Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’
August 24th, 2012
01:10 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney: ‘Big businesses are doing fine’

(CNN) – In calling for a broader, simplified tax code, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday that bigger businesses, in knowing how to utilize loopholes in the tax code, are "doing fine in many places" compared to small businesses.

"We've got to make it easier for small businesses," Romney told a crowd of about 300 people at a high-dollar fundraiser in Minnesota. "Big business is doing fine in many places -they get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses. But small business is getting crushed."

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Romney's running mate Paul Ryan made similar comments in an interview earlier Friday, also in arguing for what the duo says would be a tax code more conductive to a competitive economic system.

"By plugging loopholes, which are uniquely enjoyed by higher income individuals, you're reducing their ability to shelter their income from taxation," Ryan said. "Therefore, more of their income is subject to taxation and that allows us to lower tax rates for everybody in America–families, small businesses."

The Romney and Ryan plan includes proposals that primarily emphasize reducing tax rates while maintaining tax breaks for savings and investment. More specifically, the plan calls for an extension for all of the Bush tax cuts, including a tax break on an annual income of more than $250,000. The Republicans' plan also calls for reducing the individual income tax rate by 20%, eliminating the estate tax, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and reducing the corporate income tax.

The Obama administration has attacked Romney's tax proposal as detrimental to the middle class. Obama has rejected the Republican supported tax proposal while calling for an extension of the Bush tax cuts only on income of under $250,000 and, furthermore, tapping wealthier individuals to pay a higher tax rate, which he calls the Buffett Rule.

"Here's the thing, he's not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids' education. He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut," Obama said this month at a campaign event in Mansfield, Ohio, pointing to a report by the Tax Policy Center that concludes that Romney's economic plan would provide large tax cuts to high-income households while increasing the tax burdens on low to middle income taxpayers.

The Romney campaign took issue with the study, saying that it doesn't take into account the Republican candidate's full tax program and ignores benefits created by the corporate tax plan and proposal for deficit reduction in the Romney plan.

Romney's personal finances have been a topic on the campaign trail since the former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman entered the presidential race.

Critics have cited Romney's off-shore account holdings as evidence of the former Bain Capital executive's willingness to use loopholes in the tax code to his benefit. His financial disclosures suggest his net worth is as high as $264 million, making him one of the wealthiest candidates in history to seek the U.S. presidency.

Additionally, Romney's refusal to release more years of tax returns have fueled Democrats attacks that the presumptive GOP nominee is playing by a different set of rules.

Romney has released tax returns from 2010 and an estimate for 2011, thus far, refusing to release more years of returns.

Romney and his campaign have rejected the calls for more financial transparency as a ploy from the Obama campaign to avoid talking about major issues facing the nation like the economy.

Romney's comments may stir political memories of a comment made by Obama in a June news conference saying "the private sector's doing fine." The Romney campaign seized on the comment using the gaffe as evidence that the president is out-of-touch with the ailing economy.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Mr. Romney,

    There has been a bill in Congress to do just that and your running mate; shinning star; of the Tea Partier's have been unwilling to compromise or have to attach some social issue rider to it.

    If the Republican's had really wanted to help the American public, they would have compromised and then run on the issue that we moved forward, but the bill could be better, if we didn't have to compromise on this or that issue.

    That is why this conservative republican turned independent conservative will not be voting for any republican this time around or in the near future, because this group of conservatives and religious right fanatics don't know how to govern!

    They "Want it Their Way and Only Their Way" !

    Sorry, In my opinion they need grow up and realize that life is a series of compromises and the religious right needs work on helping others, becoming better people through self-examination, instead of telling us how great they are for following Christ example and spreading the "Word" !

    In other words Religious Right get out of politics' !

    And Mr. Romney, if you want to get my vote, stand up to the Tea Partier's and call the out for what they are! Obstructionist!

    August 24, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  2. John

    "Big businesses" and "Private sector' are completely different CNN. Big business like BP, Exon, Apple, Samsung, Walmart etc are making billions in profit. The little pizza guy or the small grocery store or grill restaurant down the street are struggling to get loans and make ends meet. But they are the spine of the private sector and they are not doing well. So get the acts straight CNN.

    August 24, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  3. Kenny K

    Now Romney and Ryan finally agree with what president Obama has been saying all along. They agree that people like Romney, including Romney himself, have been taking advantage of the loopholes which undermine revenue that is needed to run the USA government.

