National Press Club

America Needs to Reclaim Founding Values, Romney Says

March 5, 2010 | By Thomas Burr | tburr@sltrib.com

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America has many things in common with the people who started Wal-Mart, The Washington Post, Boston Globe and Disneyland: Their values are a reflection of their founders, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the National Press Club March 5.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who may make another White House bid in 2012, told a sold-out Luncheon crowd that America’s greatness comes from those people who built the country.

“America reflects the vision and the character and the culture of the people who founded it,” Romney said.

But Romney, who is seen as a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination, charged that the United States is running off course and the politicians in charge need to return to America’s founding principles.

“I’m concerned and convinced that what is happening in Washington, not just this year but over the last decades, has (been) slowly but surely stripping away that spirit and enterprise and innovation and creativity and personal freedom,” Romney said. “And if we’re not careful, we could smother the very source of what makes America so unique in the world and what has propelled us to not only be an economic powerhouse but also a champion for liberty that the world has come to respect and admire.”

Romney saved choice words for President Obama, who Romney said had put too much focus on health care reform and not enough on jobs. Threats to raise taxes on capital gains, add a tax on carbon emissions and rising deficits are seriously harming the economy, he said.

“These are the types of things that have led to the reaction in the private sector that says this is a frightening time,” Romney said. “And rather than encouraging the private sector to grow and add jobs, it has had exactly the opposite effect that the president might have intended. I think this has been the most anti-investment, anti-entrepeanuer, anti-employment, anti-job agenda since the days of Jimmy Carter.”

Romney appeared at the NPC as part of a media blitz promoting his new book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.”