Mitt Romney on defending home turf
Republican presidential candidate on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 17:10
- Date Feb 26, 2012
Republican presidential candidate on 'Fox News Sunday'
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
On Tuesday voters go to the polls in Michigan and Arizona.
For what may be the most important primary day so far.
Joining us now from Flint, Michigan is governor Mitt Romney has got a lot riding on both -- -- and governor.
Welcome back to FOX News Sunday.
Thanks Chris -- -- -- with you again before we get into politics I wanna ask you about the the latest crisis and Afghanistan as you know US and NATO forces are being pulled out of all the Afghan ministries there.
Because two top US military advisors were killed as part of the continuing.
Furor over the -- burning of the Koran is the question I have is what does that say to you pulling our.
The forces out of the Ministry's what does that say to you ten years after the war began about the nature -- our alliance with the app.
-- Well it's an extraordinary admission of about failure for us to establish the relationships that you'd have to have.
Frey a a successful transition to to Afghan military and Afghan security leadership.
I hope -- -- say -- some improvement very soon but it's obviously very -- dangerous there.
And but the transition effort is not going as well as we'd like to see it go but but certainly the effort there is that an important one and we want to see that Afghan security troops.
Finally able to secure their own country and bring our our troops home when that when that job is done.
Do you still.
Oppose president Obama's decision to start develop pulling out US troops from Afghanistan this year.
And what do you think of his earlier apology this week to the Afghans.
For the burning -- wrong.
Well first of all with regards to the apology -- I think for a lot of people of this cystic said there in their throat to the idea that.
Where there having having lost to the thousands of of individuals to casualty and death.
We've made an enormous contribution to help the people there achieve.
Freedom and and for us to be apologizing at a time like this is something which is very difficult for the American people to -- to countenance.
At the same time it.
I know I'm I'm very concerned about the the pathway forward.
I think the president made an enormous error.
By announcing the withdrawal date of -- the surge forces during the fighting season -- the time this -- to come out he should've waited for at least three months.
Until the -- quite -- down and secondly.
The announcement as to when the combat forces are going to be were withdrawn and the combat operations are over it's one thing to make those plans internally it's another thing to announce into the Taliban.
At a Pakistan and India and of the afghanis.
-- and finally had to announce a specific withdrawal -- withdrawal date.
Before you have the input from those -- on the field I think it's another mistake this president has made it more difficult for our fighting men and women to be successful in our mission in Afghanistan.
But just to make a -- governor you're saying -- that despite the killing and and in some cases inside job killing.
-- American soldier is you would continue your commitment to its winning the war and Afghanistan.
Well what what we want to do is to transition Afghanistan.
Such that its own military and its own security forces can maintain.
-- the sovereignty of their government from a from an attack for the Taliban we did not want to see.
Afghanistan once again return to a Taliban dominated nation with with al-Qaeda and other training camps coming into the nation.
Where where that that is a mission which is continuing and and based upon what we're seeing so far we have a -- successful as we could have been and I think one of the reasons for that.
Is the president did not -- that the elections were fair and open with a credible account of being selected the president also announced the withdrawal date.
At a time certain which I think made -- very clear to the Taliban they just had to wait us out I think the president's made some enormous -- in the conduct of our mission there.
Four years ago you won Michigan by nine points -- John McCain but in the latest real clear politics average of polls there.
You're barely barely beating.
Why are you having such a tough time.
Locking up your home state against Rick Santorum.
Well I'm proud of the fact that I was born and raised in Michigan and you know last time when -- -- -- here against Senator McCain I think I started off eight points behind in the polls.
With two weeks ago.
And I was able to fight very hard earned every vote and end -- who ended -- winning issue -- point out.
About ten days ago I think -- and had me down fifteen points at Michigan.
Now it's tied -- -- slightly ahead.
I think I can show that I -- -- real hard and come from behind and I think the people as they focused on my campaign.
And my candidacy -- my plan to get America working again -- a plan that that calls for dramatic changes in the way Washington destruction.
Those are things that I think people are warming to -- and I'm making progress.
Well is they make him progress -- -- -- much weren't content however the vote is Tuesday.
-- question are you gonna when -- again and and secondly even if you do.
Isn't this nomination battle gonna go on at least until my way.
Well I'm planning -- -- winning here in Michigan and also an Arizona obviously that'll be be huge for us if we're able to do that particularly having.
I come from so far behind here at Michigan.
So where we're planning -- wedding we're making -- to the momentum is in the right direction we've we've cut the lead down now we're tied we're slightly ahead some polls show us more ahead and slightly.
