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. Brian, Iowa

    I love this guy, I appreciate the fact that he has specifics in his plans contrary to many other candidates.

    July 7, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  2. Ashen Shard, Chambersburg, PA

    Every time there is a campaign Republicans bring out the bogeyman that Democrats will raise taxes. There would be no need for a tax increase if Republicans, who had total control for six years, had not made use of so much deficit spending not to mention how much this war is adding to the debt. Clinton went out creating what would have been one of, if not the greatest surplus in our governments history. Then Bush and his fellow Republicans went and gave everyone a refund and now has burdened our country with a debt that threatens the stability of this nation.

    As for health care, if you replace the premiums people and businesses will pay with a tax for a nationalized system, it will cost less for businesses and individuals. In the end it would be good for business (except for the bloated health insurance companies) since they wouldn't have to pay out so much, 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. The private system has proven itself to be morally corrupt since it puts profit above human well being and life.

    July 7, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. Joe Kerr, Albany, NY

    Romney and other Republican candidates love to bleat on and on about Reagan's tax cuts, but seem to have forgotten that Reagan also raised taxes.

    July 7, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Romney is the only candidate so far that doesn't speak in cliches and vagueness. Romney is so studied and specific about the problems and the solution. He is out to make America better.

    He is telling the truth about Hillary's approach, he is telling the truth about Obama's approach. If you like that approach, more taxes and government agencies, that's fine.

    Romney made universal health care work in a much more efficient way without involving more wasteful government bureaucracy.

    And yes, government mucks up and red tapes to death whatever they touch. He is wise to suggest a smaller government approach to universal health care rather than a larger one.

    July 7, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. Deven, California

    "The right answer for healthcare isn't government, and the new Secretary of Health and Human Services should not be Michael Moore."

    Romney knows what he's talking about.

    July 7, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  6. S. Richard, Olathe, KS

    “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.”

    Romney is so logical, specific, intelligent, and well-versed. I love the guy.

    July 7, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  7. Ashen Shard, Chambersburg, PA

    If any spending needs to be capped, it is so called 'defense' spending which takes up more than half of the official budget at the moment (this does not include the costs of the war in Iraq).

    July 8, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  8. Mark C, Morehead City NC

    “And whenever you take money away from citizens, and give their money to government, you slow down the economy.”

    What a moron.

    Yes it slows the economy. Sometimes the economy needs slowing - ask the Federal Reserve Board. Whether slowing the economy is good or bad is entirely sitational.

    Furthermore, the reason it slows the economy is that when you raise taxes without increasing spending, you lower the deficit. This provides less stimulus. Keynes figured this out some time ago. And the thing is, it doesn't matter if you raise taxes or lower spending. Either one will slow the economy, to precisely the same degree.

    Yet he goes on to advocate lowering spending, which will have precisely the same effect as raising taxes. The guy seriously needs to take ECON 102 some time.

    July 8, 2007 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  9. M Ciccarello

    Romney is so logical, specific, intelligent, and well-versed

    I'm confused: was this when he was specifically pro-choice, or specifically pro-life? When he was specifically pro-stem-cell-research, or specifically against it? When he was specifically for civil unions for gays, or specifically against? Specifically for gays serving openly in the military, or specifically against?

    Maybe he should take some time off from his varmint hunting and clarify.

    July 8, 2007 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  10. Paul, Louisville, KY

    Heh...see some of the Kool-Aid drinkers are here. This man is hypocrisy personified. Why are you falling for this stuff? Didn't four years of Shrub tell you guys anything? He's cut from the same cloth...well, he IS a Republican, so I guess the state of our nation is all right with you, then.

    What happened to America?

    July 8, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  11. Evan, Bloomington Indiana

    I hate when politicians step into the realm of economics when they obviously never took macroecon 101. Slowing down the economy by raising taxes is not necessarily a bad thing. It keeps inflation in check, and it makes sure that the natural swings in the business cycle don't go get out of control. So when there is a downturn, it won't be as serious.