    August 24, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  4. nasa1

    Once again, Romney was misquoted by CNN....He said "Big business is doing fine in many places" not "Big business is doing fine" Does good and accurate journalism even exist anymore?

    August 24, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. JT

    Mitt, really? You are talking about yourself here Mr Loophole. Quit the fight, you are about to lose in high fashion. All we hear is lies, lies, lies out of your mouth. A good Mormon wouldn't lie like this.

    August 24, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. The Other Dale

    Okay, Conservatives, let's see your rips on Romney for saying that Big Business is doing fine. After all, if "the Private Sector's doing fine" was a horrible thing to say, this certainly is the same, right? Right? Oh, what am I saying; this will only lead to Republicans scrambling to come up with excuses for Romney's latest blunder.

    August 24, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  7. Me

    Except Romney didn't gaffe. Big business IS doing fine. Obama is delusional in his thinking that small & medium businesses can even compete with the economic climate being what it is. – Disillusioned Democrat

    August 24, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  8. David

    REWIND! is this guy for real!! sorry this makes me angry and still want to laugh!! Flip flopping can not even explain this!1!!!

    August 24, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  9. DocHollywood

    Obama says "the private sector is doing fine" and the republicans have a cow. Romney says "big businesses are doing fine", and they have no problems with that. So either the big businesses are no longer in the private sector, or the republicans are just expanding their hypocrism. I'm betting on the latter.

    August 24, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  10. Scott B

    Thanks for stating the obvious Mitt. Now how about a plan that, instead of just giving more money away while still spending far more than we have, actually fixes these problems and motivates some of these businesses that are doing fine to hire more American workers?

    August 24, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  11. vlad

    The mere fact that Romney does not pay more taxes than required by existing law does not make him a crook! I have not met anybody who would proudly paid more than he has to...
    Don't like the law? Change it! And the guy pays millions and millions in charity which in a way serves the same purpose as taxes!

    August 24, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  12. Kenny K

    Now are big businesses not part of private sector?

    August 24, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  13. David

    Wait, How does he know that, Oops, forget, They are funding his Campaign!! corporations are people

    August 24, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  14. CJ

    Funny....President Obama says the same thing a few months ago and people are ready to crucify him. Mitt Romney says it and no one seems to mind. Rediculous...

    August 24, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  15. stevie

    Lower tax rates across the board. Send Obama and the other redistributionists packing. Otherwise, get used to this economy. And worse.

    August 24, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  16. jim

    if they are doing fine, why do they need more tax breaks? if they are doing fine, why do we need to bribe them to create more jobs?

    August 24, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. al

    So when Obama says business is doing fine the republicans take him to task for it but when weasel brain Romney says the same thing they fawn and swoon all over him and act like he is the smartest man on the planet.

    August 24, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  18. Ron

    The problem with Romney's tax code plan is that he will reduce the tax rates for the wealthy and the large corporations, closing the loopholes. But given how our politicians are bought by these groups, all the loopholes will be back in a couple of years. So the end result in 2-3 years will be reduced tax income from the groups. This is just another slick way that Romney and the Republicans want to help the rich avoid paying taxes.

    August 24, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  19. Larry

    Sounds like mittens is trying to cover his future tracks by saying corporations know how to take the tax loopholes.

    August 24, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  20. Michelle

    Well, The Mittser knows all about loopholes, so I guess we take his word on this.

    August 24, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  21. nasa1

    Forget about the percent tax brackets. Look at the actual tax dollars paid to the Federal/State governments by Obama and Romney. Romney paid in considerably more than Obama.

    August 24, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  22. Scott in Michigan

    The one thing detrimental to the middle class is OBAMA.

    August 24, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  23. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    Does Romney not understand that people know he's lying through his teeth? That he's just saying things because of the campaign and won't do any of it? He has no integrity. We've had a very good president for the last 4 years who has tried to keep all his campaign promises despite the destruction of the obstructionist GOP.

    August 24, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. dctrm

    Could today's "Dilbert" cartoon have been taken from J.C. Penney's board room?

    August 24, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  25. Harry Baxter

    We're glad to hear it Mitt. Despite what you think, however, the "Businesses are People" people are the only ones. The rest of "we people" aren't doing so well.

    August 24, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
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