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Mitt Romney on Technology

Former Republican Governor (MA); presidential nominee-apparent


China counterfeits our electronics & steals our technology

ROMNEY: On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator.

OBAMA: As far as currency manipulation, [China's] currency has actually gone up 11 percent since I've been president because we have pushed them hard. And we've put unprecedented trade pressure on China. That's why exports have significantly increased under my presidency. That's going to help to create jobs here.

Q: Apple iPhones are all manufactured in China. How do you convince Apple to bring that manufacturing back here?

ROMNEY: The answer is very straightforward. We can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. China's been cheating over the years. One by holding down the value of their currency. Number two, by stealing our intellectual property; our designs, our patents, our technology. There's even an Apple store in China that's a counterfeit Apple store, selling counterfeit goods. They hack into our computers. We will have to have people play on a fair basis.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 16, 2012

Stop the subsidies to PBS, even though I like Big Bird

Q: How you would go about tackling the deficit problem? ROMNEY: I think it's not just an economic issue, I think it's a moral issue. It's not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation. So how do we deal with it? Well, mathematically, there are three ways that you can cut a deficit. #1: raise taxes. #2: cut spending. And #3 is to grow the economy. The president would prefer raising taxes. I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time. What things would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don't pass it: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I'll get rid of it. Obamacare's on my list. I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.
Source: First Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate , Oct 3, 2012

Innovation is the key to economic growth and job creation

Q: Science and technology have been responsible for over half of the growth of the U.S. economy since WWII. What policies will best ensure that America remains a world leader in innovation?

A: Innovation is the key to economic growth and job creation, and increasingly important to American competitiveness in the global economy. 3/4 of all US economic growth, and 3/4 of the US productivity advantage over other OECD nations, is directly attributable to innovation, and wages in innovation-intensive industries have grown more than twice as fast as other wages in recent decades. My plan for a stronger middle class will rebuild the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation. The promotion of innovation will begin on Day One, with efforts to simplify the corporate tax code, reform job retraining programs, reduce regulatory burdens, and protect American intellectual property around the world.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Government has no role in "managing" the Internet

Q: What role should the federal government play in managing the Internet to ensure its robust social & economic role?

A: It is not the role of any government to "manage" the Internet. The Internet has flourished precisely because government has so far refrained from regulating this dynamic and essential cornerstone of our economy. I would rely primarily on innovation and market forces, not bureaucrats, to shape the Internet and maximize its economic, social and scientific value. Thanks to the non- governmental multi-stakeholder model, the Internet is--and always has been--open to all ideas and lawful commerce as well as bountiful private investment.

There are also calls for increased international regulation of the Internet through the UN. I will oppose any effort to subject the Internet to an unaccountable, innovation-stifling international regulatory regime. Instead, I will clear away barriers to private investment and innovation and curtail needless regulation of the digital economy.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Net Neutrality imposes government as a central gatekeeper

OBAMA: It is essential that we take steps to strengthen our cybersecurity and ensure that we are guarding against threats to our vital information systems, all while preserving Americans' privacy, data confidentiality, and civil liberties.

ROMNEY: Unfortunately, Pres. Obama has chosen to impose government as a central gatekeeper in the broadband economy. His policies interfere with the basic operation of the Internet, create uncertainty, and undermine investors and job creators. Specifically, the FCC's "Net Neutrality" regulation represents an Obama campaign promise fulfilled on behalf of certain special interests, but ultimately a "solution" in search of a problem. The government has now interjected itself in how networks will be constructed and managed, picked winners and losers in the marketplace, and determined how consumers will receive access to tomorrow's new applications and services. The Obama Administration's overreaching has replaced innovators and investors with Washington bureaucrats

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Space crucial to national security & international standing

Q: What should America's space exploration and utilization goals be in the 21st century?

A: The mission of the US space program is to spur innovation through exploration of the heavens, inspire future generations, and protect our citizens and allies.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Rare earth scarcity driven by regulation, not economics

Q: China currently produces 97% of rare earth elements needed for advanced electronics. What steps should the federal government take to ensure the quality and availability of critical natural resources?

A: The United States was once self-sufficient in its production of critical natural resources like rare-earth minerals. But a decline in production, driven more by regulation than by economics or scarcity, has left the nation reliant on imports. The key to guaranteeing the quality and availability of these resources is a modernized regulatory regime that protects the environment while providing access to the inputs that our economy requires to grow and thrive. By adopting creative approaches to the development of all the nation's resources, America can benefit fully from its extraordinary natural endowments.

Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org , Sep 4, 2012

Focus manned space program on commercial products

Q: What about the future of manned space flight and NASA? Speaker Gingrich said that by the end of his second term, there would be a permanent base on the moon. Good idea?

