people are thinking about Aurora and the tragedy there and the lives that have been lost and lives changed forever. We love you, and we pray for you. You're in our hearts, and you're in our prayers."
Marking his return from a six-day stint overseas that included a trip to the 2012 London Olympic Games plus Israel and Poland, Romney was gave a shout out to one of Colorado’s own Olympians – swimmer Missy Franklin.
But the event here was also a chance for presumptive nominee to reset the tone of the campaign after several public gaffes while he was abroad.
With less than 100 days before the election in November, the Romney campaign again tried to show the difference in records between President Obama and Romney as governor of Massachusetts. At the event here, the Romney campaign handed out a new “Presidential Accountability Scorecard,” a report card on President Obama’s economic record.
“Ever since I was in elementary school, we got report cards, and you saw on the report card, how you were doing,” Romney told the several hundred people at the Jeffco Fairgrounds. “I am going to be a little more straight forwarding with grading today because, you see, when the president was here as a candidate accepting the nomination four years ago in Colorado, he laid out the report card upon which he hoped to be judged by.”
Romney added, “All measures he laid out, are measures that have gone in the wrong direction. … if I am elected President of the United States of America, my promise to you is I am going to get all those arrows green again."
Also joining the former Massachusetts governor today in the Centennial State -- Beth Myers, Romney’s longtime confidant who is heading up his vice-presidential search. Myers’ presence will only further the growing speculation that Romney will announce his choice very soon for his No. 2.
This afternoon, Romney will join Republican governors – including potential VP picks, LA Gov. Bobby Jindal and VA Gov. Bob McDonnell – near Aspen, CO for a roundtable event.
“The Romney plan has three overarching objectives: to restore confidence in America’s economic future, to make America once again a place to invest and grow, and to provide opportunities for Americans to compete and succeed. These objectives are all about unlocking the potential for innovation, investment, and initiative in America’s dynamic economy.
“The Romney plan will achieve these objectives with four main economic pillars:
- Stop Runaway Federal Spending And Debt.
- Reduce federal spending as a share of GDP to 20 percent – its pre-crisis average – by 2016.
- In so doing, reduce policy uncertainty over the need for future tax increases.
- Reform The Nation’s Tax Code To Increase Growth And Job Creation.
- Reduce individual marginal income tax rates across-the-board by 20 percent, while keeping current low tax rates on dividends and capital gains. Reduce the corporate income tax rate – the highest in the world – to 25 percent.
- Broaden the tax base to ensure that tax reform is revenue-neutral.
- Reform Entitlement Programs To Ensure Their Viability.
- Gradually reduce growth in Social Security and Medicare benefits for more affluent seniors. Give more choice in Medicare to improve value in health care spending.
- Block grant the Medicaid program to states, enabling experimentation to better fit local situations.
- Make Growth And Cost-Benefit Analysis Important Features Of Regulation.
- Remove regulatory impediments to energy production and innovation that raise costs to consumers and limit job creation.
- Repeal and replace the Dodd-Frank Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Romney alternatives will emphasize better financial regulation and market-oriented, patient-centered health care reform.