Mitt Romney’s remarks in Florida on last day of 2012 presidential campaign (Full transcript)

November 5, 2012

Here is a complete transcript of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign event in Sanford, Fla., on the last day of the presidential campaign, Nov. 5, 2012.

MITT ROMNEY: That is quite an Orlando welcome. Thank you so very much. What a way to start a day. This is fabulous; what a way to start an election. (APPLAUSE)

And I am -- I am so looking forward to getting the chance to work with Senator Connie Mack, you’ve got to make that happen.

(APPLAUSE)

And I also appreciate the -- the great leadership of Jeb Bush -- Governor Jeb Bush, one of the best this country’s ever known.


Explore the 2012 electoral map and view historical results and demographics

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you to Governor Scott for welcoming us here and Lieutenant Governor Carroll.

Thank you also to Jeff Atwater. As you know, Jeff is the Chief Financial Officer of the state, but he’s been the Co-Chair of my effort here along with Adam Putnam, who as you know, is the Commissioner of Agriculture. I appreciate their work.

Will Weatherford, the Speaker of the House has addressed you and I appreciate his support.

Senator Mel Martinez and I appreciate Mel being here.

(APPLAUSE)

I think I’ve -- oh, I didn’t mention Congressman John Mica. Where’s John hanging out here?

(APPLAUSE)

He’s over here, hi there.

It’s quite a gathering today.

(APPLAUSE)

This is -- it’s quite a welcome that you provided me. You’re -- you’re...

(APPLAUSE)

... you’re voices -- your voices are not just heard in this hanger, they’re being heard all over the nation.

(APPLAUSE)

And even though -- even though Ann is at a different city this morning, they are being felt your voices in both of our hearts and I -- I want you to know how much we appreciate all that you’ve done, all the doors you’ve knocked on, all the phone calls you’ve made and the fact that you voted early. I saw how many hands went up when you were asked. That was very good.

(APPLAUSE) And some of you put signs in your yard.

(APPLAUSE)

Some you have put signs in your neighbor’s yard.

(APPLAUSE)

And -- and I just -- I -- I know -- I know how many as well have talked to coworkers and tried to convince people to vote for Paul Ryan and me.

Look, we -- we have one job left and that’s to make sure that on Election Day, we get -- make certain that everybody who’s qualified to vote gets out to vote. We need every single vote in Florida.

(APPLAUSE)

Now what makes this rally and your work so inspiring, is that you’re here because you care about America.

(APPLAUSE)

This is -- this is a campaign about America and about the future we’re going to leave our children. We thank you, we ask you to stay at it all the way -- all the way to victory on Tuesday night.

(APPLAUSE)

Tomorrow, we begin a new tomorrow. Tomorrow we begin a better tomorrow. This nation is going to begin to change for the better tomorrow. Your work is making a difference, the people of the world are watching, the people of America are watching. We can begin a better tomorrow tomorrow and with the help of the people in Florida, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

(APPLAUSE)

Now there may be some of your friends and family members who haven’t made up their mind yet who they’re going to vote for. So I’d ask them to look beyond the speeches and beyond the attacks and even beyond all the ads, look to the record. You see talk is cheap, but a record, that’s real and it’s earned with real effort.

And so...

(APPLAUSE)

I mean the president promised a lot of change but change can’t be measured in speeches. It has to be measured in achievements and four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do oh so very much but he’s fallen also very short.

I mean you know some of these things. I mean he said he’d said he’d be a post-partisan president, but he’s been most partisan, attacking, dividing, blaming, it’s not only Republicans he’s refused to listen to, he’s also refused to listen to Independent voices.

He was going to focus on creating jobs, instead he focused on Obamacare and that killed jobs.

He was going to cut the federal deficit in half, instead he doubled it.

He said that by now, unemployment would be at 5.2 percent and last Friday, we learned that it’s 7.9 percent.

Now that’s...

(BOOING)

... that’s -- that’s -- that’s nine million jobs short of what he promised. Unemployment today is higher than when Barack Obama was elected president. Think of that.

He promised that he would propose a plan to save Social Security and Medicare. He didn’t, never even proposed a plan. Instead, he took $716 billion out of Medicare and used it to pay for Obamacare, that we didn’t want.

