NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. â€“ Â Casting himself as America’s CEO, Republican presidential hopefulÂ Mitt Romney on Tuesday outlined a sweeping economic plan that would reduce regulations and taxes on companies, sanctionÂ China over its currency practices and weaken the clout of labor unions.
Trying to hold off surging rivalÂ Rick Perry, Romney traveled to economically suffering Nevada and stood inside a giant truck warehouse to deliver his multi-point plan designed to position him as the GOP contender with the most comprehensive approach to fixing the economy.
“This isÂ aÂ businessÂ plan for America,” Romney told supporters as he promoted his plan as one designed to modernize an economy he says is still oriented toward earlier decades — and held up General Electric CEO Jack Welch and former Apple CEOÂ Steve Jobs as “real deal” leaders in the U.S. economy.
It’s a version of the economic pitch Romney has been making throughout the campaign so far — but it’s now been sharpened to highlight how his private-sector record contrasts with Perry, the Texas governor, who has held elected office for more than two decades. In his speech Tuesday, Romney barely mentioned his own four years as governor of Massachusetts.
Perry’s campaign sharply criticized Romney immediately after the address. “As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney failed to create a pro-jobs environment,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in a statement. When Romney was governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation.
Romney’s plan calls for reducing or eliminating several taxes, extracting more U.S. oil, coal and natural gas, expanding trade pacts and slashingÂ federalÂ spending. His campaign distributed the 160-page booklet, and Romney explained it in an at-times rambling speech delivered without prepared text or a teleprompter.
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