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And -- -- again from Fox News in Washington.
The Iowa Caucuses are now just over two weeks away.
But despite months of campaigning and thirteen debates the Republican race for president is still wide open.
We've conducted a series of 20121 on one interviews to help you get to know the candidates -- And today we round out the field would Mitt Romney.
Who sits down for his first Sunday show interview in almost two years.
Yesterday we caught up with them on the campaign trail in South Carolina.
Where he had just won the endorsement of that State's popular governor Nikki Haley.
In a wide ranging interview we talked about the challenges he faces winning the GOP nomination.
And possibly running against President Obama.
Governor Romney at long last welcome back to Fox News on that thanks Chris -- to -- with you.
I saw the other day that President Obama has not -- with the Republican congressional leaders in five months.
While he is at the same time made 34 campaign speeches.
What's your basic argument running against what's the choice for voters.
Well as you described that introduction -- the choice as it relates to that style is that leaders don't do that.
Leaders actually spent time meeting with people on the other side of the aisle.
Understand their needs to understand their concerns get their input and look for some -- way to find common ground.
Not to violate their own principles orbit insists that the opposition violates its principles.
But instead finding places where this common ground upon which to build.
And this president instead has gone to the people and attacked.
It's been a constant attack either against Republicans or gets people in the business world or whatever group -- somehow feels as opposed to his agenda.
The right course for any leader is to work with other people.
-- Democrats -- of America could Republicans love America we need a leader who understands not just the words of unity but the practice of building unity.
On the other hand the president says he rescued the country from the great another Great Depression he killed.
-- bin Laden and he says you and your party.
Would restore policies that cause the financial meltdown in the first.
It's great rhetoric but again it's just it's hollow.
First of all.
He was stopped the reason the economy.
And I hit bottom and that begins to to recover we we have got to recessions before.
He made this -- worse.
And he made the recovery more temperate I I get the chance to speak with that business leaders -- big and small businesses largely small.
And I say to them do any of you believe that the policies of this administration.
Have helped you be more successful in -- enterprise and hire more people.
I don't see a single hand go up when I asked that an audience his policies have hurt not helped with regards to Osama bin Laden what we're delighted that he.
That -- gave the order take out of some -- -- laden any president would have done that but this this one did and that's a good thing that I'm not gonna say everything he's done is wrong.
But with regards to the economy almost everything he's done made it more difficult for this economy to reboot.
Before you face the president of course you have to win the Republican nomination and you crowd in recent days been escalating your attacks against.
Your main competitor in the polls speaker Gingrich.
You now say he's saying he he's an -- reliable leader in the conservative world he lacks the temperament.
What's your basic argument against -- and.
Well we're different and and it at a campaign is about pointing out differences mean for instance so that would be great issue.
That has been brought before this congress with the new Republican congress is are we going to deal with entitlement reform or not.
And Republicans came together and proposed a program to make sure that Medicare is sustainable.
Paul Ryan was the author of the plan but almost every single Republican congress voted for.
And and the world watched to see okay are we -- have progress and the speaker said this is right wing social engineering.
And that that talk about on reliable at a critical time.
He he cut the legs out out from underneath a a very important -- at the same.
Same was true with regards to cap and trade this was being battled on Capitol Hill on the speaker set -- what Nancy Pelosi.
And spoke in favor of legislation dealing with climate change he he has been on reliable in those settings and zany.
I wouldn't think you'd call -- in space to -- highways at night to particularly practical.
Or a lunar a colony a practical idea out of the stage like this.
Are you prepared for a long bitter primary battle all the way to the convention.
I hope we don't have that but I guess is that that's -- that's certainly a possibility.
We we'd have adopted the democratic party's approach for allocating.
The the early delegates on a proportional basis and we watch what happened when the Democrats did that their primary process -- for a long long time.
So we are prepared.
If we go on firm for months and months so we will have the resources to the Kerry campaign do to each of the states that.
Will decide who gets delegates -- who becomes the nominee.
One of the knocks against you is that at a time when Republican voters want dramatic change that you are offering fine -- Let's start with taxes.
Rick Perry calls for a 20% flat tax Newt Gingrich has a 15%.
You would keep the top tax rate at 35%.
And in contrast to most your rivals you would not lower the tax on capital gains and dividends.
For anyone making more than 200000 dollars a year question.
Aren't you basically right there with Barack Obama the rich should pay more.
No I'm just saying don't raise taxes on anyone.
I want to make sure that with the precious dollars we have.
It is that we can provide tax relief that those dollars go to the middle income Americans that the people have been hurt in the Obama economy.
