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Romney at pizza tycoon's home: 'Everyone should live like this'

May 02, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event in Chantilly, Va.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign… (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty…)

A leaked video of Mitt Romney's remarks at the home of pizza tycoon John Schnatter show the GOP presidential candidate marveling at the luxurious setting and declaring that Republicans believe that "everyone should live like this."

"What a place this is, my goodness. Who would have imagined pizza could build this, you know that? This is really something," Romney said at the beginning of his speech at a private fundraiser hosted by the Papa John's founder. "Don’t you love this country? What a home this is, what grounds these are, the pool, the golf course. You know if a Democrat were here, he'd look around and say, 'No one should live like this.' Republicans come here and say, 'Everyone should live like this, all right.' This is a really tribute to America, to entrepreneurship."

Video of the event, which was closed to the public, was taken via cellphone and posted on YouTube the same day the fundraiser took place, April 19. The clip was uncovered Monday by the progressive blog Think Progress, a subsidiary of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. According to reports from local media, the fundraiser had a $1,000 entry fee. A photo taken with Romney cost an additional $1,500.

Romney used most of his time at the event to elaborate on the dichotomy between his vision and President Obama's.

"Entrepreneurs of all kinds try to begin business. Most of them failed. A few of them succeeded brilliantly. And the success of that few doesn't make us poorer, it makes us better off," Romney said to a round of applause.

"As I watch this president attack success, I say, 'You are attacking the very foundation of America’s economic vitality.' I don't think he understands it."

Romney also tied Obama's approach to governance to foreign countries with struggling economies.

“At some point we will hit the Italy-, Spain-, Greece-type wall,” Romney predicted if Obama’s policies were to continue.

The former Massachusetts governor accused Obama of blaming the country's economic woes on everyone but his administration, calling the strategy "a trick and a gimmick that has been used in other nations, much to their peril."

The Romney campaign has yet to respond to a request for comment on the video recorded at the Anchorage, Ky., event.

The event was the second private fundraiser held by the Romney campaign in April in which some of his comments were leaked. An April 15 fundraiser in Palm Beach, Fla., was overheard by Wall Street Journal and MSNBC reporters who were listening in from the sidewalk outside.

Romney's comments during the Florida event, in which he said "I'm going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them,” touched on the Department of Education, the role of union money in campaigns and details of his tax plans. The campaign disputed the claim that his remarks were reflective of official policy proposals, instead calling them part of a larger discussion.

morgan.little@latimes.com

Original source: Romney at pizza tycoon's home: 'Everyone should live like this'

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