ROMNEY: That's an enormous expense. And right now I want to be spending money here. Of course the Florida space coast has been badly hurt and I believe in a very vibrant and strong space program. I'd like to bring in the top professors that relate to space areas and physics, the top people from industry, because I want to make sure what we're doing in space translates into commercial products. I want to bring in our top military experts on space needs. And I'd like to come together and talk about different options and the cost. I'd like corporate America as well as the defense network and others that could come together in a partnership basis to create a plan that will keep our space program thriving and growing. I'm not looking for a colony on the moon. I'd rather be rebuilding housing here in the US.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary , Jan 26, 2012

SOPA, as written, restricts the Internet & free speech

Q: SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, would crack down on Internet piracy. But opponents say it's censorship.

GINGRICH: Virtually everybody who's technologically advanced say this is going to totally mess up the Internet, and the bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable.

ROMNEY: I think he got it just about right. The law as written is far too intrusive, far too expansive, far too threatening to freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet. It would have a potentially depressing impact on one of the fastest-growing industries in America, which is the Internet and all those industries connected to it. At the same time, we care very deeply about intellectual content that's going across the Internet. And if we can find a way to very narrowly, through our current laws, go after those people who are pirating, particularly those from offshore, we'll do that--but a very broad law--I think that's a mistake.

Source: South Carolina 2012 GOP debate hosted by CNN's John King , Jan 19, 2012

Mining the moon costs too much

ROMNEY: Speaker Gingrich and I have a lot of places where we disagree.

Q: Why don't you name them?

ROMNEY: We can start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon, I'm not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that.

GINGRICH: I'm proud of trying to find things that give young people a reason to study science and math and technology and telling them that someday in their lifetime, they could dream of going to the moon, they could dream of going to Mars. I grew up in a generation where the space program was real, where it was important, and where frankly it is tragic that NASA has been so bureaucratized. Iowa's doing brilliant things, attracting brilliant students. I want to give them places to go and things to do. And I'm happy to defend the idea that America should be in space and should be there in an aggressive, entrepreneurial way.

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa , Dec 10, 2011

China must respect intellectual property if they want trade

Q: China is using cyber-attacks to steal billions of dollars of intellectual property. Are we engaged in financial warfare with China?

Perry: This whole issue of allowing cyber security to go on, we need to use all of our resources--the private sector working along with our government. To really stand up the cyber command in 2010 was a good start on that. But fighting this cyber war, I would suggest, is one of the great issues that will face the next President.

Romney: To continue to have free and open access to the thing they want so badly, our markets, they have to play by the rules. They can't hack into our computer systems and steal from our government. They can't steal from corporations. They can't take patents and designs, intellectual property, and duplicate them and counterfeit them and sell them around the world. And they also can't manipulate their currency in such a way as to make their prices well below what they otherwise would be.

Source: 2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy , Nov 12, 2011

Charge WikiLeaks insider with treason

LENO: Now this WikiLeaks guy. Treason? Espionage?

ROMNEY: Treason. That's really committing a crime against his nation.

LENO: But he [Julian Assange] isn't an American. He's Australian.

ROMNEY: No, I'm not talking about the WikiLeaks guy--the guy who...

LENO: [interrupting] .... Oh, [Bradley] Manning.

ROMNEY: Took secret information, and if he's the one who did it and if he is found to be the one who did it, he has committed an act of treason against his country.

Source: Romney interview on Jay Leno show , Dec 2, 2010

WikiLeaks was treason; a crime against our nation

LENO: Now this WikiLeaks guy. Treason? Espionage?

ROMNEY: Treason. That's really committing a crime against his nation.

LENO: But he [Julian Assange] isn't an American. He's Australian.

ROMNEY: No, I'm not talking about the WikiLeaks guy -- the guy who...

LENO: [interrupting] Oh, [Bradley] Manning.

ROMNEY: Took secret information, and if he's the one who did it and if he is found to be the one who did it, he has committed an act of treason against his country.

Source: Interview on Jay Leno show , Dec 2, 2010

Two-part innovation: improve the old; invent the new

Raising the productivity of a nation and the prosperity of its citizens depends on two types of innovation--one that improves existing goods and services and another that invents new ones. The former may result in reduced employment; the latter generally adds employment. It's a two-part system; improve the old, invent the new.

In an effort to make existing products better and to make them more efficiently, innovation in the use of capital has long been major source of productivity growth. A great deal of what had previously done by hand was now performed by robots. Capital innovation had led to fewer workers, better product quality, and greater productivity.

Innovation may also improve the way in which labor is organized and utilized.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.104-105 , Mar 2, 2010

National R&D spending OK; picking winners not OK

Government funding for basic science and research in universities and research laboratories has been declining for years. It needs to grow instead, particularly in engineering and the physical sciences. Research in energy, materials science, nanotechnology, and transportation are vital to the economy and to our nation's competitiveness. Government should not, however, attempt to pick winning ideas or technologies in which it would invest funds for development and commercialization.

