Mitt Romney ventured on to Democratic turf Tuesday morning with an appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference hosted by former President Bill Clinton’s non-profit foundation. Appearing on stage with Bill Clinton, Romney joked:
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned this election, it’s that Bill Clinton can do a man a lot of good. I’m just waiting for that bounce.”
Romney’s remarks came just hours before President Barack Obama takes the same stage to deliver his own speech to CGI, after his address to the United Nations this morning.
But although the Romney campaign has spent the last 24 hours bracketing Obama’s speeches with attacks on the president’s foreign policy, the candidate’s remarks this morning were tempered, laying out a vision for U.S. foreign assistance tailored to the audience of humanitarian donors.
emphasising the importance of promoting work as the solution to the world’s ills, Romney argued for U.S. investment in private sector development overseas, rather than government assistance.
“For American foreign aid to become more effective, it must embrace the power of partnerships, access the transformative nature of free enterprise, and leverage the abundant resources that can come from the private sector,” he said.
Romney went on to outline his proposals for reforming foreign aid through “Prosperity Pacts,” integrated programs that would link trade policy to development, primarily by financing structures for small- and medium-sized enterprises overseas.
Work, he said, “must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike.”
“Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.”
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