Mitt Romney’s “Hot Mic Moment” (hat tip: Charlie Barone) as reported by First Read:
Mitt Romney said he learned this advice from his unsuccessful 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy: don’t get too specific. “One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” he said. “So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies.” But at a Florida fundraiser Romney attended last night — which NBC’s Garrett Haake overheard because he was sitting on a seawall outside the home — the former Massachusetts governor got MUCH MORE specific. Indeed, it was in a way Romney’s own hot-mic moment, where he was more open about his plans than he’s been to voters and reporters to date.
In a speech to donors at a closed door fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida, Mitt Romney laid out plans to consolidate federal agencies, reform the tax code and win back Latino voters. The Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd reports.
He singled out HUD for possible elimination. “I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go,” Romney said. “Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later.” He said he’d cut the Education Department, though not eliminate it entirely, referring again to that 1994 Senate defeat. “The Department of Education: I will either consolidate with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller. I’m not going to get rid of it entirely.”