July 7th, 2007
08:47 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney critical of Democrats before young Republican audience

Romney campaigned in Florida Saturday.

(CNN)-Speaking before the Young Republican National Convention in Hollywood, Florida Saturday night, Mitt Romney drew a sharp contrast of the Republican and Democratic party philosophies for the 2008 election.

He singled out New York Senator Hillary Clinton for criticism saying she would immediately raise corporate and personal income taxes. "Corporate taxes aren't the end of it. Democrats have their sights on 2011 for a record-breaking personal income tax hike," he said. "And whenever you take money away from citizens, and give their money to government, you slow down the economy."

Romney did take both parties in Congress to task over earmark legislation, the narrowly targeted spending items members of Congress attach to spending bills to direct money to their districts and states. "If I am elected president, I will cap non-defense discretionary spending at inflation minus one percent," Romney said. "If Congress sends me appropriations that exceeds that cap, I will veto them. I don't care if it's a Republican or a Democratic Congress. I will veto."

When it came to health care, Romney championed coverage through the private sector, over the increase in taxes and insurance premiums he sees with Democratic proposals. "At least Barack Obama had the courage to admit that his plan means higher taxes," he said. "The right answer for healthcare isn't government, and the new Secretary of Health and Human Services should not be Michael Moore."

On national security, Romney citied the recent terror incidents in the United Kingdom as an example of why he believes an offensive posture on terror is necessary. "America will either remain the world's superpower or instead become just another member of the family of nations. If we choose strength, we will be remembered by our children as a great generation. If we choose weakness, we will be remembered as something much less."

Romney was the keynote speaker for the event. He campaigned in West Palm Beach, Florida earlier in the day.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Paul, you're a professor? If you impeach Bush, you'll have Cheney for President. Would that make you happy? Obviously the impeachment isn't worthwhile.

    July 9, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    BLAKE: NO CITY NO STATE! He must be privilidged I can't get my comments to post without including both.

    "when it comes to the economy, Romney’s the guy. Look what he did with Massachusetts. Look what he did with the Olympics."
    When Romney takes up the war where Bush left off you can forget about your economy! He'll need Olympians and lots of embezzlers to bring the economy under control!

    July 9, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Pen, Austin, Tx

    Talk about the status quo. It is sad to see a man worth several hundred million dollars ignore the health care crisis in this country. 'An offensive posture on terror"? This guy is Bush all over again–Bush's approval is at 30% and Romney is no different than Bush

    July 9, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Anonymous

    and good for the individual since they wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not their insurance company was going to approve their treatment and how much they will have to pay out of pocket.

    No Instead, they would just have to worry if some beauracrat will approve the operation. Oh, sorry, so and so, our budget doesnt account for your needed operation, and youve overshot your allowance. Damn shame..

    July 9, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Tom Dedham, Mass

    "Tom from Dedham Mass, is against Hillary because she said she’s not home baking cookies and he thinks all women should be so in his mind she snubbed American Women
    Tricia M Charlottetown PEI"
    What's your point?

    If you are ok with Hillary saying "Well at least I am not just home baking cookies", go ahead and vote for her.

    That was an insult to the many stay at home Mom's and the working women who actually are home for their children cooking a nice dinner and being a good mom. She degraded them, not me.

    That is not he only reason I dislike her.

    Also Mitt Romney before his term was up in Mass, helped get legislation passed that made health care a reality in the state.

    Even Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy applauded his efforts in getting this done.

    July 9, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Jon, Sacramento, CA

    Rick in Chicago...

    And you're ok that Hillary voted for the war.. BEFORE she was against it. NOW she's agaisnt it, no wait .. she voted to fund the troops but she definitely NOT for the war. Well..um.. we're not really sure WHAT she stands for.. but you'd vote for her if she were the nominated candidate, yes?

    July 9, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Rick, Chcago Illinois

    Jon in Sacramento … give the “Clinton Voted for the Iraq War!!!” and “Dems/Congress voted for this war” shtick a rest already. They voted for the Iraq war based on the bogus and selective intel – primarily the “imminenet threat” of WMDs pushed by Dubya. It’s a well known fact that without the WMD angle being shoved down everybody’s throat that NOBODY except the White House would have favored the invasion – not Congress and not the people of this country. Congressmen have already said that if they knew then what they know now (that the decade-old WMD hearsay was BS), they never would have authorized an invasion.

    I’ll paraphrase a memo (via http://feinstein.senate.gov/crs-intel.htm) entitled “Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information” sent from Sen. Dianne Feinstein to Alfred Cumming, (Specialist in Intelligence and National Security in the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division):

    “The President is able to control dissemination of intelligence information to Congress because the Intelligence Community is part of the executive branch. It was created by law and executive order principally to serve that branch of government in the execution of its responsibilities. Thus, as the head of the executive branch, the President generally is acknowledged to be "the owner" of national intelligence. As a result, the President, and a small number of presidentially-designated Cabinet-level officials, including the Vice President – in contrast to Members of Congress have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods.”