The realities of that marketplace sort out those that have potential for growth and sustainability and those that do not. Attempting to substitute government for the roles carried out by entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists while also bypassing the unforgiving test of the free market is a very bad idea indeed.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.124-125 , Mar 2, 2010

A road project isn’t going to stimulate the economy now

There’s no question but that investment in infrastructure makes enormous sense for our country. It’s good for business, it’s good for the economy, and as the governor that watched almost the completion of the big dig, I don’t know how many governors watched that $15 billion project. They do create a lot of good jobs and they help our economy. They’re great things. But, unfortunately, a road project isn’t going to stimulate the economy to the timeframe we have right now at the tipping point.
Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

The Big Dig solved a problem, but cost way too much to do

Q: Was the Big Dig good?

A: Someone has remarked that the biggest cars [are made] in the US and most expensive, too. It’s solved a problem, but it cost way too much money to do. It was very badly managed. Building a road project, you have to get designs, you have eminent domain, you get the engineers to approve it. It takes years and years and years to get a road project. So it’s a wonderful idea, but it’s not related to the short-term economic stimulus.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

AdWatch: More change in next 10 years than in 10 centuries

Romney TV ad in NH:
ROMNEY: No one votes for yesterday. We vote for tomorrow. Every election is about the future.

Many are pessimistic. I’m not.

In the next 10 years, we’ll see more progress, more change than the world has seen in the last 10 centuries.

Our next president must unleash the promise and innovation of the American people.

I’m ready for that challenge. The future begins now.

I’m Mitt Romney and I not only approve this message, I’m asking for your vote

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad, “Tomorrow” , Jan 2, 2008

FactCheck: Ludicrous exaggeration to compare 10 centuries

Romney says in a TV ad that the US will see more change in the next 10 years “than in the last 10 centuries.” More than since the Dark Ages? More changes than the advent of the printing press, railroads, constitutional democracy, penicillin, electricity, telecommunications and the Internet all put together? We don’t think so.

The ad features Romney talking straight to the camera, exuding confidence and optimism and saying “I’m ready” to “unleash the promise and innovation of the American people.” We have no quarrel with that; any candidate is entitled to lay out goals.

A Romney spokesman said he didn’t mean what he said as fact, calling the statement “a metaphor.” We call it a ludicrous exaggeration. Lacking a crystal ball or time machine, we can’t predict the future. But based on available evidence we judge Romney’s claim to be so far beyond the usual bounds of campaign exaggeration as to be worthy of ridicule.

Source: FactCheck.org: AdWatch of 2008 campaign ad, “Tomorrow” , Jan 2, 2008

To compete globally, invest in education and technology

“We have to keep our markets open or we go the way of Russia and the Soviet Union, which is a collapse. And I recognize there are some people who will argue for protectionism because the short-term benefits sound pretty good, but long term you kill your economy, you kill the future. What you have to do in order to compete on a global basis long term is invest in education, invest in technology, reform our immigration laws to bring in more of the brains from around the world, eliminate the waste in our government. We have to use a lot less oil. These are the kinds of features you have to invest in; you have to change in order to make ourselves competitive long term.“
Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.114 , Aug 31, 2007

Invest in nanotech and materials science

Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p.114-115 , Aug 31, 2007

Invest in infrastructure from growing economy by lower taxes

Q: Do you want to raise taxes to fix more bridges? Or can we cut taxes to fix more bridges?

A: There’s no question--if you really want to make some money in this country, really get some money so we can repair our infrastructure and build for the future, the biggest source of that is a growing American economy. If the economy is growing slowly, when tax revenues hardly move at all, and, boy, you better raise taxes to get more money for all the things you want to do. But if the economy is growing quickly, then we generate all sorts of new revenue. And the best way to keep the economy rolling is to keep our taxes down. Our bridges--let me tell you what we did in our state. We found that we had 500 bridges, roughly, that were deemed structurally deficient. And so we changed how we focused our money. Instead of spending it to build new projects--the bridge to nowhere, new trophies for congressmen--we instead said, “Fix it first.” We have to reorient how we spend our money.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

Would veto legislation reviving the Fairness Doctrine

Governor Romney: "Well, I'd veto it if it ever got to my desk. And I would fight against it vehemently. The effort to try to impose the Fairness Doctrine on radio stations is, if you will, censorship Democrat style. It basically says we're not going to let you keep talking about the things you want to talk about and the market wants to hear."
Source: Interview on the Lars Larson Show , Jun 28, 2007

Other candidates on Technology: Mitt Romney on other issues:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)
Roseanne Barr(PF)
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Jill Stein(G)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
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Page last updated: Oct 22, 2012