Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Thursday while it is critical to improve the nation’s infrastructure, President Barack Obama’s jobs plan to spend tens of billions of dollars in the short term to repair roads and bridges is “just silly.”
“Well, infrastructure enhancement in this country is a positive way to long-term improve the job prospects in America,” Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “But, look, a stimulus approach has not worked — the idea of item by item looking for a quick solution, throwing a little gasoline on the fire, that hasn’t worked.
“The president needs to put aside stimulus plans and instead work to restructure the foundation of America’s economy — to make America the most attractive place to invest long term, not just over the next six weeks — but over the next 60 years,” Romney said. “We have thousands and thousands of structurally deficient bridges, we have roads that are in terrible disrepair, we have choke points across the country that are affecting commerce.
“An infrastructure plan is going be needed, but to suggest that spending a few tens of billions of dollars in a stimulus plan is going to get America back to work is just silly — that’s just not the case,” he said. “The president needs to sit down and look at a major re-haul of our entire economic foundation, and I don’t think he has it within him.”
Blitzer then played an audio clip of Republican front-runner Rick Perry saying that many of the Obama administration’s regulatory policies are socialist and asked the former Massachusetts governor whether he agreed with the Texas governor’s assessment.
“Well, you know, words have a lot of unintended meanings, and calling people socialists probably goes on the fact that it is true that President Obama's team — and the president himself — seem to believe that government has a better approach to our economy than does the private sector, and I disagree with that approach,” Romney said.
“I believe we have to have a government that’s a partner — that is encouraging the private sector, encouraging freedom, encouraging free people,” he added. “What they’ve done instead is add regulation, add taxation, add burdens to the free enterprise system — which does tend to make us more European.
“And Europe isn’t working in Europe; Europe is not going to work in this country,” Romney said. “I don’t use the word socialist — or I haven’t so far — but I do agree that the president’s approach is government heavy, government intensive, and it’s not working.”
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