We'll see what happens in the -- remaining days.
But how long the process goes on I think it's hard to predict but I'm not I'm convinced I gonna become the nominee and will be willing to take however long it takes to get that job done.
One problem that you who -- in Michigan is that you oppose the government bailout of Chrysler and General Motors you say.
That the companies eventually went through bankruptcy which is what you.
-- -- what you advocated all along but but critics say that there's a problem -- -- -- let me point that out with government money.
The two companies Chrysler and GM went through Chapter Eleven reorganization which was faster and easier without government money -- would have gone through chapter seven.
Which the companies say -- across thousands of jobs.
And critics like one of the reasons they needed the government money is because private companies.
Refused to give them any money including your -- company Bain Capital.
Well actually I -- the Obama people are pushing that story very hard but if we go back in history that 2008.
When when they CEOs of these companies went to Washington.
Asking for what fifty billion dollars I said don't given the money.
Instead have them go through a managed bankruptcy and if they need help after that bankruptcy.
Then the government can help with guarantees and guarantees on warranties and so forth so.
-- the money and the support that comes after they've gone through bankruptcy what the Obama people did about the way the bush team did the same thing.
They started writing checks until they finally realized.
I was right these companies needed to go through managed bankruptcy.
When they finally got that done they were finally able to get the that their legs underneath them and now I'm delighted to see these companies back and thriving.
And I let out a plan I think to get these companies to be not just the the motor city of America but the motor city of the world but but governor did to follow up.
There are a number of people number of top leaders of Michigan who say you're wrong that without the money up front.
Which they couldn't get from private companies with they have to get from the government.
They would have gone through chapter seven liquidation.
Is out of the Chapter Eleven managed bankruptcy the governor of Michigan who supports you on -- -- He says that and so does -- the head -- general motor is who's a Republican let's watch what he assess.
That would have been in bankruptcy for years.
And I think you could have written off.
This industry in this country.
They say without the government bailout Chrysler and General Motors -- -- go on under.
Well they're simply not understanding what I wrote what I believe and by the way.
There a lot of businesses and America -- get a real trouble.
You've seen airlines go into bankruptcy you've seen all sorts of business is going to bankruptcy and they come out and they're able to become stronger this is not the first time.
That an industry -- company's been in trouble.
And my position was very simple don't start writing checks as they did for months there was the head of the UAW.
Who said look they can't go into bankruptcy these companies can't going to managed bankruptcy said don't do that.
They'll never come out well he was wrong.
I was right they finally went under bankruptcy.
After bankruptcy that was a time to give them the financial support the guarantees to provide that help to get them out of bankruptcy.
That's the way it was would have been done best the result of the president's plan was -- that we spent several billion dollars before but at a time we didn't need to number one and number two.
After the process was over he gave a huge share of the companies to the UAW.
That's up there but the way bankruptcy normally works he was paying off the people that supported them and that by the way.
Are trying to get him re elected the right course was for this industry to go -- the same kind of bankruptcy other industries have.
And if for some reason they -- some government help that should have come getting them out of bankruptcy not spending billions that the auto executives went to Washington to receive in the first place.
All right let's talk about your new economic plan which you released this week and let's go through some of the -- tails -- You would cut individual marginal tax rates by 20% across the board.
No taxes at all on capital gains and dividends for families making less than 200000 dollars.
Cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% and entitlement reform slowly raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security.
And smaller benefit increases for the wealthy.
Now there are bad they're criticism both on the right and the laptop let's first up by the critics on the right they say you're playing -- bomb law.
Class war games Santorum says you're using the language of occupy.
Making life more difficult and the rules different for the top 1%.
-- respond to that.
We have a progressive tax code right now -- what I'm talking about are pretty significant reductions attacks across the board.
And the reason I'm talking about those marginal tax rate reductions across the board is to create incentives for small businesses to start growing and hiring again.
And I'm not try to change the progressivity of the code I'm not trying to say that that one group or another is gonna get better I get a better deal.
But but what I'm trying to do is to make sure that under no circumstances as the middle class.
Did end up with a larger share of the tax burden I have -- -- -- essential to me as a guiding principle.
That middle income Americans don't get hit with a bigger share of the burden that's -- point that I'm making and I'm gonna make sure that as we.
-- we added all up.
That to the middle income Americans are not getting a bigger burden.
And what about the argument that.
You're using the same class war for and you hear this from a lot of people the Wall Street Journal which were generally like your plan says it's the same old Obama class -- argument.
