At times, Romney veered into complexities on policy matters. Discussing the repatriation tax, he said he would like to enable Americans making money in foreign countries to bring their money to the United States without it being taxed.
“If you want to bring your money home, ple-e-e-ease bring it home,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “And I know some people say, yeah, but companies might put it out as dividends. Well, that’s okay, too. I’d rather have you invest it. But give it out to people; give it out to retirees. I mean, what’s happened to the interest rate on their CDs? Get money out there. Let them use that money to buy things.”
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says when it comes to the economy the federal government's chief responsibility needs to be helping entrepreneurs grow and expand their enterprises.
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Romney even seemed to apologize to the business chiefs over some of the hot rhetoric he has used on the campaign trail to assail the Obama administration’s federal investments in Solyndra and other green energy companies.
“And then finally, something I call crony capitalism — I know that not everyone is happy with my discourse on this, but I don’t think the government should be investing in individual companies to try and promote individual companies,” Romney said.
Romney said he would “halt” all Obama-era regulations — including the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul, which he pledged to repeal in part or in full — as well as balance the federal budget in eight to 10 years and lower corporate and personal-income tax rates.
“I don’t want to raise the individual marginal tax rate from 35 to 40 percent,” Romney said. “I know there are some who think that that’s a great way to go after rich people, and uh, first of all, shame on anybody who thinks we’re going to divide the country based on success.”
That reference drew some CEOs in the audience to nod their heads, but they refrained from any applause until the end of Romney’s 26-minute speech. Then, he took questions from the business leaders — but only after reporters were removed from the banquet room on the top floor of the Newseum.
A Romney campaign spokesman said it was the Business Roundtable, not the campaign, that ordered the question-and-answer session to be closed to the news media.