Mitt Romney said three years ago that he was “pleased” with the appointment of Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary — even after it came to light that Geithner had not paid the taxes he owed.
A newly discovered video of Romney’s appearance on “Fox and Friends” also shows the former Massachusetts governor and current GOP presidential candidate saying he thought the TARP was the “right thing to do” — and calling the $1 trillion stimulus package “necessary.”
President-elect Barack Obama announced on Nov. 24, 2008, the nomination of Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve of New York, for the Treasury secretary post. Soon thereafter, it disclosed that Geithner had failed to pay $35,000 in self-employment taxes for the years 2001 to 2004, which he termed an honest mistake.
During Romney’s interview with the Fox News Channel, he was asked whether he still thought Geithner was the “right guy” for the job.
“When I heard about his announcement I must admit I was pleased,” Romney responded.
“He’s a person of accomplishment and skill. I think he’s a very bright individual and obviously we’re learning as much as we can about his tax dealings in the past and his level of integrity.
“I think it’s appropriate to really delve into this matter. If they find it was an honest mistake, then I think he should be confirmed. If they find it was deliberate tax evasion, that’s a very different matter. Then a person would not be qualified.
“I certainly hope it turns out just to be an honest mistake.”
Earlier, Romney had expressed support for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), signed by President George W. Bush in October 2008, which allowed the Treasury Department to buy or insure troubled assets, including bank holdings.
Asked whether he still supported it, Romney said: “TARP was the right thing to do. TARP was designed to keep our financial system from collapsing.
“You have to have a financial system for an economy to run and TARP was designed to keep our financial system from crumbling.”
It was pointed out that TARP had bailed out banks so they could lend money, but instead had largely kept the money or used it to buy other banks.
Romney commented: “The end result was to make sure that we don’t lose our banking system. The first responsibility of a bank is not to make loans. The first responsibility of a bank is to be able to repay the depositors their deposit.
“Banks are being cautions because they’re concerned about whether loans they have already made are going to be repaid, and that’s something we can hardly be highly critical of.”
He also commented on the Obama-supported stimulus package, which eventually would cost more than $1 trillion: “If we’re going to have a stimulus plan, which I think is necessary, it should have as its centerpiece a tax reduction, which creates incentives to grow and add jobs.”
Romney's interview with Fox:
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