    July 8, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Tom, Dedham, Mass

    Clinton cut the deficit by doing one thing only, SHREDDING DEFENSE SPENDING.

    How'd that work out in protecting us from the numerous American installations being bombed with little or no response from Billy boy?

    Before he left office we were in a recession right after the dotcom boom went bust and because of Bushes across the board tax cut we had the SHORTEST recession in history.

    How are those big screen TV's, IPOD, IPHONES and SUV's selling?

    Our deficit is indeed too high but that is due to the war and we should be getting some dough from these Iraqi's that aren't doing enough to secure their own freedom.

    On to Romney, he gives specific ideas and they are based on actual experience in the real business world.

    Do any of you totally think like you did 10-20 years ago, people do evolve based on lifes experiences.

    I used to be a democrat because my union told me to be, now I know better.

    July 8, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Ashen Shard, Chambersburg, PA

    The amount of money one spends on 'defense' will not determine how well we a protected. How does awarding no-bid contracts to contractors who, making so much money are determined to make more profit and thus cut corners and deliver crap, because crap is all we are paying for at this moment and not only does it not make us safer, it is endangering our citizens and our nation. Cutting the defense budget in half wouldn't hurt our defense if the money is spent wisely, and having less money to work with will force it to be spent wisely.
    The Iraqi's owe us nothing since we have caused them more suffering. They worked to try and make it work, they went out with the threat of violence to vote, but we failed them by not being prepared to secure the peace. We failed ourselves by invading because it was not in our interest, but only in the interest of those who had the chance to make a profit off of it.

    July 8, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Will - Miami, Fl

    Why no coverage of (10 term) Congressman Ron Paul (MD) winning the straw poll in New Hampshire yesterday?

    If one of the MSM candidates would have won, you SURELY would have posted a story. Hell, you evern post stories about Rudy reading a book on NASCAR.

    July 8, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Mitt Romney preaching the Holy Grail to young Republicans against the sinfulness of taxation of the wealthy. That's a far cry from than JFK's 1960 Inaugural Address about sacrifice by the individual for the benefit of the whole country. His warmongering tirade is also typical of one who has never seen combat railing to those who will also never see combat, of the virtues of a hair trigger view of war & of also the unforgivable character flaw of being considered "soft" on Terrorism or Communism or the enemy d' j'our. The future of the Republican Party is in good shape. Presidential politics brings out the best in some "leaders".

    July 8, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. bret, atl, ga

    You may like what Romney says now, but what did he say yesterday? And what will he say tomorrow? A model of consistency he is not. Enacting a socialized medicine program in the most communist state in the Union (Mass.) is hardly qualifier number 1 for the Oval Office. Romney ought to stop loaning his campaign money and retire to Vegas and enjoy himself. Nobody is going to let you buy the Presidency, sir, not this time. If the republicans are foolish enough to nominate you, democrats win hands down.

    July 8, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. ACA, San Diego, CA

    Romney talks now, but for some reason, I don't believe a word he says because I don't quite think he knows what he's talking about. He's not consistent, and he's not open. And him and the rest of the GOP who are using Hilary as a punching bag for Democratic party are being absolutely ridiculous, for a number of reasons. I think Romney, like many of the other Repulicans in this race, fail to realize they are in this election not only against the Democrats but against the current Republican party and the public's persona of them. Clearly there are some die-hard Republicans in the room who will support a bludgeoned war and praise an economic sysem that neither party truly seems to understand, but when it comes down to it, Romney needs to stop criticizing the Democrats, stop praising his personal ideals, and focus on getting his facts straight. Because seriously, I can see his own words haunting him in the next few months to come.

    July 8, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. DarkSide Indianapolis, IN

    The Young Republicans are basically the political version of Scientologists. Brainwashed and hollow shells of their former selves. Sorry!

