In a closed-door speech to donors at a private home in Florida on Sunday, Mitt Romney was unusually candid about his policy plans, offering details about what he expects to implement if elected president in November.
According to NBC News, the former Massachusetts governor said he may decide to eliminate several government agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which was once led by his father, George Romney.
"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."
Although Romney refused to make specific calls about each agency, he did suggest that the Department of Education would see major changes under a Romney presidency.
"I will either consolidate with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller," Romney said. "I'm not going to get rid of it entirely," explaining that to do so could be a political pitfall and would eliminate a way to push back on powerful teacher unions.
Romney also acknowledged the key role those unions will have on the election, since many of them have pledged support for President Barack Obama.
"The unions will put in hundreds of millions of dollars," Romney said. "There's nothing like it on our side."
According to the Wall Street Journal, Romney also outlined which tax deductions he planned to cut.
"I'm going to probably eliminate for high-income people the second-home mortgage deduction," he said. He also expressed similar plans for the state income tax deduction and state property tax deduction. As the Wall Street Journal points out, this is the first time Romney specifically named which deductions he would cut.
Romney also took the opportunity to discuss his campaign's efforts to win over key demographics in the general election against Obama. According to Romney, an inability to attract Hispanic voters "spells doom" for the Republican Party.
"We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party," Romney said, citing a "Republican DREAM Act" as a potential way to give these voters a choice between the two parties. The version backed by Democrats offers a limited path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
He also acknowledged that in order to attract typically Democratic-leaning voters, his campaign would have to reach beyond the Fox News media sphere.
"Fox is watched by the true believers," Romney said. "We need to get the independents and the women."
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