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January 30, 2015

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Mitt Romney using North Las Vegas as backdrop for jobs plan


Steve Marcus

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney responds to a question from a reporter after meeting with students at the UNLV Student Union Monday, May 16, 2011.

He's not the first presidential hopeful to unveil a jobs plan: Jon Huntsman took that title last week. But when Mitt Romney outlines his vision for getting America back to work in North Las Vegas on Tuesday, he'll be firing the opening shot among front runners in a presidential contest that most expect to be won by the candidate with the most appealing economic improvement plan.

North Las Vegas has become a favorite backdrop for Romney's jobs messaging: He made an early campaign tour there in April to highlight the country's employment problems, returned in June to film a national campaign commercial to decry Obama's jobs recovery performance, and will feature the city and the area's festering 14 percent unemployment rate when he speaks to the nation Tuesday.

Expect that message to focus on lowering taxes and reducing regulation, stepping up domestic energy production and free trade, repealing the new health care law and reigning in the federal budget.

"Our country has arrived at a fork in the road," Romney wrote in a USA Today editorial published Monday, in which he gave a general outline of his jobs plan. "In one direction lies the heavy hand of the state, indebtedness and decline. In the other direction lies limited government, free enterprise and economic growth...I know in which direction lie the millions of jobs we need."

His proposal will include 59 initiatives, Romney wrote, the most unusual of which appears to be the creation of a "'Reagan Economic Zone,' a partnership among countries committed to free enterprise and free trade." It's not clear if that body would rival or complement the World Trade Organization, which stands for the same principles, but with which the United States has been disillusioned lately; the WTO has been slow to discipline China for unfair trade practices.

Romney's prime target in his speech will unquestionably be President Barack Obama, who hinted at his own coming jobs proposal, scheduled to be delivered before a joint session of Congress Thursday night, in a Labor Day speech in Detroit.

Obama's plan will rest heavily on investing in infrastructure: bridges, roads, and other construction projects to re-engage a division of the labor force that's been particularly hard-hit, especially in the Las Vegas area. He's also expected to speak about taxes, recommending an extension of the temporary payroll tax cut Congress approved last year, and an end to the tax cuts Congress approved for top earners during George W. Bush's administration.

"We're going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party," Obama said to a crowd of supporters in Detroit Monday. "Do you want to create jobs? Then put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America...You say you're the party of tax cuts? Well then, prove you'll fight just as hard for tax cuts for middle-class families as you do for oil companies and the most affluent Americans."

Romney, by comparison, aims to reduce the government's fingerprint on economic recovery. "Government itself cannot create jobs. At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur," Romney wrote in Monday's USA Today editorial. "The contrast between what the Obama administration has done and what I would do as president could not be starker."

Click to enlarge photo

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks to Sheldon Adelson after addressing a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, April 2, 2011.

But Obama isn't Romney's only adversary when it comes to the question of jobs.

Romney's taking a lot of heat on his right flank from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who presided over what some are calling the Lone Star State's jobs miracle -- Texas created more jobs than any other state during the recession, despite a huge influx of job-seekers -- and is using his power of that resume to poke holes in Romney's rhetoric.

"There is no one gonna be sitting on that stage [in California] who has the record of job creation I have," Perry said Wednesday, as reported in POLITICO. "There's one in particular who's created jobs all around the world. While he was the governor of Massachusetts he didn't create many jobs."

Romney has mostly touted his pre-gubernatorial career in the private sector at the helm of Massachusetts-based Bain Capital to establish his credibility on jobs. He's tried to paint that background as a more important strength than executive experience.

"I have spent most of my career in the private sector starting new businesses and turning around ailing ones," Romney wrote in Monday's editorial. "Unlike career politicians who've never met a payroll, I know why jobs come and go."

But his private sector experience is earning him some criticism too: While CEO of Bain, Romney did help get new businesses off the ground, but also advised companies through restructurings in which employees were laid off. Democrats are already hitting him on the campaign trail for layoffs incurred at his advisory direction.

Local Democrats, including State Senate Leader Steven Horsford and State Senator Mo Denis, are also expected to challenge both Romney's corporate record and his adopted economic platform Tuesday in a preemptive rebuttal of his speech at McCandless Trucking International.

