Colorado’s Morning News, Mitt Romney, May 30, 2012

Station:   850 AM, KOA

Show:     Colorado’s Morning News

Guest:     Romney


Date:      May 30, 2012

Topics:    Craig, Colorado,  GOP Nomination, Texas Primary, Energy, Regulations, Oil, Coal, Gas, Syria, Assad, Iran, Alawites, Barak Obama, Middle East, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump, Birther, Nuclear Weapons, Small Business, Bain Capital

HOST STEFFAN TUBBS:  Governor, yesterday you were in Craig, Colorado.  What was that like?  And are these the types of people that you know you have to have in say, your back pocket to win a state like Colorado?

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY:  There’s no question that Craig was an extraordinary welcome. We had about 1,500 people that joined in a rally, people from all walks of life, and they’re hurting. The regulations that have been put in place to try and drive out of business oil, coal, and gas are hard on Colorado, hard on Craig, Colorado, hard on various places across the country.

And I don’t think people recognize that as we try to replace oil, coal, and gas with very high-cost sources of energy, that we are going to drive more jobs away from America, not just from those mining and extractive industries, but also from all the industries that use energy in making their products. They will go elsewhere. They will go to China and other places that use coal and that use oil and gas. And that will mean more losses of jobs and further decline of income. So this is an important topic, and Craig is at the center of it.

HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH:  Let’s talk about a front page issue right now – the slaughter in Syria continues.  It’s been denounced by the world community, including the U.S. just yesterday. Is the President doing enough about Syria, and what would you be doing?

ROMNEY:  Well, the decision to expel diplomats is of course an appropriate decision but it’s a very small step. We need presidential leadership. This is not a time for America to be leading from behind. We have not only a slaughter of people, some 10,000 people have been killed by their own government in Syria, but also we recognize that Syria is the Arab ally for Iran. And Iran is seeking to become the leader of the Middle East with nuclear weapons. This is an opportunity to see new leadership in Syria, which could conceivably distance itself from Iran. So, the President ought to be all over this. We should be working with our friends in the region, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to assure that the forces, that the rebel forces in Syria are well-armed and safe. This idea of holding back, this policy of paralysis is not the right course.

TUBBS:   […] How long are we going to wait, do you think, whether it’s this administration or yours. How many more massacres do we have to see where women and children are shot at point-blank range before the United States, which has … you go back centuries, we are the country the world looks to, like it or not?

ROMNEY:  Well, the right course for America is to be the leader in a setting like this, and that does not necessarily mean that we are putting in place our military resources. We do have friends in the region. We can support them in providing armament to the rebels. We can also communicate with the Alawites who are concerned about the removal of Assad because of their common faith. We need to make sure the Alawites know there will be a future for them in Syria. There will not be a slaughter or a degradation of their importance in the community. So the things we can be doing as a leader in the world that hopefully are being done, and if they’re not being done, they ought to be done aggressively. So that we take advantage of an opportunity but at the same time stop a tragedy, which we are seeing occur.

ZESBAUGH:  Well, let’s switch gears and talk about the economy.  It’s only May and we can’t stop hearing about your time at Bain Capital.  I’d like to know what you learned that can help you turn the economy around, at Bain.  And what you may regret, if anything, from your time there.

ROMNEY:  Well, I can tell you that if you’ve never spent a day in business, you don’t understand how government makes business have a difficult time.  Whether it’s a small business or a big business, government can get in your way.  I spoke with a banker today that is in northwest Colorado.  He said that he spends about sixty percent of his time trying to deal with regulators and government intruders as opposed to working with customers and making loans.  So, I understand the impact of regulations.  Some regulation is helpful.  Some is not.  I understand which is which.  I understand the impact of Obamacare on small businesses, and why it is that small businesses are not looking to hire people right now, in part because of the peril of Obamacare and the extraordinary increase in health insurance costs that folks are seeing.  I understand also, when the president puts in place a series of folks in the National Labor Relations Board who want to force unions on businesses where the employees don’t want them – I understand what that will do to jobs in this country.  You see, having started a business and having run a business, I understand how policy in Washington affects whether or not businesses grow in America or decide to either not invest at all or go elsewhere to invest.   And so I want to use my experience to make America the most attractive place in the world for small business and other businesses, so we have jobs growing again and rising incomes again.  It’s what we deserve.