(BOOING)

He also said he would lower the health insurance premiums of the average family in America this year, we’d be down $2,500 a year. Anybody see that yet?

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: Actually, they’re up $3,000 a year. Think of what impact that has on a middle-income family in America.

And of course the average American family now pays about $2,000 a year more for gasoline than they did when the president was elected.

(BOOING)

One more thing, let me mention, he said he would reach across the aisle on the most important issues that the country faced. Do you realize he has not met on the economy or on the budget, sequestration or on jobs with either the Republican leader or the Republican -- of the House or the Republican leader of the Senate since July. That is not working across the aisle. That’s not bridging the divide, it’s making the divide wider.

So now we’ve had a lot of debates in this country and not as Republican or as Democrats, but as Americans that look at the -- the issues that are before them and you’ve watched what’s happened in the country over the last four years with a -- with an independent voice.

You hoped that President Obama would live up to his promise to bring people together and to solve problems. He hasn’t; I will.

(APPLAUSE) And you know why he fell so short -- you know why he fell so short of what he promised. He cared more -- he cared more about a liberal agenda than about repairing the economy.

Did Obamacare create new jobs?

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: Did his war on coal and gas and oil put new jobs in the -- in the marketplace?

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: Did the Dodd-Frank regulations help banks make more loans to people?

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: Does raising taxes create more jobs?

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: Does an avalanche of new regulations help small business build new jobs?

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: You passed the test.

(LAUGHTER)

I mean I’ll...

(APPLAUSE)

Look, I’m -- I’m happy to sit down and discuss this with anybody who likes you but almost every measure the president took made it harder for the economy to recover and it hurt our fellow Americans.

And -- and we’re not just talking about a handful of people. We’re talking 23 million Americans are struggling to find a good job. One in six Americans are poor and the middle class, even those that have jobs, the middle class is being squeezed with lower incomes every year and higher prices from everything to health insurance to gasoline and electricity bills. It’s been tough for middle-income Americans, even those that are employed.

This -- this weekend, I spoke with a wife of a 60-year-old man; he -- he’s worked as a welder for 40 years but he just got laid off. And she said, what’s he going to do? She asked what I could do to help them and she made it very clear, they’re not looking for a government check, he wants a job.

The president thinks -- the president thinks more government is the answer. No, Mr. President, more jobs, that’s that answer for America. (APPLAUSE)

I mean the question of this election -- the question of this election really comes down to this, do the people of America want four more years like the last four years or...

AUDIENCE: No!

ROMNEY: ... or do you want real change, finally?

(APPLAUSE)

Now I think you know that the president promised change, but he couldn’t deliver change. I not only promise change, I have a record of achieving it, I actually...

(APPLAUSE)

I actually built a business, I helped turn around another business, I helped get the Olympics back on track. And then with a Democrat legislature, 85 percent Democrat, I helped turn my state from deficit to surplus, from job losses to job growth and from lower take- home pay to higher take-home pay. That’s...

(APPLAUSE)

... that’s why I’m running for president. I know how to change the course the nation is on. I know how to get us to a balanced budget and how to build jobs and -- and make rising take-home pay happen again.

See, accomplishing real change is not just something I talk about, it is something I have done and it is something I will do as the president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

If you believe we can do better, if you believe America should be on a better course, if you’re tired of being tired, then I ask you to vote for real change; Paul Ryan and I will bring real change to America from day one.

When I’m elected, of course, the economy and the American job market will continue to be stagnant, but I won’t waste any time complaining about my predecessor.

(APPLAUSE)

And I won’t spend my effort trying to pass partisan legislation unrelated to jobs and growth.

From day one, I’m going to go to work to help Americans get back to work.

(APPLAUSE) And, you know, people all over the country are responding to Paul Ryan and my five part plan to create more jobs and rising take-home pay.

Part one of that is taking full advantages of our energy resources, our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, renewables...

(APPLAUSE)

On day one -- on day one, I’ll act to increase the number of leases and permits to drill on federal lands.

(APPLAUSE)

And I’ll act to speed the approval of the Keystone Pipeline from Canada.

(APPLAUSE)

Number two, I will move to boost trade, particularly with Latin America. It’s an enormous opportunity for us. We need to take advantage of it.