Are not there with a wealthy wealthy are doing just fine.
The people that heard -- people in the middle class and so I focus they.
Those precious dollars we have -- -- that in the middle class but what's wrong with the 15% flat tax with a 20% flat if you're keeping that I was right.
Further for the wealthy at 35% of all look I would love to see -- a tax system.
Which it brings down rates which is a more broad based tax system.
Which eliminate some of the deductions and exemptions -- that the Bowles Simpson plan for instance I think had a lot to speak for.
And and out all work -- -- plan of that nature the the -- that the policies have seen so far that have been put forward.
Of that nature have represented dramatic reductions in tax for the very highest income people and I'm not looking.
To -- dramatically reduced taxes for the wealthiest in our society not not that there's -- they'd rather be wealthy.
I'm -- done very well myself.
You understand that others do but -- but might my intent in running for president.
Is to help middle income Americans.
And and and a plan to dramatically cuts taxes for the very very wealthiest is in my opinion not the right course you talk about.
Helping the middle class but your plan.
That would eliminate the tax on capital gains and dividends.
Doesn't help that.
Recent studies show that a family making 75000.
Dollars a year in terms of what they would receive by eliminating capital gains and dividends.
Dollars -- Well first of all it -- a 167 dollars is not zero and number two.
One of the reasons people don't save their money.
-- -- they don't see an incentive to do so that put in Roth IRAs and Keogh plans it.
And they and they have to put together these -- programs to try and save money in -- tax -- basis what I do.
Is a lot of middle income families to finally be able to save their money.
Tax free no tax and interest dividends or capital gains for middle and -- the argument is middle class people can afford it and have enough money.
To have a lot of capital gains and dividends.
Look I recognize it's not a huge tax -- it is a tax reduction and it allows middle income folks to participate.
In making it a brighter future for themselves and for -- and you're gonna find in this country.
That if there's no tax on savings middle income people are gonna take advantage of that to -- for college to save for retirement to say for things that they want.
And and saying look let's provide that same break to the high income people that costs a lot about it.
And and it's really not a tax -- the stated there.
All right then they're spending Ron Paul says that he could cut federal spending one trillion dollars in the first year Rick Perry says he can cut.
The federal budget a quarter.
Of the -- that each year you say that you would cut 500 billion dollars in 2016.
Again if a voter wants dramatic change and that's what they say they want why wouldn't go for when he arrivals and static -- Well my plan is a responsible plan and I have the specifics that show how it will cut 500 billion dollars under the federal budget.
And take federal spending for 25% of the GDP.
Down to 20% of the GDP which is in my view closer to the long range average and and make sense.
Those it is said look we're gonna get rid of I hit a double that amount I wanna see the specifics -- look to see whether that would in fact hurt the economy make it harder for us.
Two to put people back to work but my highest priority.
Is to make sure we get Americans back to work.
And that we have rising incomes again and that we have a deficit reduction program in place that convinces the world that we're on track to having a balanced budget.
I want to cut federal spending I want a cap federal spending at 20% of the GDP in the lower from there and ultimately I wanna have a balanced budget amendment.
-- -- let's pick up on this between them.
Rick Perry Ron Paul eliminate five.
Cabinet level departments including energy and education you would not eliminate and it.
By -- well it's not that I won't eliminate any.
I'm just gonna make sure that we -- have been some depth to decide which which agencies we ultimately combine.
But I think -- -- people think if we eliminate an agency we're not gonna.
Keep doing anything it does the department of education for instance provides funding for the education of disabled children.
I don't imagine that either of those that talk about getting rid of that department -- planning out.
No longer helping in the education of disabled children so.
We need to look and say.
Given the fact that that function is gonna go -- where would it resides.
Some other responsibilities that are happening in these agencies will continue and somehow eliminate some programs -- eliminate my list of programs to -- it's pretty long.
I wanna pick up on that because now let's look at it from the Democrats point of view of the end up as the nominate because they're also gonna attack your budget just exactly the the other way.
You say that you would push it says a new website one of your goals pass the house plan congressman Paul Ryan's plan to cut the budget.
Let's look into that.
Cut Medicaid health coverage for the -- by 700.
Billion dollars -- food stamps.
By a 127.
Billion dollars cut pell grants for low income.
College students in -- you would cut all these programs governor that people depend on -- a lot more than that.
Actually the the great news about about those programs is that in the Ryan plan and in the plant not put forward.
I take a -- of the biggest of those which is Medicaid.
I take the Medicaid dollars send them back to the states.
Without the -- -- -- how they have to treat to actually cutting the budget by 700 million dollar what's what I do is I take that the money send it back to the states and say we're gonna grow that funding.