"None of the Republican candidates have the right priorities for Nevada's middle class and seniors," Nevada Democrats said in a news release Monday. "While President Obama is fighting to protect seniors and put Nevadans back to work, Mitt Romney and the Republican field are fighting for tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas and special interests that are funding their campaigns."

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  1. change is coming.

  2. American workers can't afford to support the unions. Unions hate anyone that will hold them accountable and make them work for their paycheck.

  3. Same old, same old.

    Yeah, change is coming and it's going to be from all these candidates. And even the President. Within the next year, every candidate will change his (yes, HIS no her since Bachman will drop out by the end of the year and Palin doesn't stand a chance) stance on everything, pending on how the "wind blows" in popular opinion. Yes, jobs will be the forefront, but ideas will change on what to do. The candidates talk big right now. Let's see if they are still talking "big" a year from now.

    PS That "Texas Miracle" of Perry's is a joke. Read between the lines on that one.

  4. "Government itself cannot create jobs".

    This comment cannot be justified. Romney forgets that Defense Spending is an immense source of jobs. When Defense programs are considered for cuts, the State Senators and Reps howl because it means loss of jobs.

    Mitt ignores both history and reality to press an ideology that works when the economy is good, not when it is in the tank.

    A trade zone? Selling goods to those without the money to buy them? A trade zone doesn't create jobs, it brings in products that might also be made in America and in that sense, destroys jobs and most of the profits go into the hands of a few. I hope his plans for the afterlife have a little more validity then his plans for this one.

  5. Mitt Romney has a history of saying anything to win the crowd over. Then the next day he will change his position to fit whatever crowd his is speaking to that day. Mitt Romney has no integrity when it comes to being honest with the voters.

    The question everyone must ask of themselves before voting---"Who would have done better than Obama during these most difficult times, Who?"

  6. I'm confused here. Why are people paying attention to a millionaire Republican and treating him like he's an expert on job creation, someone who is from a political party that, in the past, has shown nothing but an uncanny knack on how to do everything they can to lose jobs, spend U.S. money freely without any idea how to pay it back, and demonstrate every ability on the knowledge how to tank an economy and then look around and point fingers at the other side of the aisle and loudly contend they did it, not us?

    Unbelievable hypocrisy, you ask me.

    It's like inviting Godzilla to Las Vegas and telling people he's good for our economy, just ignore what the hell he did to Tokyo, it was only an anomaly.

  7. We need to respect UNIONS as the source of a solid middle class with many members. Absent their power we have favors bought and sold by the wealthy. Don't get why there is so much hate for unions - we will only survive with solidarity forever! Romney and Perry - hey - put a back over their heads and they look and sound alike!

  8. put a bag over their heads along with Micky Mouse Bachman

  9. <Vote for Rick Perry. He is our only hope for "not changing" to communism. Obama is a racist, disgrace. Rick Perry is a real man with real experience. Vote to save America. Vote Perry>

    Don't be puttin' that bumper sticker on your car just yet.

  10. <This is going to make him look bad, or worse than he already does. He looks awkward, he is a strange creation and has an uneven public demeanor. Even the teabags are going to protest him. I hope the Unions are out there as well>

    I agree. I think he actually does NOT want to be President. His demeanor and speeches are like auditions for a second-rate reality TV show; he's not a very good actor nor very sincere. To me he does not come off as being serious, thus - he does not really want to be President but is only running because of his Repub cronies.

  11. "lowering taxes and reducing regulation, stepping up domestic energy production and free trade"

    The same Bush policies that failed.

    Taxes are lower than the previous 60 years.

    Deregulating banks and electricity failed.

    Domestic energy production...All the easy locations in the USA have been tapped, the much more difficult production possiblities create another gulf oil spill disaster. The dangers of 'Fracking' for natural gas are showing with earthquakes in historically stable areas.

    Obama's approval is falling because Democrats are angry that Obama has continued most of Bush's failed policies. Democrats are not going to vote for another Republican that will continue ALL of Bush's failed policies. More and more Democrats want a Democrat primary challenger to Obama.

  12. What we need is a common person with COMMON SENSE! That does not care what the LEFT thinks. Stop all the spending, limit (some, if not all) intitlements, control our borders, give the states back education, STOP trying to run everyones life with larger government. Then do what our Constiution says to do!!!! No More No Less.