    It also states that the executive branch generally does not routinely share with Congress four general types of intelligence information: 1) the identities of intelligence sources (like disgraced whackjobs like Ahmad Chalabi and Curveball); 2) the "methods" employed by the Intelligence Community in collecting and analyzing intelligence (like via torture in secret prisons); 3)"raw" intelligence, which can be unevaluated or "lightly" evaluated intelligence, which in the case of human intelligence sometimes is provided by a single source, but which also could consist of intelligence derived from multiple sources when signals and imagery collection methods are employed (like the VERY “lightly” evaluated intel concerning those “mobile weapons labs” touted by Powel that turned out to be nothing more than water trucks); and 4) certain written intelligence products tailored to the specific needs of the President and other high-level executive branch policymakers (like the President's Daily Brief).

    So basically, he can reveal selected (favorable and “lightly evaluated”) pieces of intel, not reveal their source (Chalabi, Curveball, etc), and/or not reveal how it was obtained (via he application of “torture” until something/anything is said to stop it). And he can do all of this – legally – as he sees fit. So yeah, other than all of that mentioned above, Congress saw everything that Bush and his administration saw before he invaded Iraq. And yet this lie keeps getting repeated much like the Fox News favorite “Osama was offered to Clinton and Clinton turned him down” lie – Syria offered to send Osama to SAUDI ARABIA, and SAUDI ARABIA refused him. The point is, Dubya, as head of he Executive branch, has the ability to restrict what ANYBODY sees … and thus the ability to hide the conflicting info and push the supporting info. And guess which info he made damn sure everybody saw?

    The supporting info – a consciously calculated SUBSET of the intel that Bush had at his disposal. So yeah, they saw “everything” ... everything that BOLSTERED his case for war ... regardless of how credible it was. It’s what’s called “modifying the intel to fit the policy”, or selective intelligence dissemination. The White House even acknowledged it can restrict certain intel when it defended the 149 signing statements that Dubya has used to skirt congressional laws he’s supposed to be following, saying that the president has authority to withhold information from Congress that it considers privileged.

    And here’s a specific example of that selective information restriction. On September 25, 2006, it was revealed that a leaked (to the press) portion of the National Intelligence Estimate (put out by the National Intelligence Council) concludes that the Iraq war has WORSENED the terrorist threat to the United States. The New York Times, which reported on the document, said that the new NIE document "attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee."

    And here’s where the “restriction” part comes in … TWICE!

    First: The document (the most comprehensive report on intelligence provided by the government) began compilation in 2004 and concluded in April. In APRIL! About the same time Bush was touting all the progress he’s made during the war – something he CONTINUED to do even as a second consecutive increase in troops was on the way there! And continued to do up until he got slapped back to reality by the Nov 2006 congressional elections and by his own Sec of Defense when Robert Gates admitted to a senate committee that we were NOT winning the war.

    Yet this FIVE MONTHS-OLD document had NOT, as of 09/25/06, been shared with senators (CONGRESS). And WHY was that? Because it was classified, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told ABC's "This Week."

    And Second: the White House only ended up SELECTIVELY declassifying and releasing PARTS of the report! A total of four pages (out of 30) were declassified. But what about the other 26 pages we didn’t see? Apparently those pages – that ones that didn’t paint such a rosy picture were conveniently “matters of national security” and therefore couldn’t be released. I guess we’re just lucky that the damned “traitorous” media got their hands on it, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen ANY of it at all!

    Now stop blaming anyone who voted for a war when they were spoon-fed bogus intelligence by the person who owned it.

    And to answer your question, yes I probably would still vote for Hillary over ANY of the current Bush clones on the repub side except for MAYBE Ron Paul, since he's the only one that is blaming out self-serving foreign policies for helping create the enemies we have now. I'll have to do more research on him though and see how often he goes to bat for religious agendas.

    July 9, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Blake

    Nashville, Tennessee. See above. Romney threw out the embezzlers and other crooks...I see him doing the same in DC.

    July 9, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI


    Well I haven't seen any blog comments, media reports, or newspaper editorials from working or stay at home Moms stating they felt insulted or degraded by her comment. Then I'm sure there aren't many working Moms who have time today to bake cookies very often. And even the stay at home Moms today have more than a busy schedule trying to keep up with all the responsibilities that fall under their jurisdiction.

    There were more Candidates than Hillary that voted for the war and now say they wouldn't have knowing what they know now. Barack for one. And also more Candidates than Hillary who stated they would fund the war but implement a time table to begin bringing the troops home. To not fund a War already in Progress with Bush Stating He'd Veteo any time tables for bringing troops home would be a vote to leave the Military without the equipment they need to do the job and try to maintain some level of safety while doing it. What American would not vote to fund the war while their troops were in the trenches?

    And You Bet I'd Vote For Her If She Were Nominated. In my view, there are only two choices to date, Hillary and Barack. And unlike some who voted for Bush twice. I wouldn't have voted for him the once!

    July 10, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
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