Yes you're gonna reduce that capital gains taxes for the middle class not for the wreckage.
Well obviously had the I wanna make sure that we maintain the progressivity in the code and I wanna help people who I think you've been most hurt by the -- -- economy.
And that said that's middle income Americans.
I'm not looking to to change the they did the deal that we have right now with regards to people looking at their share of the tax burden.
But what I am looking to do is to lower the marginal rate for all Americans across the board.
And by doing that you I'm sure you understand this about 55% of America's workers.
Working in businesses that are not classic corporations there instead taxed at the individual rate I want to get these rates are down.
So we can get American workers back into jobs again this is a pro growth policy that's why the Wall Street Journal liked -- wrote a very positive.
Editorial about it.
-- that's why I think people look at president Obama's plan which is calling on raising the marginal rate.
That'll kill jobs and make it harder for our economy to reboot so -- -- -- whatever whatever choice of language I have to use a wanna make sure get across to the American people.
I'm cutting rates across the board by 20%.
And I'm not gonna -- put a bigger burden on middle income Americans -- -- Now let's take the argument from the -- -- you say that if your plan as you you when you're advisors claim is revenue neutral.
Which means that all of these taxes would react when you cut the rights and -- Or eliminate some deductions isn't going to raise or lower the deficit.
That you get your deficit reduction through spending -- 500 billion dollars you -- and 2016.
And they say that that adds up being about a 40%.
It domestic programs which means major cots and the programs of them -- depend on the models.
Well -- if you I'm sure understand the the tax plan that I've described.
Is very much consistent with the tax plan that the president's own bipartisan commission came up with.
The Bowles Simpson commission laid out a plan which is very similar to mine.
But what's astonishing I think a lot of people in this country is a President Obama just abandon his contact him he took a trillion dollar if I may -- he took a trillion dollars about -- and used for deficit reduction.
Well what a what -- you you get the -- just under the -- -- what I do is I take I take I get this tax rate take the a marginal rate down.
To encourage economic growth which it will do put put more people back to work get more tax revenue by virtue of that.
I also broadened the base which means for certain individuals high income individuals -- gonna limit the deductions of the exemptions.
And then I go through it and reduce the the rate of growth of benefits for high income people than Medicare and Social Security that's for folks down the road by the way not for current retirees.
And then I also eliminate a lot of programs federal programs and take a lot of poverty programs and send them back to the states.
Where I think they give -- -- far more efficiently.
But but let me tell -- if if this is an argument about -- Obama's saying hey look don't cut back on federal spending keep on -- this deficit.
I think that's a battle I'm gonna win because I am planning on cutting the deficit down to zero I'm planning to get a balanced budget.
And at the same time getting this economy going again.
It -- this is a I'm that's a the only person familiar secession and about you the question is a -- -- -- a lack of like you know you get asked questions you want I did it get the answers I want as.
I -- a mustang and tea and a Chevy pickup truck and drives a couple of cadillacs actually.
Governor can you understand why some voters would be put off by those things.
You know like I can't be perfect how.
I -- I just am who I am and I can tell you this which is with regards to the cars we have that's something that was talked about last September of people asked.
Us what vehicles we element and and we have they car that we have in California we got a car that we have back in Boston -- home is so.
That's just the way it is that if people think there's something wrong with being successful America then they better -- for the other guy because I've been extraordinarily successful.
And I want to use that success and that know how to help the American people and by the way.
In terms a connecting with the American people.
You know what I got into this -- -- a lot of guys in the race other people come and gone.
I've got more votes than anybody else in this in this race so far I've been the guy that's been able to connect to New Hampshire and and and Florida and in Nevada.
And I think we're on track to do pretty well here in Michigan and it in Arizona I'm expected to get the nomination in part because I understand how this economy works.
-- by virtue of my experts know what it takes to create jobs I've also balanced budgets.
Other people talk about doing that I've actually done it as a governor as a head of an Olympics and as a guy who's run businesses.
I'm gonna get America back on track so so governor in twenties -- -- us what is the biggest misconception about you.
Who -- -- I think the biggest -- misconception would be that I am a guy that that comes from Massachusetts and therefore can't be conservative.
But you know if you look at my record of Massachusetts and see that I balance the budget lower taxes nineteen times.
-- illegal immigration laws got got English Immersion in our schools stood up for traditional marriage was a pro life governor.
I'm a solid conservative a committed conservative with the kind of principles I think America needs.
Governor Romney wanna thank you so much for joining us today safe travels on the campaign trail sir and we will see what happens Tuesday night.
-- -- --