ROANOKE, Va. — Mitt Romney criticized President Obama’s proposal to create a Cabinet-level position to oversee business, saying Thursday that it reflects the president’s lack of understanding of how to create jobs and spark the economy.
“I don’t think adding a new chair in his Cabinet will help add millions of jobs on main street,” he told supporters gathered in a window factory. "We don’t need a secretary of Business to understand business -- we need a president who understands business, and I do.”
Romney was referring to a comment Obama made Monday that he would like to create a secretary of Business to consolidate various federal government branches.
“We should have one secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like getting loans to SBA [the Small Business Administration] or helping companies with exports,” Obama said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” reiterating a proposal he made earlier this year. “There should be a one-stop shop.
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The remarks by Romney marked a return to criticizing Obama on the campaign trail, which the GOP nominee halted during super storm Sandy and its immediate aftermath. He said the president’s slogan of “Forward” ought to be “Forewarned.”
With five days to go until election day, Romney said voters faced a clear choice, and painted a dim picture of the nation’s future if Obama were reelected – seniors unable to find doctors who were taking additional Medicare patients, middle-aged Americans seeing stagnant wages, annual trillion-dollar debts.
“I can also tell you this: If the president were to be reelected, you’re going to see high levels of unemployment continue and stalled wage growth – if any wage growth at all, just like we’ve seen over the last four years,” Romney said. “We know something about the past, we’ve seen what his policies have produced. The only way to get this economy going is the kind of bold change I’ve described, real change from Day One with those five steps – that’ll get this economy going, create jobs, rising take home pay. We’ll have a very different future when I get elected with your help.”
Speaking at a window manufacturer owned by siblings, Romney pledged to be a friend to small business by tackling overregulation, lowering tax rates and increasing domestic energy production.
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“Today, we’re at the lowest level of new business start-ups in 30 years,” Romney said. “So I want to change this dynamic and make business recognize they have a friend in Washington, not a foe.”
Romney concluded on a sunny note, saying he was optimistic about the nation’s future despite the struggles the nation is currently facing.
“I know we’ve had a glorious past as a nation. I know we’re going through tough times right now. Sometimes we tend to think what we’re in is going to always be the way it’ll be,” Romney said. “But you know what, it’s going to change. We need real change. For real change we’re going to have to take a different course. And I think that’s what Americans are going to do on Nov. 6.”
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