2010: In Dallas on book tour, Romney says he’s concerned about America’s future / Star-Telegram

Star-Telegram.com

In Dallas on book tour, Romney says he’s concerned about America’s future
Mar. 18, 2010

By ANNA M. TINSLEY

atinsley@star-telegram.com

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DALLAS — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll run for president in 2012, but he already has a plan for how to overturn the Democratic-led healthcare program now before Congress, if it becomes law.

The key, he said, is having Republicans reclaim the White House and take majorities in the Senate and the House.

Then, “we can clamp down on this bill … by not funding it,” Romney said during a speech Thursday to hundreds of people gathered at the Hilton Anatole Hotel for the National Center for Policy Analysis’ distinguished lecture series.

Romney said he believes that Democrats from President Barack Obama on down will twist arms and do what is needed to land the votes to pass the bill.

But he said he believes that most Americans don’t want this measure.

“Right now, you are seeing evidence of clueless behavior in Washington, D.C.,” Romney said before signing copies of his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. “The American people are not going to stand still for this bill and the government running our healthcare.

“I think the American people have woken up to what the bill contains … and they will exact a heavy price on the people who vote for it.”

Romney, who joked that American Lindsey Vonn was stripped of her gold medal for skiing because Obama is going downhill faster, said the president hasn’t had a good first year in office.

He has spent much time on controversial proposals such as cap and trade and this healthcare bill, which many Republicans are trying to defeat.

“He has gotten almost nothing done,” Romney said. “Washington politicians have put America on a course of decline.

“Unless we change course, America could become the France of the 21st century,” he said. “Yeah, a great country, but not the leader of the world.”

If Republicans gain power in 2012, he said, their priorities will include reducing the debt, becoming energy-independent and addressing healthcare.

Before 2012, Romney said, he would like to see immigration reform geared toward stopping illegal immigrants and welcoming legal immigrants into the U.S.

“I have great confidence in the future,” he said. “The fact that Washington is taking us in the wrong direction right now, I have confidence the American people will get us back on track.

“This is a critical time for the country.”

Romney, among the Republicans rumored to be considering presidential bids in 2012, has said he may decide by year’s end whether to ramp up another campaign for the White House.

He was one of John McCain’s chief rivals in the 2008 Republican presidential primary.

“I hope so,” said Mona Bailey, a Republican from North Richland Hills who attended Thursday’s speech. “He was my choice in 2008.

“He’s got a good head; he’s a businessman,” she said. “He’s very well-spoken and a smart man. He has good, practical solutions.”

ANNA M. TINSLEY, 817-390-7610

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