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On leaked video, Romney says his win would boost markets, economy

September 18, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets Boy Scouts as he arrives in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets Boy Scouts as he… (Associated Press / Charles…)

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney predicted in a leaked fundraiser video that financial markets would be happy if he wins and the victory would boost the economy before he even takes office.

"My own view is if we win on Nov. 6, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country," Romney told supporters at a May fundraiser at a private Florida home, according to the full 49-minute video released Tuesday by the Mother Jones news organization.

"We’ll see capital come back," he continued. "Without actually doing anything, we’ll actually get a boost to the economy."

Romney wasn't as optimistic about the market and economic implications of a victory by President Obama in the video.

"If the president gets re-elected, I don’t know what'll happen," he said. "I can never predict what the market’s going to do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected."

The exchange takes place starting at about 1 minute and 20 seconds into the second part of the video.

In a video snippet from the fundraiser released Monday, Romney criticized Obama supporters as being largely the 47% of people who pay no income taxes. Those people "believe the government has a responsibility to care for them" and "believe that they are victims," Romney said.

Late Monday, Romney said those comments "were not elegantly stated," but he did not apologize.

In the video, the financial implications of the election are raised by a man who told Romney that the markets would "be speaking very loudly in October" as the presidential race heads to the finish.

Romney agreed.

"They’ll probably be looking at what the polls are saying," he said. "If it looks like I’m going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president is going to win, the markets will not be terribly happy."

But history doesn't appear to be on Romney's side.

An analysis in 2008 found that the average annualized return for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (and its pre-1957 predecessor, the S&P 90) since 1929 was 0.4% under Republican presidents and 8.9% under Democratic presidents.

President Obama hasn't hurt that trend.

The S&P 500 has risen about 70% since he took office. And financial markets showed last week that they liked the latest stimulus program announced by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.

Romney has been highly critical of Fed policies since the financial crisis and said that, if elected, he would not re-nominate Bernanke when his term as chairman expires in early 2014.

^INX Chart

^INX data by YCharts


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