Governor Mitt Romney re-arranged his schedule to spend more time in Illinois. He made Moline's American Legion Post 246, 1623 15th Street, his first stop of the day Sunday. The Governor spoke to the crowd, shook hands with supporters, and then sat down with reporters to individually answer questions.
John Deere recently announced plans to build a factory in China. Then, in February, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping made a stop in Muscatine, Iowa where he was photographed sitting in the seat of a John Deere tractor. We asked the Governor how his policy on foreign trade ties to job growth in the Quad Cities.
"We want to make sure that we open markets for American goods and that John Deere tractors can be sold throughout the world. We also want to make sure any money John Deere makes in other countries can come back here to this country," said Governor Romney.
He said he would do that by making places like the Quad Cities more appealing than China.
"Right now we put a tax on it up to 35%. I want to bring that money back so that John Deere can build more factories in the United States of America," said Romney.
The Quad Cities largest employer is the Rock Island Arsenal. During a debate Thursday aired on WQPT, the three candidates vying to unseat Representative Bobby Schilling in Illinois' 17th District discussed making the Rock Island Arsenal "BRAC-Proof". BRAC stands for Base Re-alignment and Closure and is set to take place again in 2015. Congressman Schilling has toured the Arsenal and made his support clear. However, Governor Mitt Romney was vague when asked about the future of the Arsenal in particular.
"With regards to a particular base or facility I'd have to look at that and let the experts give us all the data. I can tell you that my commitment to the military is for superiority and American strength," said Romney.
Mr. Romney said he supports the federal government's role in infrastructure but says the states and local governments should also hold some of the responsibility. From the Chicago to Quad Cities passenger rail line to road and bridges, the Governor believes a public-private partnership may offer a viable solution.
"We're going to have to have a very significant program in this country, perhaps in a public private partnership manner in some cases, to re-build our infrastructure, to have a specific, dedicated revenue stream, to focus on rebuilding and once again be able to make our families be able to move easily around our country but also to allow trade and business to move across this country," said Romney.
Ann Romney has been traveling with her husband and keeping a similar grueling schedule. She admits to making a commitment four years ago never to do this again but said she changed her mind because America needs her husband.
"Look, I know how hard it is to become the Nominee of the party. Obviously, we're all watching how hard that is. I also know how hard it is going to be to defeat Barack Obama. But, I need for you to answer me this one question: If you can do both of those things, I want to know, once you get there can you fix it? And you know what? He's the only one that can," said Mrs. Romney.