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2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney


Romney position on Poverty

“What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity—opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don’t have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves—a “Purpose Driven Life.” And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation’s strength and they always will be!

The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960’s welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven’t given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug—we have got to fight it like the poison it is!”
January 7, 2008: Romney speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in New Hampshire
“Well, my system is primarily based on trying to create jobs, not handing out cash to individuals. I do lower the lowest income tax bracket from 10 percent to 7.5 percent. And that helps, of course, people at the low economic level.

But also for individuals 65 and older, the fact that they're not going to be paying any Social Security or Medicare taxes anymore, no more payroll taxes, means that that's going to be a break for them.

But the heart of what I'm doing is trying to get businesses to become more active, buying capital equipment, trying to get businesses to grow in this country and to create more jobs, because the best, obviously, the best antidote to having an economic slowdown is growth in the business sector, creating jobs, putting more people at work and, of course, that generates more income for everybody…



Well, it's jobs. It's focused on jobs. And certainly, what you want to do is provide the incentives to help companies to be creating new jobs. I think the number of 50 million strikes a little high. But for those that are not paying any taxes at all, simply writing a check doesn't seem to me to be the right course to follow.”
January 20, 2008: Interview on FoxNews Sunday
“I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I will fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich. They're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 99 percent of Americans who right now are struggling. And I will continue to that mistake across the nation…

… Well, you had to finish the sentence, Soledad. I said I'm not concerned about the very poor that have the safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them…

… You've got to take the whole sentence, all right, as opposed to saying, and then change it just a little bit, because then it sounds very different. I've said throughout the campaign my focus, my concern, my energy is going to be devoted to helping middle income people, all right? We have a safety net for the poor in, and if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that. And if there are people that are falling through the cracks I want to fix that.”
February 1, 2012: Romney, in an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien




Introduction to the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates
Barack Obama on Poverty
All Presidential Candidates on Poverty
Compare Romney and Obama on Poverty





Comment on Mitt Romney's position on Poverty

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