At inflation the CPI plus 1%.
By doing that you save an enormous amount of money.
I happen to believe that states could do a better job.
Caring for their own poor.
I'm rooting out the fraud and waste and abuse it exists within -- you don't think if you cut 700 billion dollars in aid to the states that some people didn't get hurt it in the same way that by cutting welfare spending dramatically.
I don't think -- hurt the poor.
In the same way I think cutting Medicaid spending by having it go to the states run more efficiently with less fraud I don't think we'll help that will hurt the people.
The depend on that program for their health care well -- I wanna pursue a cooler than this is if you wind up against Barack Obama really 1 of the central issues the president says that he is going to campaign is the champion.
Of the middle class and portray the Republican nominee it wherever it is.
Has pushing tax cuts for the wealthy spending cuts for the poor and rolling back regulations.
Well in the environment and how -- vulnerable.
He's extraordinarily vulnerable but this will say how did that work Mr.
Here four years in office just how well to those programs work.
Did the poverty decline in this country -- to go up went up.
Joblessness he came into office and said let me borrow 787.
Billion dollars and I'll keep unemployment below 8% which itself was an extraordinarily -- number.
Henne has been below 8% since his policies have not worked his -- we need regulation for -- as you point out.
We need regulation in our society and about some of -- -- get rid of all regulation.
We just did regulation that's updated and modern and that encourages enterprise as opposed to burdening it.
He is great failing is he does not understand how this economy works and how his policies have made it harder for this economy.
To put Americans back to work.
I do know how the economy works and my policies are designed to get people what they desperately want.
Not care for being poor they wanna stop being -- have a good job and have a bright future.
In your last book you repeatedly talk about creative destruction.
They that the idea creative destruction in capitalism.
For -- to what does that mean creative destruction.
Well it's it's an unfortunate but but in some respects an essential part of free enterprise that and the example I use in my book is.
When someone came up with inventing the tractor.
Hit destroyed a lot of jobs it destroyed have many enterprises of people in the the horse.
Drawn -- business went out of business and yet and they the wealth of the American people and the well being of the American people.
Invention -- of a new product or new technique or a new designed invention tends to put.
Some enterprises out of business and encourage other businesses to become more successful with -- With the the the outcome that the entire society becomes better off.
But let me present the other side of the argument.
Not to say that we don't want progress obviously we do what about the people who get hurt in that process who lose their jobs -- lose their families what about that.
Well -- and that's that's why did it in a productive society have new invention coming along and people -- of those new enterprises I'm I'm sure for instance that when.
The automobile came on the scene and tractors came on the scene it was actually slightly before my time.
Thought that it could remind KF.
What when that occurred a lot of people -- lose jobs and it had to be heart wrenching.
And and you have to have a a setting which allows people to get trained for the new positions a safety net to make sure people are not.
On the streets of and that's that's an essential part of a free enterprise system as well where there will be businesses that go lot of business.
To get people into the new opportunities and that that happen.
If we if someone said to me you know how could you create millions and millions of jobs overnight.
My tractors illegal.
Say to farmers you have to use horses and and plows again why we put everybody to work we just be extraordinarily poor what if President Obama goes after you as Gordon Gekko.
Read it is good and of course you will.
In in part because he's been the great divider.
This is a president who goes after anybody -- successful and by the way.
He's pretty successful too.
He's done very very well over the last several years and and we'll get into it in some depth and I'll point out that in -- my experience in the private sector.
-- in the investments that I made in the business -- I helped to build our intent in every case was to either help people realize their dreams by starting a business.
Or taking a business that was failing their underperforming and -- -- -- more successful my business was not buying things taking them apart closing them down.
My business was associated with trying to make enterprises more successful.
Not always was -- able to succeed.
But in each case we tried to grow and enterprise and in doing so hopefully provide a better future for those that are associated with a that a product pick up.
On on -- and where you work for 25 years and you say that's what sets you apart you have worked in the real private sector and you have created jobs.
There have been some big successes.
Staples now -- you -- helped start it.
They now employ 90000 people on the other hand we saw that for.
Of the ten top dollar investments you made.
Is -- just that the cost of doing business -- It's it's not just to cost it's the it's the downside it's the reality of what life is like in the private sector.
Which is that businesses that you invest in.
And those are not enterprises that I ran of course not but but in businesses that -- GPS -- Dade international right.
-- and a couple of like -- industries it's been it was a group of steel mills.
And I think we were an investor in that business for.
I don't know eight years or so it it it finally went bankrupt after I'd left the firm it was an investment that was made again I wasn't running it.
