Once and future GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney held an impromptu presser this morning at the OK Café on West Paces Ferry Road, after breakfasting with attorney general candidate Sam Olens and a handful of Republican strategists.
Romney has an evening fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, but has made a 2 p.m. date with Nathan Deal to endorse his candidacy for governor.
Romney had backed former secretary of state Karen Handel in the gubernatorial primary. “We’re happy to announce today that we’ve endorsed Nathan Deal, and have sent him a check from my PAC,” Romney said.
On other matters:
– Romney, naturally enough, isn’t impressed with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy:
“The president and his team do not have collectively the private sector experience to recognize that what they’ve done in the economy has slowed things down rather than speed things up – has lengthened the downturn and made it more painful for a lot of families. When you raise taxes on small businesses, you’re not going to see more small businesses. When you take over health care, you frighten people in that sector….”
– On the other hand, while he didn’t endorse it, Romney said there was room for compromise on extension of the Bush tax cuts:
“The right thing for the economy is not to raise taxes on small business. Is there room for some kind of compromise? The compromise I think you stand up for is the one that says, look, let’s make sure and keep these tax cuts in place at least until the economy’s better. I think the Republicans would like to see them made permanent…..”
– Politico.com recently pointed out that Romney is the only prominent GOP possibility for president not bound by a commentator’s contract with Fox News. Asked whether this gave him more freedom of movement, the former governor of Massachusetts said:
”I’ve been spending this year – one — talking about a book I wrote about the challenges I think the country faces, and – two — campaigning for people like Sam and other people around the country….So I’m not on TV that much, and that’s just fine with me and my family.”
– Romney stayed away from the details of the health care plan that Massachusetts adopted while he was governor, which mandates that all adults purchase an insurance policy. He stuck to this line:
“Massachusetts solved its problem at the state level. It is simply wrong for the federal government to assume the power of the states and take over health care.”