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Romney trumpets business requirement for the presidency in Vegas

May 29, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event at the Somers Furniture warehouse in Las Vegas.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign… (Mary Altaffer / Associated…)

LAS VEGAS — Mitt Romney, campaigning at a furniture warehouse in the desert heat on Tuesday, did not mention the two big issues of the day – that he was likely to clinch the GOP presidential nomination within hours, or the fundraiser he planned to attend this evening with controversial mogul Donald Trump.

All attention in the political world has been focused on the Trump event, because of Trump’s continued insistence that President Obama was not born in the United States, a claim that has been repeatedly disproved. Romney has maintained that the president was born in Hawaii and is eligible to be the nation’s commander in chief, but he added a new line to his standard stump speech about the requirements to hold the office.

Romney said he was speaking to a restaurant owner earlier in the day who said he believed that another prerequisite should be added to become president in addition to the age, citizenship and birthplace requirements in the Constitution – a provision that the president have worked for three years in business.

That way, “he or she would understand the policies they’re putting in place have to encourage small business and make it easier for businesses to grow,” Romney said. “They would understand if they say something negative about Las Vegas, it means businesses and government agencies aren’t going to come here.”

That line was a reference to a statement Obama made in 2009, when he said that failing financial institutions that received federal bailout money shouldn’t use it for junkets to places like Las Vegas.

Romney, taking a turn as spokesman for the city’s visitors’ bureau, pledged that if elected, he would urge people to visit Sin City.

“I tell you, if I become the next president of the United States, I’m going to remind people, I come to Las Vegas, I love it here,” he said. “Come on to Las Vegas and spend some time.”

seema.mehta@latimes.com

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