(APPLAUSE)

And I will finally designate China as a currency manipulator, we all have to play by the same rules.

(APPLAUSE)

Now third, I’m going to send to Congress a retraining reform act to make sure every worker can get the skills they need for a good job.

And number four, I’m going to tackle out of control spending. I’m going to send Congress the first of several fundamental reforms. This first one will be called the Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act.

(APPLAUSE)

And it is going to do something that’s been spoken of but never done and that is we’re not going to -- just -- just going to slow down the rate of federal spending, we’re actually going to cut federal spending and get ourselves on track to a balanced budget.

(APPLAUSE)

I’m not just going to take office on January 20, I’m going to take responsibility for that office as well.

(APPLAUSE)

And number five, I’m going act to boost small business and all business by the way. I’m going to issue Executive Orders aimed at straightening out the problems that are holding the economy back.

The first is going to grant waivers from Obamacare to help begin its repeal.

(APPLAUSE)

The second, we’ll launch a sweeping review of all Obama era regulations with an eye to eliminating or repairing those that are killing jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way, for the first time -- for the first time in four years, every entrepreneur, every small business person, every job creator is going to know that the president of the United States and our government likes them and likes the jobs they help bring to America’s...

(APPLAUSE)

See, Paul Ryan and I believe in limiting government instead of limiting the dreams of our fellow Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

Now our choice tomorrow is going to lead to one of two very different outcomes and people across the country, I think have the information they need to -- to know where those outcomes would be. They can judge what kind of America we’ll have based upon who they vote for.

If for instance, they were able to reelect President Obama, he will still be unable to work with Congress and the people there, because he’s ignored them in the past, he’s attacked them, he’s blamed them. The debt ceiling that comes up from time to time, it’s going to come up again. There’ll be threats of shutdown and default and of course, that scares the heck out of the economy, freezes job growth.

I think the president was right the other day when he said he can’t change Washington from the inside, only from the outside. We’re going to give him that chance.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s his way. My way is quite different. When I’m elected, I’m going to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress. I’m going to meet regularly with leaders in both parties and I’m going to endeavor to find good men and good women on both sides of the aisle that care more about the country than they do about politics and they’re there and we can make that happen.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, there’s no question, but you know that regardless of what he says, if the president gets reelected, he’s going to continue his war on coal and oil and natural gas.

I have a very different path. When I’m elected, we’re going to change course on energy to build jobs, to help with the price at the pump. We’re going to achieve North American energy independence in eight years.

(APPLAUSE)

If the president were to be reelected, I’m convinced he will continue to crush small business with his plan to raise taxes on them, to force employees to join unions whether they want to or not, to expand regulations and to impose Obamacare, which also kills jobs.

I care about small business. I see it as a means for people to fulfill their dreams.

Last week, I met a -- a woman in Richmond, Virginia named Rhoda Elliott (ph). She -- she’s been running her family restaurant for a number of years, Bill’s Barbecue, a business that’s been in her family for some 82 years. At the high point, she had 200 employees. She just closed it down and she told me that it was the Obama era taxes and regulation, Obamacare and the Obama era economy that put her out of business.

And she teared up as she was talking about it. This wasn’t about money, this is about the future for her family and the future for the families of the employees that worked there.

I want to help the hundreds of thousands of dreamers like Rhoda and I will.

(APPLAUSE)

You know that if the president were to be reelected, he’s going to say he’s going to improve our schools, but he’ll do what his largest campaign supporters, the public sector unions insist on. And your kids will have the same schools with the same results.

When I’m president, having learned lessons from Jeb Bush in the experience of Florida...

(APPLAUSE)

... I’m going to be the voice of the children and the parents across the nation because there’s no union for the PTA.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to make sure the kids of the nation get what your kids here get. I want to make sure they -- they receive the information about the school their kids are going to to know whether it’s succeeding or failing and I want every child to have the choice they need to pick the school where their child can succeed.

(APPLAUSE)

Now I’m proud of the fact that in my state, we took our schools to the top of the nation, number one of all 50 states. But we did that by working together, Republicans and Democrats, by listening to the good advice of our best teachers who’ve dedicated their lives to helping others; listened to parents and always putting the students and their education first and I’ll do the same thing as president.

