Romney Tells Farmington Area, Livonia Business Leaders: 'I Love You'

The Republican presidential candidate touts his business credentials at an event hosted by the Greater Farmington Area and Livonia chambers of commerce.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rolled into Farmington Hills Thursday with a message centered around business and government – and how government misunderstands business.

A crowd of about 500 attended a noon luncheon hosted by the and Livonia Chambers of Commerce at Thursday and heard a message of support from the Michigan native, who is in the midst of a heated primary battle in his home state.

Romney said when he moved from the private sector to public service, "I was amazed in government at how little understanding there was of business."

In particular, he said, government people don't seem to understand how changes to the tax code and incentives have the power to change how people do business. Romney said that when he suggested bringing a for-profit jail management company in to run Massachusetts prisons, he was told that would cost more, because the company had to make a profit.

"The whole idea of profit is to create incentives for entrepreneurs and innovators to find ways to do things less and less expensive with better quality," Romney said. "That's why America has outperformed every other nation in the world."

"Profit goes to build the business," he added. "More profit means more jobs and a brighter future."

Romney touted his business credentials, which he often compared with those of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and noted part of the difference between government and business is "your job is harder."

"My impression is from some government people that they don't like you very much," Romney said. "I love you." 

He also expressed his love for Michigan, where "trees are the right height," and for American cars. Romney said he was glad that Michigan automakers went through a "managed bankruptcy," which he said he recommended when their financial difficulties began.

Speaking for more than 20 minutes, Romney also took a number of swipes at President Barack Obama, who he said "has taken actions that have made it harder for our economy to recover." He called out "Obama-care" health initiatives that have placed a new tax on certain medical industry businesses, and Dodd-Frank financial reform, which Romney said has been burdensome for community bankers. 

"If I'm president, I want to be the ally of entrepreneurs and job creators," Romney said.

Oakland County Commissioner Bill Dwyer said he liked a lot of what Romney said, especially when it came to decreasing taxes, providing incentives for business and creating jobs. He agreed with Romney that the Keystone Pipeline should be completed and on the need to address jobs being lost to China. 

"When you look at what Snyder's done in this state as a business man, I think what we need in Washington is a business man," Dwyer said. "A lot of what he said hit home."

director Mary Engelman said she was pleased with the turnout for the event, which was organized in just a few days. In a statement released earlier this week, she said that the chambers are non-partisan and an invitation has been extended to President Barack Obama to appear at a future date. 

"I think it's important for the business community," she said of Romney's appearance. "We need to know what his plans are for the United States ... and I think we got that today." 

Not everyone appreciated Romney's message, though. On the sidewalk outside Farmington Hills Manor, a small group of protestors held signs and a large banner referring to Romney's 2008 "Let Detroit go bankrupt" op/ed published in the New York Times.

Farmington Hills resident Masha Silver said those words drove her out to protest Romney's appearance in Farmington Hills. "When Romney said 'Let Detroit go bankrupt' that really made me very, very angry," she said. "That would have ruined the whole country ... He still thinks that would have been a good idea, and that's a terrible thing to say."

Gigi Jacobs February 19, 2012 at 08:21 AM
The reason I'm so mad is because I've never heard someone like Romney make such a lying statement. Ok, so the public doesn't know what I know-but Romney does-so he's lying. What makes anyone think they are going to make products better and cheaper for you the consumer? A university study showed that 70% of people will lie and steal if they think they won't get caught. Why do I not do the same? Because there are just a few of us that have empathy. That means I put myself in the shoes of the customer and think how bad it must feel to put out money and be cheated in return. But I also stop for animals and help old ladies cross the street. It makes me sad to see people hurt. But that's not true for the majority. All they care about is themselves and their profit. And I'm no newbie. I've been creating products and businesses for 25 years. I've seen it all. Google me on YouTube and you'll see I'm a real person with real news segments on the local news in Los Angeles, CA. I enjoy making people happy-you won't find that to be the motive of most businesses. No, my friend, it's profit and not a darn thing else for most. And if anyone knows that-it's Romney. You know why unemployment goes UP when taxes are lower? Because people can be so greedy they actually "cash out" on that profit in the years when taxes are lower so most get to keep more of their money, instead of giving to the government to help someone in need. Oh no, they won't stand for that. Gigi Jacobs LA, CA
Gigi Jacobs February 19, 2012 at 08:45 AM
LAST COMMENT-I PROMISE. The reason Republicans are advertising how the Postal Service is going bankrupt is because they put forward a bill that requires the Postal Service pay up front almost 7 billion dollars each year for the retirement fund. Why? So they can make them look bad and eliminate them like they are doing for ALL PUBLIC SECTOR BUSINESSES. so that ways instead of 44 cents to send a letter 3,000 miles, you 'll have to pay their buddies at Fed Ex $20 for the same thing. So, in essence, the Postal Service Made 2 BILLION DOLLARS PROFIT and with not one red cent of taxpayers money-and by paying decent wages and benefits-and not costing you but your 44 cents. . But they don't want you to know that. We'll see how efficient you think private sector businesses are when you're sending a letter and it costs you $20 bucks paid to Fed Ex for what used to cost 44 cents! DONE!
Herb Helzer February 23, 2012 at 04:33 PM
And every one of the candidates is wrong when they make such statements. The situation in 2008 and 2009 was unique -- there was no private equity willing to lend operating funds to GM or Chrysler to get them through restructuring. Bankruptcy under those curcumstances would have led straight to liquidation. Even if outright sale of their assets to Chinese or European investors didn't happen, the bankruptcies themselves would still be going on today. Consider what happened at Delphi, a parts company one-tenth the size of GM. Their bankruptcy lasted FIVE YEARS as competing interests dueled in court and different plans were offered and rejected. Further, had the Republican point of view (driven largely by Senators from southern states where foreign automakers had set up non-union assembly plants) prevailed, the collapse of GM and Chrysler would have taken down their suppliers -- among them other Fortune 500 firms like Visteon, Lear and the aforementioned Delphi. The collateral damage of all these companies failing would have dragged Ford Motor Company down as well -- even though Ford had done everything right by picking an outstanding new CEO, embarking on top-to-bottom restructuring and securing $26 billion in private credit BEFORE the crisis. This isn't ancient history, Diana -- the evidence that supports everything I've said is readily available. Please try doing the homework before posting next time.
Herb Helzer February 23, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Rock on, Gigi. You understand.
Gigi Jacobs March 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Thank you Herb for having the logic to understand and for your comment. It is I who thanks you!


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