Mitt Romney on Jobs

Former Republican Governor (MA)

Built long-term pipeline for MA jobs; so job growth is slow

Q: The Boston Globe said that job growth during your years in office was the third lowest of any state in the nation, and manufacturing employment declined more than 14%.

A: I’ll take exception with the Boston Globe. Massachusetts is a high-tech state, and a capital goods state. And that’s a sector of the economy that responds very slowly to turnarounds. And by about 2.5 years into my administration, we were able to turn that job decline around and we started adding jobs.

Q: During the four years you were governor, jobs grew nationally by a rate of 5.5%, but in Massachusetts they grew by 0.5%, and that was the fourth worst record.

Q: I came into a state that had no pipeline, no sales force that called on companies and encouraged them to come into the state. There was no activity of any significance to bring jobs to the state. And we went to work, legislature and I, to try and change that. It took us a while to get all the incentives in place.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series Jan 20, 2008

Take action & we need not give up on any industry’s jobs

Q: John McCain seems to suggest you’re painting an overly rosy picture on jobs, saying, “I would be ashamed to tell the people of Michigan or South Carolina that all of these jobs are coming back. These people know that a lot of these jobs aren’t coming back.” Did you see that as a swipe at you by McCain?

A: Perhaps. But the reality is this: I’m not going to give up on any jobs. And I recognize that of course industries change. I’ve been in the business world 25 years. Senator McCain has never been in the business world. There are many, many industries, such as the automotive industry, that politicians in Washington simply write off. And they say, well, there’s nothing that can be done about Michigan. So I’m not going to be pessimistic about the future. I’m not willing to write off the hundreds of thousands of jobs that are still in the automobile industry and say they’re all going away. I’m going to fight for them and do what I did in the private sector: Take action.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Jan 13, 2008

MA had 3rd worst job growth; I turned around declining rates

Q: Do you believe that we’re headed for a recession?

A: First, let’s get the record straight. Could we be headed for a recession? Absolutely. Do we have to be headed for a recession? Absolutely not. Recessions hurt working families. They hurt people across this country. And so this is something we’re going to have to address in a very aggressive way.

Q: Given your record in Massachusetts, which had the third lowest job growth of any state during the years you were governor, why should voters trust you to handle a slowdown?

A: I’m very proud of the fact that after many months of declining job growth, I took over the state and helped turn that around. And in my years as governor, we kept adding jobs every single month after we saw that turnaround. The pipeline for new jobs coming into our state was in single digits when I came into office. When I left, it was over 200. And some of the biggest employers are still coming into the state. Every month since I’ve left, we keep on adding jobs

Source: 2008 GOP debate in S.C. sponsored by Fox News Jan 10, 2008

I believe in domestic supports for our agriculture industry

Q: We subsidized farmers to the tune of $26 billion last year.

A: I believe in domestic supports for our agriculture industry. I don’t want to see our food supply be in the same kind of a jeopardy situation that our energy supply is in. And clearly there’s a responsibility of government to make sure that our farmers are treated on the same basis as farmers in Europe & other markets that we compete with. The WTO talks [may] find a way to bring down subsidies around the world, & that’ll be good news.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Good unions train members; bad unions hurt their company

Q: Are unions good for America?

A: There are some good unions and some not so good. The good ones are those that say, “How can we do a better and better job helping our members have better and better skills.”

Q: Can you name a few “good” unions?

A: Yeah, like the Carpenters Union, for instance, does a great job training their members and making them more effective and more efficient, and they get higher compensation as a result of it. There are also bad unions. I’m probably not going to name specific bad unions, but there are bad unions as well, which go too far and who forget that in order for them to be successful, the enterprise that they’re involved with has to also be successful.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

FactCheck: Yes,US added 50M jobs since ‘78; but EU added 36M

Romney erred when he claimed US job growth had been nearly 17 times faster than that of Europe. Romney said, “We are the largest economy in the world. During the time Europe added 3 million jobs, we’ve added about 50 million jobs in this country.”

That miraculous sounding statistic is way off. It has taken since the end of 1978 for total employment in the US to grow by 50 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But total employment for the 15 core members of the European Union (those who joined before 2004) grew by well over 33 million between 1978 and 2005.

Romney was misquoting an outdated and highly dubious figure, which was used by an author who no longer stands behind it. Romney cited a 2005 article in The American Enterprise magazine, which said, “Since the 1970s America has created some 57 million new jobs, compared to just 4 million in Europe (with most of those in government).” The article’s author told FactCheck.org he wouldn’t use the figure today.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tax incentives for employee training

Source: Boston Globe review of 1994 canpaign issues Mar 21, 2002

Other candidates on Jobs: Mitt Romney on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010