Now these last -- these last few months of the campaign, you’ve noted that we’ve gathered strength. It’s become a movement across the country.

(APPLAUSE)

You see it -- you see it, not just in the -- in the size of the crowds that gather and the energy and passion, but also in the -- the shared conviction we have. It’s made me strive even more to be worthy of your support and to campaign as I was governor to speak for the aspirations of -- of all Americans.

I learned that as governor of Massachusetts, that the best achievements are shared achievements. I learned that respect and good will go a long way and are usually returned in kind. That’s how I’ll conduct myself as your president.

I’ll bring people together, I won’t just represent one party, I’ll represent one nation.

(APPLAUSE)

Throughout the campaign, using every argument he can think of, President Obama has tried to convince you that the last four years have been a success.

(BOOING)

And so his plan for the next four years is take all the ideas from his first four years, you know the stimulus, the tax increase, the borrowing, Obamacare, and do them all over again.

(BOOING)

He calls this plan “Forward,” I call it forewarned.

(APPLAUSE)

That same path means $20 trillion in debt. It means continuing crippling unemployment. It means depressed home values, stagnant take-home pay and a deficit in military.

Unless we change course, we may be looking at another recession as well.

And his closing argument, did you hear this? Just the other day, President Obama asked his supporters to vote for revenge.

(BOOING)

For revenge. Instead I ask the American people to vote for love of country.

(APPLAUSE) We have -- we have got to lead America back to a better place. Our -- our motto, united we stand, this is -- this is -- this is -- out of one many -- excuse me -- out of many one, this -- this unity is a -- is a fundamental principle of America. We’ve got to restore it.

And so we’re one day way from a fresh start.

(APPLAUSE)

One day away for the first day of a new beginning. My conviction is that better days are ahead and it’s not based on -- it’s not based on promises or rhetoric, but it’s based on solid plans and proven results and an unshakable faith in the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

Now if there’s anybody -- if there’s anybody who’s worried that the last four years are the best we can do or if there’s anyone who’s fearing that the American Dream is fading away or if there’s anyone who wonders whether better jobs and better paychecks are things of the past, I have a clear and unequivocal message. With the right leadership, America is about to come roaring back.

(APPLAUSE)

We’re Americans, we can do anything. The only thing that stands between us and some of the best years we’ve -- we’ve ever imagined is lack of leadership and that’s why we have elections.

Tomorrow is a moment to look into the future and imagine what we can do to put the past four years behind us and start building a new future.

And you saw the differences when President Obama and I were side by side at the debates.

(APPLAUSE)

He says it has to be this way. I say it can’t stay this way. He’s offering excuses, I’ve got a plan. I can’t wait to get started. He’s hoping we’ll settle. But Americans don’t settle, we build, we aspire, we listen to the voice inside that says we can do better -- a better job, a better life, a bigger, better country. That is what’s in store with new leadership.

(APPLAUSE)

That better life is out there. It’s waiting for us. Our destiny, it’s in your hands. Tomorrow we get to work rebuilding our country. Tomorrow we restore our confidence and renew our conviction. Tomorrow that confidence that we’re on a solid path to steady improvement begins. Confidence in college grads will be able to find a good a good job at the end of four years.

(APPLAUSE)

Confidence that moms and dads that are working two jobs will have a shot at a better job.

Tomorrow on November 6, we come together for a better future and on November 7, we’ll get to work.

(APPLAUSE)

Now I’d like you to reach across the street to that neighbor with the other campaign’s yard sign and we’ll reach across the aisle in Washington to people of good faith in the other party.

This -- this is such a critical time. It’s so much more than just our moment, it’s America’s moment of renewal and purpose and optimism. We’ve journeyed far and wide in this campaign. And now we’re almost home. One final push is going to get us there.

We’ve known -- we’ve known many long days and some short nights and now we’re close. The door to a brighter future is open. It’s waiting for us. I need your vote. I need your help. Walk with me. Tomorrow we begin a new tomorrow.

(APPLAUSE)

God bless you all. God bless Florida. God bless Orlando. We’re going to take back this country and make it strong and proud and prosperous.

Thank you so very much. Thanks you guys. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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