Widely recognized for his leadership and accomplishments as a public servant and in private enterprise, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney currently serves as the Honorary Chairman of the Free and Strong America PAC.
In 2008, Governor Romney was a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and distinguished himself as an important voice in favor of strengthening our economy, military, and families. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Governor Romney presided over a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and a period of sustained economic expansion. Without raising taxes or increasing debt, Governor Romney balanced the budget every year of his administration, closing a $3 billion budget gap inherited when he took office. By eliminating waste, streamlining the government, and enacting comprehensive economic reforms to stimulate growth in Massachusetts, Romney got the economy moving again and transformed deficits into surpluses. One of Governor Romney’s top priorities as Governor was reforming the education system so that young people could compete for better paying jobs in the global economy of the future. Romney was CEO of Bain & Company, co-founded Bain Capital and served as the CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Born in 1947, Romney earned his B.A. at Brigham Young University and his J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Question: What will be the legacy of George W. Bush?
Mitt Romney: Well there will be things that are great accomplishments . . . I think we will recognize that he kept us safe these last few years, and that was not easy to do. He fought for the Patriot Act. He made sure that when Al Qaeda was calling, we were listening. He made sure that terrorists that were caught, we interrogated to find out what they knew so we could protect our country. He kept us safe. That’s the first responsibility of a president. Secondly, he went after the guys that went after us. No more in this world do you say, “Hey, we can go after America and nothing happens.” He made sure people realize there are consequences for attacking us. They attacked us at the U.S.S. Cole. They attacked us in Saudi Arabia. They attacked us in our . . . in African embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. And actually they attacked our Marines in Lebanon. We didn’t respond. And finally when George Bush was president and they attacked us on 9/11, we did respond in a major and aggressive way, and they know there are consequences for attacking us. His commitment to education and “No Child Left Behind”, I also support. And his effort to help people get prescription drugs I think was a good effort, although I think we should’ve reformed Medicare as part of the process because the Medicare Part D alone, I’m afraid, added a huge new entitlement that I think will not be a positive part of his legacy. There are other elements that were not as successful. I wish we would have been able to see the reform of entitlements. That just didn’t happen. He tried, that was unsuccessful. And of course the conflict in Iraq was not superbly managed. Following the collapse of Saddam Hussein, we just did not have the right level of troop strength. We did not have the rules of engagement or the . . . the plans and preparations in place to . . . to have Iraq become stable in the timeframe it should have become stable. So there will be pluses and minuses; but overall we’ll know that this is a president who did what he thought was right for America at every turn.
Recorded on: 11/26/07