GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday claimed he was a pioneer in the use of private equity to reduce regulation, but he may have used his Bain capital as well.
“I am the biggest mistake we have ever made in our history,” Romney said during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“I think we’ve done a huge disservice to our country.”
He was referencing the fact that during his time as CEO of Bain Capital, he managed to reduce the regulations put in place by the Obama administration.
In an effort to get out of regulations that were “unfair” to corporations, Romney proposed that private equity funds invest in companies that had to go through more stringent regulation and that Bain would “get rid of the regulations” that the government was putting in place.
He also suggested that private companies that were deemed to have too many regulations should be given the ability to leave their companies, and then he advocated for a tax deduction for the money that companies spent on regulatory compliance.
“You know, I think the first mistake that we have made is I think we have been a little bit too aggressive in getting out of regulation,” he said.
“And that has been a big mistake.
It has been too aggressive.””
If we don’t get rid, I’m going to have to get in my own car and go to the nearest McDonalds and get myself a Big Mac,” he added.
Romney also noted that during the course of his time at Bain Capital he would help to privatize companies and sell them off.
But in reality, he was not the first person to make such a claim.
In 2012, then-President Barack Obama had also proposed the idea of using private equity for regulatory reduction.
He proposed that the president’s $500 billion “pipeline” to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast could be privatized, which he said would bring $1 trillion to the economy.
“That is going to be a huge boost to the American economy,” he told reporters.
But while Romney was on stage at CPAC, he said that he “wouldn’t have taken a position” on the pipeline.
Romney said he “definitely would not have taken the position” if he had taken the job at Bain.
“I mean, we were in the private equity business.
And if you look at what’s happened in this country over the last 25 years, there’s been so much deregulation, I don’t think we should be in the business of lowering the regulatory burden,” he insisted.