But the steel industry got in trouble in this country I think forty mills went bankrupt the same time it did.
But in part because of well in this case dumping from places like China into this country I understand the impact of what happens globally and trade.
And and businesses.
You know lose and go out of business and in some cases lose jobs if it breaks your heart when that happens it also but -- -- investment.
At and about the way you you probably -- -- the dollars in the bank capital where my dollars they were they came from endowments have.
Even a church a pension fund was -- -- not my church but it was invested in bank capital on that money goes to them and when we suffer losses they're the ones to suffer the losses as well.
-- you talk about the money back when you're in Bain Capital you and your partners took a picture.
With money literally.
Coming out of your pockets coming out of your jacket and you know that he -- -- Gordon got to you know the Democrats are dying to use that picture against -- What what's the story of that fact.
Already have and will that was that the closing of our very first fund.
We went out as a group of folks and said you know I wonder if we can raise money from other people.
To organize that they company.
We can get capital from others that will allow us to Begin a business that will be successful and we went out and raise money we were successful in raising our first -- it was about 37 million dollars an extraordinarily large amount of money that we raise from other people.
And and we pose for a picture but -- just celebrating the fact we'd raise a lot of money and then we hoped.
To be able to return it with with a good return.
And and that in the interim of course we'd have to be successful build enterprises that first fund that invested and in a number of businesses that turned out to create a lot of jobs.
And -- very positive return to the people who entrusted us with that with their funds but but but but but I know that'll be used I know that that's.
It it'll be fun I recognize the president's gonna go after me I'll I'll go after him and and -- he says he -- third or somebody says it is it is.
-- that fat cat hard hearted.
You know we've been let businesses -- he makes money business's fault sometimes you still make money.
You know I know that the that this could be every effort to put free enterprise.
And to attack free enterprise to attack people who work in free enterprise to attack those who believe that profit is good.
A profit in an enterprise is better than loss.
Loss means jobs are -- -- be lost you hope what I hope to see General Motors as a profitable and successful enterprise again so that jobs can be spared.
You know I mentioned the other night.
The president has had one experience overseeing an enterprise couple of -- General Motors and Chrysler.
What he did.
He close factories.
He laid off people he didn't do it personally but these people did what is that.
Because you want to save the enterprise and in in my and he wants to make it get a profitable so it can survive for a profit in enterprise is essential to keep it alive and to keep people employed.
The individual mandate in Romney care you say.
That the reason for it was to deal with free riders those folks who didn't have insurance who would show up.
When they were -- and an emergency room get treatment that all the rest of us through taxes or are heightened premiums have to pay for.
But for writers are not just the Massachusetts problem.
Is the individual mandate telling people they have to get.
Health insurance is not a good idea.
Do you agree.
That it's a good idea for others it.
Well there are various ways to encourage people.
It -- have insurance if they can afford it and and we put in place a plan that.
That was politically possible and in our state which.
Which some call an individual mandate it is an individual mandate.
There are various ways incursion that -- another alternative would be to say we're gonna give a tax break to people who do have insurance.
And you're gonna lose that break.
If if you don't have insurance that it is not a good idea for other states today I'm not gonna trying to tell the states what to do some states have said look we're gonna care for uninsured or poor.
By having clinics that they can go to to get care there are various models look -- compared to end it and -- the Massachusetts model works other states shall adopt it if it doesn't.
Massachusetts itself will probably give it up all right.
The reason why I asked can you say you don't they're not gonna tell other states back in December of 2004 almost exactly.
Four years ago today you were -- -- with Tim Russert on Meet the Press.
And you said you thought it was would be a terrific idea if other states went for the individual mandate -- at best.
Those who follow the path that we pursued will find it's the best path and will end up with a nation that's taken a mandate approach.
Do you stand by that on a state level not a federal level -- mandate -- Look I like what our state did it was right for our state I mean let the states pursue their paths as they think -- -- of us for years ago as they think -- -- makes the most sense.
I'd like we did I'm proud of what we did -- -- -- tell Texas what Texas has to do or California or New York I think the ideas that we put forward.
Work we'll see which parts of the market which don't but I I'm not as president of United States.
Gonna do with this president did.
Which is to impose his will on the entire nation.
The tenth amendment says states can craft at all plans if they -- with -- and I think ours is a model that they can look at and take pieces of -- Improve upon it.
If they like what they see bill they'll they'll they'll use it if they don't want to tell you something better.
Governor Romney we have take a break here.
But when we come back we're gonna talk some foreign policy and I'm also gonna try to persuade the governor to get first -- fat and.
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