Facing new trouble in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney released a detailed plan Tuesday to revive the nation’s stumbling economy, proposing tax cuts and rollbacks in environmental, health and banking rules.
Romney’s 59-point agenda came two days before President Barack Obama plans to unveil his own proposals to combat the nation’s stubbornly high joblessness.
Speaking to invited guests at a truck dealership in North Las Vegas, Romney said Obama “just doesn’t have a clue what to do” to revive the economy. The former Massachusetts governor described Obama’s ideas as outdated.
“Your pay-phone strategy does not work in a smartphone world,” Romney said.
Romney, a former chief executive of the Bain Capital investment firm, brandished a blue paperback copy of his plan, “Believe in America.” “This is the product of somebody who spent his life in the private sector,” he told the crowd.
Romney put out his plan amid a raft of new polls finding that he lost his Republican front-runner status in recent days to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. A debate of the party’s White House contenders tonight at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., is supposed to be the first to include Perry if wildfires in Texas allow him to attend.
Romney’s 160-page plan fit mainstream conservative doctrine. He called for cutting the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, eliminating the estate tax and extending personal income tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush. He proposed a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce and a $200 billion-per-year reduction in the Medicaid health care program for the poor. Romney would convert Medicaid into a block grant for states.
Romney’s plan included a harsh critique of Obama’s economic record that in some cases ignored steps by Obama that have disappointed Democrats. Romney slammed the president for his “costly and ineffective anti-carbon agenda” despite criticism by former Vice President Al Gore and others that Obama has failed to show leadership in fighting global warming.