    July 8, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  19. Gary, Boston MA

    Vote for Romney and he'll tie this nation to the roof of his $80,000 family car and take us for one heck of a ride! Just ask his Dog! Its called the 'Clean Air Initiative'. Tie the USA up, and fill us full of hot (yet clean?) air.

    July 8, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    You guys love ... Romney? O.K. so which do you love more – his flips or his flops? But hey, who wouldn't love a guy who makes up his political platform as he goes along right? Does he suffer from short-term memory loss, or does he just wait to see what everybody else is currently supporting before he decides what his convictions are?

    Let's see .. here's a short list of his flip-flops to date: Romney: 1) was a liberal in Massachusetts, where he TWICE ran for statewide office as a pro-CHOICE candidate but now says he opposes Roe v. Wade; 2) he was dedicated to "full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens" and now describes himself as "a champion of traditional marriage"; 3) he signed a no-new-tax pledge (that he once mocked) in an attempt to hide his tax-raising record; 4) in Massachusetts, he bucked the National Rifle Association by supporting the Brady Bill and an assault-weapons ban, boasting, "I don't line up with the NRA.", yet (in August of 06) he bragged that he joined the gun-rights organization as a life member; 5) he was FOR gays serving open in the military before he was AGAINST it; 6) he endorsed federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research in 2005, but now claims he opposes it 7) "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life," he told a man sporting a National Rifle Association cap – even though he’s been on a total of TWO hunting trips in his 60 years! 8) Romney said he doesn’t believe in overturning juries, yet he fully supported Dubya’s commuting of Scooter Libby’s sentence before a single day of jail time was ever served.

    Nice "specifics" eh Brian? No "speaking in cliches or vagueness" there Shawnie right? "Logical, specific, intelligent, and well-versed"? ... umm ... if you say so S. Richard!

    No wonder republicans want to vote for a guy who hasn't even declared his candidacy yet!

    Fell free to add more Romney flip-flops if you wish guys.

    July 8, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Paul Johnston, Professor of Political Studies, UCLA


    July 8, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  22. Kristy Sanborn Dixon, Mo.

    I have to admit, I am impressed. Mr. Romney did speak up for his opponent, he said Sen. Obama had "the courage" and I agree with that also. But, Mr. Romney said one thing among many, that I really liked, that he would cap NON Defense discretionary.."
    He KNOWS our Defense need the funds.
    I also really liked Mr. Ramney's comment of "I will veto them." Excluding Defense dicretionary's. That IS courage and calling the shots as they should be. And he said "I don't care if its a Republican or a Democratic Congress. I will veto." Those last three words, he's telling the public now, he will do it, if necessary.
    On these issues, I REALLY like Mr. Ramney's attitude, he sounds just like the one he's running to replace. And that is what this country needs, to keep on the right track.

    July 9, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  23. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    "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.”

    This reads like a sound bite from George Dubyah – Become a Super Power or just another member of the family of nations, will be remembered by our children if we choose strength...

    Just what the World needs, another power hungry, war loving, trigger happy, Biblical Camelion.

    Read between the lines America, it's another Bush Super Power ego and war loving nature, the one that put the world in the Mess we're in today. Too Bad America wouldn't just try to be another member of the family of nations they might not have so many Nations loathing their existence!

    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, and Romney is against Hillary (today) because she's going to raise Corporate and Personnal taxes..but tomorrow he'll be against Hillary and Barack for something else.
    As the one behind has to attack the leaders so they don't get caught in the Head Lights with a blank stare.

    July 9, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  24. Blake

    when it comes to the economy, Romney's the guy. Look what he did with Massachusetts. Look what he did with the Olympics.

    I think Romney has taken more Econ classes than Evan in Indiana, who, I doubt, is worth more than Romney with his own mad economic prowess.

    July 9, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  25. MCD, San Francisco, Ca

    To all of you who think he sounds so wonderful... bush sounded wonderful too... he said just what you wanted to hear... has he done even one thing that he promised? Think about it.

    July 9, 2007 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
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