Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says the killings of two American military officials in Afghanistan on Saturday exemplify the struggle U.S. forces face in their efforts to try to secure the country.
“It’s an extraordinary admission of a failure for us to establish the relationships that you’d have to have for a successful transition to Afghan-military and Afghan-security leadership,” Romney said on “Fox News Sunday” today. “It’s obviously very dangerous there, and the transition effort is not going as well as we’d like to see it go.”
Obama made an “enormous error” in announcing the withdrawal dates of surge and combat forces from the region, Romney said.
“This president has made it more difficult for our fighting men and women to be successful in Afghanistan.”
Also on the program, the former Massachusetts governor defended his economic plan from critics on both the right and the left on Sunday and said the whole point of it is to protect middle-income Americans.
Among the plan’s points: cutting marginal income tax rates by 20 percent, reducing the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, and eliminating capital-gains taxes for those with incomes below $200,000.
“I’m not trying to say that one group or another is going to get a better deal, but what I’m trying to do is make sure, under no circumstances, is the middle class going to end up with a larger share of the tax burden,” Romney said. “It’s absolutely essential to me as a guiding principle that middle-income Americans don’t get hit with a bigger share of the burden. That’s the point that I’m making.”
Romney insisted that his economic proposal philosophically juxtaposes Obama’s economic plan.
“I want to help people who I think have been most hurt by the Obama economy, and that’s middle-income Americans,” Romney said. “This is a classic pitting of two very different philosophies. Do you believe in lower taxes and lower marginal rates and smaller government? That’s what I believe in. Or do you believe in higher taxes, like the president’s proposing, and more government spending and larger deficits. That’s what President Obama stands for. That’s a failed policy. We know where that leads.”
Speaking from Flint, Mich., where the presidential primary will take place Tuesday, Romney spoke about his opposition in 2008 to the automobile-industry bailout. He said government money should have been disbursed after the companies had gone through bankruptcy proceedings.
“What the Obama people did . . . they started writing checks until they finally realized I was right,” he said. “The result of the president’s plan was that we spent several billion dollars at a time we didn’t need to . . . After the process was over, he gave a huge share of the companies to the UAW. That’s not the way bankruptcy normally works. He was paying off the people that supported him and, by the way, are trying to get him re-elected.”
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