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Former Presidential Candidate, Mass. Governor Mitt Romney Visits NHIOP

April 08, 2010

Written by Sally Persons '13

Former Republican presidential candidate and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney visited the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on April 7 to speak about his new book No Apology: The Case of American Greatness.

Gov. Mitt RomneyRomney's book details what he believes to be key issues that will cripple America's status as the world super power including foreign policy, health care, education, and the national debt. Romney offered tentative solutions, but also said he was open to other suggestions and would like to create discussion.

According to the former governor, the most pressing problem of today is not thinking of the future. Romney said those currently in power, "think in the here and now." In dicsussing the current budget, Romney stated that right now the United States is eight trillion dollars in debt. He said in the next 10 years that debt will increase to 18 trillion and while many Americans believe that tax increases will pay off the debt, in order to do this payroll tax would need to go from its current 15.3 percent to 44 percent to pay off Social Security alone. Romney says that because of this debt the next generation, "could be the first generation that is left less bright than the previous."

The former presidential candidate disagrees with President Obama's status on foreign policy in which he feels the president is not forceful enough. Romney cited President Obama's visits to foreign countries at the beginning of his term as evidence of his weakness. Romney talked about the need for the United States to strengthen ties with its allies instead of chastising them in the public forum. He also talked about the president's speech in Cairo, Egypt, which caused many on the GOP side, including Romney, to be critical of the president for not supporting Israel.

When questioned by an audience member about his stance on Obama's health care plan, and its differences to the Massachusetts universal health care plan, Romney said there were several key differences. "[Massachusetts] did not raise taxes by a half trillion dollars, we didn't cut Medicare, we didn't put in price control for insurance companies, and we solved a state problem with state legislation." Romney said that there were still many aspects of the Massachusetts bill that he would change, but overall the bill was good for the state.

Romney said that he has hope for the future however, because establishments always reflect their founders. Using Walt Disney's whimsical persona as a reflection of Disney World, he said, "innovators came here for opportunity and independence [with a] can-do attitude." Americans still have this work ethic in addition to a love of the nation.

Before taking questions from the audience of faculty, staff, students, and community members, the governor talked about his visit to Iraq in 2007 when visited the Massachusetts National Guard. After speaking with troops, he offered to call their families for them upon his return home. He made 63 phone calls and thanked the troops' families for their sacrifice to the nation. Romney said, "I was told, 'Governor, it's an honor.'" This is the attitude that Romney believes is ingrained in Americans and gives hope to the future of this country.

The governor made no mention of the 2012 race explicitly, but when an audience member said, "I am ready to campaign!" Romney merely smiled and nodded, potentially leaving the door open for him to return to Saint Anselm College once again.