Mitt Romney on Technology

Former Republican Governor (MA)

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

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

Other governors on Technology: Mitt Romney on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Deval Patrick
MA Senatorial:
John Kerry
Scott Brown

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011