Romney Championed Small Business in Debate

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 05:06 PM

By Fran Tarkenton

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Small business entrepreneurs have always heard a lot of rhetoric from presidential candidates in every election cycle talking about how important business is. But for those watching last night’s town hall-style presidential debate, Mitt Romney had perhaps one of the most important lines of his campaign.

In the middle of the debate, Romney was asked how he would differentiate himself from the policies of the previous Republican president, George W. Bush. Romney worked through his five-point plan and where it differed from previous administrations.

Romney champions small business entrepreneurs at the second presidential debate.
Romney championed small business entrepreneurs during Tuesday's debate.
(Getty Images)
But most interestingly, his last point took on previous Republican pro-business rhetoric, saying a Romney administration would prioritize “championing small business.” He criticized past Republicans, saying, “Our party has been focused on big business too long. I came through small business. I understand how hard it is to start a small business. That’s why everything I’ll do is designed to help small businesses grow and add jobs.”

Romney makes a very strong point. For a long time, politicians have interpreted being “pro-business” to mean being pro-Wall Street, pro-big business, and pro-big banks. But if you really support business, if you really believe in the free market and private enterprise, then you shouldn’t be championing the big players, but rather the small business entrepreneurs.

Favoring politically connected big players and the well-established is not the same as being pro-business. A pro-business approach favors innovation and creativity from all Americans, and the rewards would flow toward those who have the best ideas and offer the best value — not those with the best political connections.

The more people who are participating in the entrepreneurial system and coming up with new ideas, the better it will be for all of us who benefit from their competition.

In the past, too many politicians have confused “business” with “big business,” and Mr. Romney was absolutely right to call that out in last night’s debate. The real way to improve the lives of Americans is by encouraging small business entrepreneurs — and inspiring more Americans to become entrepreneurs.

Romney has a chance to really offer something different — and better — for the small business entrepreneurs.

I applaud Romney’s focus on the difference between small business and big business, and for getting his priorities right.

We’ve had enough of pro-business rhetoric. It’s time for some small business action.

Fran Tarkenton is the Founder and CEO of OneMoreCustomer.com, a web resource for Small Business Advocacy and Education. After his Hall of Fame football career, Fran had a successful career in television and then turned to business. He has founded and built more than 20 successful companies and now spends his time coaching aspiring entrepreneurs. Read more reports from Fran Tarkenton — Click Here Now.

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