ZESBAUGH:  Any regrets?

ROMNEY:  Oh, I’m…. all the things that didn’t work out.  All the… There’s no question but that the benefit of hindsight is such that if you could go back and erase the decisions that weren’t right, that ended up not working out, you’d want to do that.   I just saw a letter from the folks at my old firm Bain Capital, now twenty-eight years of business existence.  They put out a statement that said in eighty percent of the cases where they made investments, the businesses grew.  Well, that’s pretty good.  But in five percent, businesses went bankrupt.  Well, that’s not so good.  [chuckles]  You’d like not to ever have that happen.

TUBBS:   Mm-hmm.  [ …] The Obama administration, Obama for America, sent out a press release yesterday, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this but I’ll read “in both the public and the private sectors Romney would allow his energy policies to be shaped behind closed doors by billionaire donors benefitting from the same massive Big Oil tax breaks Romney has pledged to protect.”  More than just specifically to that statement, are you still fighting this battle of image that you are just a rich, wealthy guy who… the next step on your resume, you want to be the leader of the free world.

ROMNEY:  You know, I think the president’s campaign focusing on trying to divide Americans and attack success is looking pretty weak and it’s flailing about.  The reality in the energy world, by the way, is that the people who care very deeply about energy, are the people who work mines, who work in drilling, the people who work in factories that require moderately priced energy.  The people I saw in Craig this morning, they weren’t big multi-millinaires. These were everyday Americans, that are in real trouble as they see a government that’s making it harder for them to make a living. I wish the president would get out of the Oval Office and actually meet with some of the people who are being so badly hurt by the policies of his administration.  And you know, just attacking other people – that’s not the American way.  We’ve never attacked success in this country, and it’s something that I don’t thing is befitting the president.  I think it diminishes him.  Look.  His success when he ran the last time was in trying to be the bigger person and bring America together.  And dividing America is simply the wrong course.  And my objective, if I am president of the United States is to bring us together and remember that we are one nation under God.

ZESBAUGH:  You’ve been campaigning with Donald Trump of late.  In fact, you’ve got a fundraiser dinner with him that people can donate to and win an evening with both of you.  You two seem like very, very different kinds of people.  What should voters take away from your relationship?

ROMNEY:  Well, you know, I’ve got a lot of folks who are helpful in my campaign.  I don’t agree with all of them.  They sometimes say things I don’t agree with.  I disagree with Donald Trump with regards to the President’s birthplace.  I believe the president was born in the United States.  But, all these folks that support me don’t speak for me necessarily.  But I need help from 50.1 percent of Americans.  And that means I need to draw on support from across the country.  I respect Mr. Trump for his business acumen.  He’s been, as you know, very successful.  And now also a[n] entertainer of some success.  You can’t knock that record.  But I appreciate his generosity and helping raise money for me.  And hopefully I’ll get people across the country that will join together and make sure that we take America back from the Big Government folks who are changing the very character of our country.

TUBBS:  We’ll let you go.  […] How many times have you met Barak Obama in person?”

ROMNEY:  Uh, let’s see… Once, I can recall specifically.  I think it’s probably only been once.  There may have been another time.  But I met him at a dinner, a press dinner, a number of years ago, where we were both speakers, if you will.  And that was a humorous event, so we were both providing humor related to our respective political parties.  So we saw each other then, and we’ve spoken on the phone since then, as well.

TUBBS:  Well, now it will be the show down.  Romney versus Obama in November.  Congratulations on becoming the Republican nominee.  And we greatly appreciate your time here in Denver, and obviously, you’re always welcome.

ROMNEY:  Thanks so much.  Good to be with you both.