Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney spoke to a business luncheon today not far from where he grew up in Oakland County as he stumped for Republican support in Michigan’s presidential primary.
Protestors outside carried a banner that said “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” -- a reminder of what Romney famously said in 2008 as he opposed the taxpayer-funded auto industry bailout.
Inside, Romney said he loves the auto industry and still drives a Ford Mustang – and defended his history as a venture capitalist to a chamber of commerce lunch largely filled with businesspeople.
“My impression from some government people is, they don’t like you very much. I love you. (laughter) I like the fact that you’re entrepreneurs and working to create jobs and build enterprises and that makes America stronger.”
Romney clearly hoped his brand of fiscal conservatism would appeal to the crowd.
“You see, in the private sector that you all live in, you’re either fiscally conservative or you’re out of business. You can’t borrow money year after year after year, spending more than you take in or you’d go bankrupt.”
Romney also picked up the endorsement of Governor Rick Snyder, who is also a businessman who made a second career in politics.
The governor dismissed as inconsequential differences with Romney on issues such as right to work laws – which Romney favors – and embryonic stem research – which Romney opposes.
“I’m the relentless positive action guy, so I try to find common ground and there’s a lot of common ground,” said Snyder. “If you go and look at his jobs and economic growth plan, there’s a lot of good elements there that are very similar to what we’ve done in Michigan, and we have a very similar background, so I’m very happy to support him.”
Snyder said one other deciding factor in his decision to endorse Romney is the fact that, if elected, he would be the first U.S. president born in Michigan.