Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the Federal Reserve’s attempts at stimulating the U.S. economy “did not have the desired effect” and a new round of quantitative easing by the central bank wouldn’t fare better.
The second round of quantitative easing, a series of bond purchases referred to as QE2, “was not extraordinarily harmful, but it does put in question the future value of the dollar and it will obviously encourage some inflation,” Romney said in an interview that aired today on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program. “A QE3 would do the same thing.”
With the CBS interview taped yesterday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spent Father’s Day campaigning in Ohio with his wife, two sons and several grandchildren, on the third day of a six-state bus tour.
“We need someone who puts jobs No. 1, not Obamacare No. 1,” Romney told a rally in Newark, Ohio. President Barack Obama has “tried to convince us that he’s made things better but he hasn’t made things better,” Romney said. “He’s failed. He deserves to go home and give someone new a chance.”
Protesters followed Romney, casting him as out of touch with the middle class. In Newark, they chanted, “job killer” and “go home, Romney,” trying to drown out the candidate and his surrogates. A plane flew over the rally trailing a banner that said, “Mitt -- Can see 3 of your houses from here.”
Romney ignored them, although at one point, sounding flustered, he said, “I’m confused,” rather than “I’m convinced” about the country’s future, then laughed it off, correcting himself. “We can be just as loud about how we love this country,” his wife, Ann, told protesters.
This is Romney’s first barnstorming tour in a general election that will pit him against Obama, a Democrat, in November.
Romney mixed a Father’s Day message about devotion to his family with a message that he will do more than Obama to create jobs and repair the economy.
At an outdoor pancake breakfast in Brunswick, Ohio, Romney thanked hundreds of drenched supporters who waited through thunderstorms to hear him speak.
“This is courage,” Romney said, noting “you guys out here wearing garbage bags” and telling the crowd they were “fabulous” for sticking it out.
When the sun broke through, Romney said it was a “metaphor” for how the nation can improve if he defeats Obama in November. With his family in tow, Romney later served breakfast to those who lined up.
On CBS, Romney said the U.S. isn’t going to support European banks if the financial crisis there worsens.
The international economy is at its weakest since the 2009 recession and a failure by European leaders to manage the crisis would add to risks of a bigger slowdown in the U.S. economy.
Europe “is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so,” with a response heavily dependent on Germany, Romney said. The U.S. is “not going to send checks to Europe. We’re not going to bail out the European banks. We’re going to be poised here to support our economy.”
He declined to say what he would do if elected president about the policy Obama announced June 15 to end deportation of 800,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
“I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution,” Romney told CBS. He wouldn’t say whether he would keep the policy in place until Congress reached an agreement.
“We’ll look at that setting as we reach that,” Romney said. Romney said Obama’s immigration decision was driven by politics and “if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.”
White House senior adviser David Plouffe said today that congressional action on immigration overhaul is still needed. Obama is ready to sign into law the Dream Act which is designed to provide a path to legal status for younger undocumented immigrants. That legislation has been stalled in Congress.
Plouffe, who appeared on four Sunday television talk shows, repeated the Obama campaign message that congressional Republicans are stalling on the economy to boost Romney’s election chances.
“Whether it’s failing to move forward on the Dream Act, failing to move forward on putting teachers back to work, failing to do all the things we could do right now to help the economy and middle class, this Congress is just saying no,” Plouffe said on ABC’s “This Week” program.
Obama’s policy would make illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children eligible for work permits, an election-year action with appeal to Latino voters. Plouffe said the president’s immigration decision wasn’t politically motivated and didn’t expand his executive powers.
The policy is “fully within our ability,” Plouffe said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program today. “This is not amnesty, this is not citizenship.”
The deportation rule is a decision made by the Department of Homeland Security that will enforce the policy, according to Plouffe.
“The Homeland Security attorneys are absolutely confident this is within our authority,” Plouffe said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “We still need a permanent fix.”
Obama will have “to fight for every vote,” in his re- election campaign against Romney, Plouffe said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program today.
The CBS interview with Romney, taped while he was campaigning in Pennsylvania, is the candidate’s first national Sunday morning news show interview this election on a network other than Fox.
Sidestepping campaign talk briefly, Romney also told CBS his wife Ann is “quite thrilled” to have a horse she co-owns competing in the London Olympics in the sport of dressage, exhibition riding in which a horse is controlled in difficult steps by slight movements of the rider. Romney said his wife “has a passion” for the sport and that horseback riding has helped her regain strength after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
‘Road to Europe’
In Ohio, Romney said that Obama “wants you to think that somehow he’s made things better” on the economy, while the administration’s policies were making conditions worse for businesses and would take the U.S. down “the road to Europe.”
“Do you know how many people are unemployed in Spain -- 25 percent,” Romney said. He said Obama policies stifled domestic energy production and that Obama’s health care overhaul, now under review by the Supreme Court, is hurting businesses and pledged, “We’re going to get rid of it.”
Debbie Collier, 46, a registered nurse in the crowd, said of Romney, “I like that he’s a family man. I like that he has a strong business background.” She said Romney’s chances in Ohio may be helped by perceptions the health overhaul is a strain on businesses. Collier also said Ohio’s unemployment statistics don’t tell the full story because “people who’ve been unemployed for several years have just stopped looking or taken jobs that pay significantly lower.”
Bernard Rogers, 69, of Parma, a retiree, said he’s looking for part-time work and has more confidence in Romney than in Obama to create a climate conducive to job creation.
Rogers said he worries about one issue with Romney -- whether he’ll reduce his Medicare coverage to cut government spending. Rogers said he has asthma and had been hospitalized earlier this week. “I can’t afford” to pay for treatment that isn’t covered, Rogers said. “People rely on that.”
The Romney campaign released a Father’s Day Web video in which Romney’s sons tell stories of their childhood, describing their father doing yard work with them on weekends and playing pranks.
Matt Romney recalled his father asking him to “smell how awful” some butter smelled that had supposedly gone bad. “And you’d go in and smell it and he’d put your nose in it.”
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