STRUM: Governor Romney, you argue that you know how to create jobs and that the source of jobs should be and must be the private sector. If this is what you truly believe, and you believe that job creation is one of the most important challenges facing America, wouldn’t you be better positioned to serve this country from the private sector where you can put your prowess at job creation to work most effectively and beneficially?
MR: The problem we are facing is an administration that is in the way of job creation. My administration will roll back the job killing regulations and inspire the confidence necessary for a true and robust recovery.
STRUM: By doing less?
MR: Yes. By creating the conditions for recovery.
STRUM: But if what we need is a Government that does less so that those who know how to create jobs – and that is what you claim to be – can do so, shouldn’t we let someone else be the President who does less while people like you who claim to know how to create jobs put their expertise to work?
MR: Well, it’s not simply less, it’s which ways to do less.
STRUM: So you agree we need an active Government for job creation?
MR: Active in some ways and less active in others.
STRUM: So job creation depends upon Government?
MR: Job creation depends upon government policies that create the conditions where job creators can create jobs.
STRUM: Where their investments are assured of returns?
MR: Where they have incentive to take risks.
STRUM: So government should incentivize job creation?
MR: Yes, but by getting out of the way of the market, not by picking winners and losers, which government doesn’t know how to do and which is contrary to the American belief in freedom.
STRUM: Governor Romney, do you respect the US military?
MR: Well, of course. It is the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.
STRUM: And it follows that you have great respect for the men and women who serve in our armed forces?
MR: Yes, of course. We owe them everything.
STRUM: And you agree that they put their lives at great risk and often sacrifice their lives?
MR: Yes indeed. And we owe them an unpayable debt of gratitude.
STRUM: Why do you believe that they risk and sacrifice their lives?
MR: Because they believe in America.
STRUM: They are patriots?
MR: Yes. Our finest patriots.
STRUM: And do they do so under optimal conditions?
MR: They do so often under the most difficult conditions.
STRUM: Even when the odds are against success?
MR: Especially then. This is what is remarkable about them.
STRUM: So they are remarkable because they serve their nation patriotically even when the odds are difficult?
MR: Yes, of course.
STRUM: And do you think it a reasonable thing to hold them up as examples of patriotism that we should all strive to emulate.
MR: Well, that is setting the bar awfully high.
STRUM: Governor Romney, which is the greater risk, one’s life or one’s fortune.
MR: I think any decent person would value life above wealth.
STRUM: Governor Romney, do you consider yourself a patriot?
MR: I do. I love this country. That’s why I’m running for president.
STRUM: And this country needs jobs?
STRUM: And you know how to create them?
MR: If the conditions are right.
STRUM: Meaning if the conditions point to profitability of investment?
MR: Yes. That’s how the market works.
STRUM: So this is what I’m trying to understand. How many jobs have you created in the last 4 years?
MR: Well, I’ve been contributing in other ways.
STRUM: But haven’t you argued that job creation is your specialty and that right now our country needs jobs?
MR: Yes. But in the Obama economy, it’s very difficult to create jobs.
STRUM: Meaning that you believe the conditions for successful investment are difficult?
STRUM: So why not strive to be patriotic, though nowhere near approaching the level of those men and women risking their very lives, by trying to create jobs in the private sector even when the conditions are difficult?
MR: Because I believe I will have a greater effect by creating the conditions that will enable others to create jobs.
STRUM: But why haven’t you led by example? Why should job creators be less patriotic than GIs who do so at infinitely greater risk for significantly lesser reward for themselves and for their families?
MR: The problem is that you don’t understand the way the economy works.
STRUM: And you do?
STRUM: And there are no ways you can create jobs in the current environment?
MR: Not on the scale we need.
STRUM: Have you tried?
MR: I’m trying by running for President.
STRUM: So if you lose, can we count on you to risk some of your fortune in the patriotic endeavor of job creation?
MR: I don’t intend on losing.
STRUM: But if you do?
MR: I’ll serve my country any way I can.
STRUM: By investing in job creating initiatives?
MR: If I think I can do it, I will.
STRUM: And why haven’t you been doing so now?
MR: I’m busy with the campaign, which will enable many others to come forward and create jobs.
STRUM: Without any risk to your own fortune, your Cayman Island holdings and Swiss Bank account?
MR: See, this is the problem. People like you want to penalize success.
STRUM: Thank you for your time.
MR: Thank you.