As Mitt Romney’s running mate prepared to address the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Florida Rep. John Mica declared in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV that President Obama has become the defender of the “status quo.”
“Tonight we’ll hear from Paul Ryan. Tomorrow we’ll hear from the next president of the United States — Mitt Romney — and I’m excited about that,” said Mica from the Newsmax box overlooking the convention floor.
He said that President Obama has done little to ease the difficult economy for most Americans
“The status quo is his. It’s three-and-a-half years later. We’ve got high unemployment — stagnation,” charged Mica, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “I’ve been out talking to graduation classes. Millions of graduates (are) coming out of colleges now not having jobs or economic opportunity; millions of Americans having lost their homes with these cooked up plans; stimulus packages that turned to be bait and switch operations. The public is wising up.”
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He said that Americans realize Social Security and Medicare “are on the ropes, and they need sound policy for the future and we don’t want the country to end up as a Greece, or a country that can’t pay its bills.”
Pointing to the debt clock positioned as a reminder of America’s economic woes high above the convention, Mica said that the clock holds “bad news for our future.”
He described Romney and Ryan as the “perfect duo for this time” which is why he endorsed the former Massachusetts governor during the bitter GOP primary battle, something he has largely refrained from doing in previous elections.
“Republicans as we pointed out earlier have been through some bitter primaries, some tough fights, and Mitt Romney was dumped on not only by Republicans but also by Democrats. And he survived all of that,” observed Mica. “I felt he had the leadership, the experience, the business qualifications, and an executive elected position, none of which this president has a clue about. And that’s what we need right now, the country needs right now.”
Mica said that the recently passed transportation bill, which was signed into law by Obama in July consolidates or eliminates transportation programs. The transportation bill allows more than $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs during the next two years.
Mica looks forward to making even greater progress with a Romney administration in the future.
“If we can take a transportation bill that actually projects two years into the future, working with Paul Ryan, using the Ryan budget as the template that we had to stay in concert with — get that passed, in this difficult situation — imagine what we could do with a few more votes in the Senate and Mitt Romney in the White House?”
He said that the recently passed bill would “cut red tape and streamline programs. “We did it without tax increases, and I did it without the benefit of 6,300 earmarks in the last bill that was passed,” he said.
From not only the standpoint of transportation infrastructure, but also with respect to jobs and economic opportunity, Mica said that the GOP ticket will get the country moving again.
Meanwhile, he said, President Obama’s costly stimulus program has largely proven ineffective.
“A lot of that was a smoke and mirrors. They sold a trillion-dollar stimulus package — a lot of it was to underwrite artificial activities,” according to Mica. “As it ended up, only 6 percent . . . went to transportation projects and of that, two-and-a-half years later 35 percent of it was still in the Washington treasury.”
Mica said that even President Obama couldn’t keep a straight face when he talked about “shovel ready” projects in his stimulus.
“Shovel ready was a joke,” Mica said. “Even the president had to chuckle cause he knew there was so much federal paper work, red tape, and all that process you were paying for.”
After surviving his own bitter primary battle in which his opponent enjoyed tea party support, Mica attributed his ability to overcome the electoral challenge to broad-based support.
“I had many tea party supporters. I had many people from the conservative wing, a whole host of folks. You have to work with folks and not just in getting elected, but also in Congress,” he explained. “I think that’s part of the reason I got re-elected because I work with folks and actually get things done rather than just talk about it.”
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