  13. "Stop all the spending.."

    The Bush tax reductions were paid for by borrowed money which increased the deficits. Jobs, careers and companies were lost in the process but the GOP wants more of the same policies.

    Eliminating the inheritance tax will also cause deficits, so where will the difference money come from?

    1. Seniors - their Social Security and Medicare will be cut to pay down the debt from tax breaks for the wealthy.

    2. Seniors again - keep their bones moving until they are 70, to "help America". If they need more money, tell them to get a second job. Crack the whip and auction off their homes to investors if they don't cooperate.

    3. The middle and under privileged classes: raise their rates, eliminate the mortgage deduction and put them in jail if they don't pay.

    Notice that all those who want the Seniors to work longer and pay for tax breaks to the privileged are very religious. That allows them in their minds to be forgiven for injustices 'accidentally' created. What a philosophy.

  14. These cats are hilarious...

    Let's go back to the golden age of Republican leadership!
    "Less regulation! Cut spending! *Lower taxes!
    *(ESPECIALLY for corporations!)& shrink the government!"

    As Romney spoke to the crowd in NLV today, his nose GREW AND GREW AND GREW! The crowd GASPED IN HORROR! Romney tried to downplay the incident, saying "FEAR NOT, my fellow Americans! ALL us Republican candidates are growing our noses out these days! It's a show of solidarity! Pay no attention! Democrats will mock & ridicule, but we LOVE these new noses of ours; hell, we're ELEPHANTS, for God's sake! Big noses are NO BIG DEAL! Now, where was I...oh, yes... cut spending! AND, we MUST lower the Corporate tax rate! It will lead to JOB CREATION, MY FRIENDS! Corporations are PEOPLE TOO! You Democrats just DON'T GET IT..."

  15. LynnJohnson says: "Obama's approval is falling because Democrats are angry that Obama has continued most of Bush's failed policies. Democrats are not going to vote for another Republican that will continue ALL of Bush's failed policies. More and more Democrats want a Democrat primary challenger to Obama."

    BOO YAH! Very true. I couldn't say it any better than that.

    That's the thing that really, really irks me about President Obama. We need to get out of them failed Bush policies that just seem to keep going on and on and dragging America further and further down.

    I wouldn't go so far as to primary the President though. That's my opinion. I still believe in his policies, and I totally understand that if he goes off on the Republicans like Dracula on PCP, it would be a beautiful thing to see, but it also would prove contrary. Let me remind people that is how the Republicans want him to react. They want him to blow up. Then they go, see?, see?, he's crazy, while at the same time they suddenly revert to playing the victim again when they get called out on their re-writes of history, hypocrisies and just general stupid self-serving party politics. Republicans would love a political jewel like that to play with.

    I'm still willing to give President Obama a chance. And I STILL say the best thing to do is to shame those Republicans in this useless 112th Congress into action.

    For example: He gives a speech. Outlines his plan. Produces it to the Congress.

    If they vote it down? BAM! Hit them with a slimmed down version.

    That one gets voted down? BAM! Find out which Republican Congressmen have asked for help before. Then produce that.

    That gets voted down? BAM! Find out which Republican Congressmen that come from districts that have crumbling apart schools, highways, bridges, dams, what have you, produce a bill that oulines money allocated for jobs to fix them.

    That gets voted down? BAM! Take it to the American people what has happened so far. Then produce the names of each and every one of those that voted everything down. Then produce another slimmed down jobs bill.

    That gets voted down? BAM! Identify which Republican Congressmen keep voting down stuff, reveal who they are, then put a bill before Congress to remove their pay and benefits. Because they don't seem to be doing their job.

    I could go on and on. But you see where it's going. I know. A slow process. But Congress works as slow as molasses.

    And you gotta admit this crop of idiotic Republicans only knows hardball politics. You hit them smack dab in the kisser repeatedly, that's the only thing they will understand.

  16. "I promise to wring every single nickel out of the little guy that is humanly POSSIBLE! We need to put that money in the pockets of our hard-working corporate executives! THAT'S what creates JOBS!" (nose continues to grow & grow...)