Romney: Debt is like 'prairie fire'
May 15th, 2012
05:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney: Debt is like 'prairie fire'

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – In an appeal to middle America on Tuesday, Mitt Romney compared the national debt to a rapidly growing fire hurtling across a prairie.

The presumptive GOP nominee warned Iowa voters they cannot ignore the swelling "crisis of debt and spending that threatens what it means to be an American" during a speech at a hotel in Des Moines.

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"A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and across the nation and every day we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and the children we love," Romney said.

Though Romney gave his speech in a state where, only months ago, the Republican presidential candidates battled for the support of conservative caucus-goers, on this trip Romney made an apparent bid for independent voters in the general election battleground.

"Subprime mortgages, they came close to bringing the economy to its knees. This debt is America's Nightmare Mortgage," he said, placing blame for the debt upon both parties. "It is adjustable, no-money down, and assigned to our children. Politicians have been trying to hide the truth about this Nightmare Mortgage for years–just like liar-loans."

He continued: "The time has come for a president, a leader, who will lead. I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno. We will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can't even imagine, from foreign countries we'll never even visit. I will bring us together to put out the fire."

The presumptive GOP nominee criticized President Barack Obama for his stimulus program and his signature health care law, and called for a "simpler, smaller, smarter" federal government.

Romney nodded to his business background, and proposed moving some functions now performed by the federal government back to states or the private sector.

The speech was Romney's first appearance in Iowa since the state's first-in-the-nation caucus, where the former Massachusetts governor finished a close second to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Also see:

Ron Paul to end active campaigning

RNC, Team Romney roll out debt attack on Obama

Leading progressive group attacks Romney over women's issues

Obama headlines two high dollar fundraisers in NYC

Filed under: Debt • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. anagram_kid

    So if it is a wildfire, why would we elect a member of the arsonist party to fix it?

    May 15, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Why do republicans think that Obama is responsible for the $775 billion for Bush's TARP? (It may have even been twice as much)

    May 15, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Old Folks in Florida

    Romney takes hypocrisy to a new level. He is always talking about how he turned the 2002 Olympics around. But, Mr. Anti-government and anti- spending always conveniently leaves out the part of the story that he used a 1.3 billion dollar government bailout with tax payers' money.

    May 15, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    What does Romney know about "fires" other than the millions he burns through to maintain his elitist lifestyle, 5 houses, and destruction of jobs and companies to keep that money to burn coming in? Romney is a fraud, a liar, and a puppet to whoever will give him more money to burn. Do you Republicans really know what this man believes or is? Obviously not. Evangelicals would have a hear attack if they knew what Mormons really believe.

    May 15, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Kelli

    Please People GET THOSE REP OUT IN 2012. i am sick of them....... and unfit Mitt please we not in to you. People please save our country vote them OUT 2012. PLEASE

    May 15, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. LBAM

    Go ahead. Go ahead and vote for a guy who hids his money in overseas bank to avoid paying taxes. Go ahead and vote for a guy who wants to spend your tax dollars while hiding his merely to avoid paying his share. Go ahead and vote for a guy who cannot pay and or file his taxes on time, yet wants you to pays yours just so that he can give his friends (that are of the 1% category), additional tax breaks.
    Well, I guess you will vote for that guy who will take away your grandparents social security, medicare and medicade. If you think its bad now, go ahead and for for MITT ROBMEY, and you really know what bad is later..

    May 15, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. mm

    And if Romney gets elected – he'll fire the entire middle class.

    Somebody should have told Romney – ALL of America associates him with the word 'FIRE' ....just one more reminder.

    May 15, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Bill, NY

    If you wish to extinguish the 'prairie fire' with gasoline, then Romney is your man.

    May 15, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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