Former presidential candidate and Utah Olympic Director, Mitt Romney is running in the Republican Primary race for the Senate seat which is opening due to the retirement of Orin Hatch. He’s facing off against Mike Kennedy a physician representing Utah House district 27 in Utah County. The Primary Election is June 26th and whoever wins will be the Republican nominee in the General Election.
Mitt Romney says he has spoken out against the current Trump Administration policy that separates children from their parents as they attempt to seek asylum at the US Border.
"I believe what we are seeing is a humanitarian crisis that has to be changed. I would recommend the President reinstate the policy that was in place in 2017. And that Congress take action to put in place a permanent fix. I’ve seen legislation from Ted Cruz which I haven’t read yet but separation at the borders just can’t go on. It’s not putting us in the light we would like to belong but more importantly it’s a humanitarian problem. This is a time to be looking at solutions to secure our border but do it in a compassionate way.”
Romney says DACA immigrants should have a path to citizenship but that it should be the same for everyone. He supports a physical barrier along the southern border and he thinks employers should be heavily penalized for hiring illegal workers.
“They shouldn’t be able to hire them and that would slow down the illegal flow of people into our country. Finally I’d just note our legal immigration system just needs to be improved. It’s a morass. It’s impossible for people to sort through it. We need to put in place a far simpler, transparent system for applying for citizenship and to become a green card holder.”
Romney says people come to the US to get work and if you can’t get the work, you’re not going to come here. He says the agricultural and tourism workers come in by the thousands on work permits, legally. He thinks states, rather than the federal government, should be able to decide how many temporary work permits are needed.
Romney claims he is a deficit hawk in spite of supporting the tax cut earlier this year. He says the US is paying $300 billion in interest on the $21 trillion deficit each year. He thinks entitlement programs need changes.
“We have to reform our entitlement programs and not for older people near retirement but for younger people”. But young people coming along need to understand retirement will be a year or two later. Benefits for higher income people aren’t going to grow as fast as they are for lower income people. Those things will balance two thirds of our spending.”
Romney says Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor, can be handled better by State Governments. He thinks some federal departments can be combined and the money returned to the states to use for job training.
“The federal government has encroached far too much on Utah. How we can use our land, which roads we can build, which kind of healthcare we can have. We need to let the states set those policies.”
Romney supports the tax bill passed earlier this year and he says bringing the corporate tax rate down will keep more companies in the US.
“And around the world the tax rate is 18 to 25 percent for other companies so we had company after company leaving the US establishing residence in other countries and that means a loss of jobs and also a loss of revenue.”
Romney says he is going to support the Trump administration when it’s good for the people of Utah and the country. He says he believes in trade and even some of the narrowly focused tariffs the Trump Administration has put in place on China.
“I do not want to see us get into a trade war but on the other hand if there’s a narrow tariff applied to a country like China that is cheating, then that’s something I can support. And then when the president says things or tweets things that I disagree with, or think are divisive or racist or anti-immigrant or anti- woman, I will point that out just like I have in the past.”
Romney agrees with President Trump in his executive order reducing the size of the Bears Ears and Escalante National Monuments. He thinks the historic and cultural areas should be preserved but thinks the bulk of the public lands should be returned to the BLM.
He says the NRA is not a contributor to his campaign and that he does not accept any PAC money. He thinks at least one armed person, ideally law enforcement, should be in all schools.
“I believe at the federal level, we need to improve our background check technology. I also believe that bump stocks used in the Las Vegas massacre should not be available for sale to the public, safety generally and gun safety laws protecting our schools are best crafted at the state level.”
Romney says his run for President and the connections he has made along with the campaign work he has done for other Republican Senators gives him more clout than his opponent Mike Kennedy.
The Primary is June 26th.