GOLDEN—Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told a packed Jefferson County crowd Thursday that his recently unveiled five-point economic plan would create 12 million jobs without raising taxes.
His “Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” calls for energy independence, education reform, fair trade, reducing the deficit and championing small businesses.
“Now if we do those five things… you’re going to see this economy come roaring back,” Romney told an enthusiastic audience at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. “Jobs of all kinds are going to come back.”
All seats were taken an hour before the event, forcing police to turn away hundreds of cars attempting to enter the fairgrounds from Interstate 70.
About a dozen protesters from several different causes were still able to set up near the grounds.
Romney, making his first visit to Colorado since the Aurora theater shooting, said he met earlier with one of the victims, Makayla Hicks, who was shot in the mouth. Twelve were killed and 58 were wounded in the massacre.
“Across the country, people are thinking about Aurora and the tragedy there and the lives that have been lost and lives changed forever,” Romney said. “We love you and we pray for you. You’re in our hearts. You’re in our prayers.”
Afterward, Romney made a campaign stop at Basalt High School, where he was joined by 10 Republican governors from various states, including Arizona’s Jan Brewer, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Mexico’s Susana Martinez. The governors were in Aspen for the Republican Governors Association conference.
Romney capped his trip to Colorado with a fundraiser in Aspen.
On a campaign stop at Rollins College in Orlando, President Obama said Romney’s plan would cause a tax increase for the middle-class in order to make up for a tax cut for the rich.
“They have tried to sell us this trickle-down fairy dust before,” Obama said. “And guess what—it didn’t work then; it will not work now. It is not a plan to reduce the deficit. It is not a plan to build our middle class. It is not a plan to move our economy forward. It takes us backwards to a place we don’t need to be.”
Romney released his five-point economic plan earlier this week. The key components are:
The plan calls for making North America energy independent by approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, opening up federal and private land for drilling, and supporting the coal industry.
“I want to make sure that we keep our energy costs down for our families, for middle-class families, and also for manufacturers to bring jobs back,” Romney said. “That’s number one: get us energy-independent.”
Romney also expressed interest in developing renewable energies as a part of his plan.
“I like renewables,” Romney said. “We’re going to continue to see wind and solar as important parts of our growth of our energy resources.”
The proposal calls for school choice, saying federal funding for education should be tied to the student, not to the school.
“[Federal] dollars are going to be tied to the student, and the student can take them to the school of their choice,” Romney said. “We’re going to have more choice in America.”
“Every parent ought to have a choice as to where they send their student,” Romney added.
The plan looks to expand free trade with other nations, particularly those in Latin America.
“We have right next door to us an area with a massively fast-growing middle class: Latin America,” Romney said. “We will create American jobs by opening up aggressive trade in Latin America.”
Romney prefaced thoughts of expansion with the concept that free trade is not possible without fair trade. He brought up several examples of how Chinese counterfeiting and hacking costs Americans jobs.
“These practices kill American jobs,” Romney said. “I’m going to finally sit down with China and make sure that they understand that if they cheat, there are going to be consequences, because we’re not going to let them walk all over us and take our jobs.”
Cutting the Deficit:
Romney wants to increase economic growth by cutting taxes and spending.
“The reason we’re so opposed to raising taxes is not just because taxes hurt people and kill jobs,” Romney said. “It’s also because when you raise taxes, you slow down growth, fewer jobs get started, fewer businesses start to grow.”
The former Massachusetts governor went on to compare the president’s economic policy to a dog chasing its tail.
“The more they raise taxes, the more they lower growth and…they’re unable to achieve their objective of creating a balanced budget,” Romney said. “It’s like a dog trying to chase its tail. You just don’t ever get there.”
The final point in Romney’s plan is to make the economic climate more favorable toward small- business owners by cutting taxes, reducing regulations and repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare.
“We simply can’t afford trillions of dollars of more federal spending,” Romney said, referring to Obamacare. “We simply can’t afford to have federal bureaucrats telling us what kind of health care we can have.”