Mitt Romney on Technology

Former Republican Governor (MA)

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

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Technology: Mitt Romney on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Deval Patrick
MA Senatorial:
John Kerry
Scott Brown

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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