Science and Technology in the 2012 Presidential Election:
Mitt Romney (Republican)
- http://www.mittromney.com/ - campaign site
- http://twitter.com/mittromney (@MittRomney) - Twitter
- http://www.facebook.com/mittromney - Facebook
- http://www.tout.com/m/fy5ej0 - Tout
- http://www.flickr.com/photos/mittromney - Flickr
Mitt Romney graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971, and went on to earn dual degrees from Harvard Law and Harvard Business School. He was CEO of Bain & Company and co-founder and head of a spin-off company, Bain Capital. In 2002, Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts, and served from 2003 to 2007.
Competitiveness and Innovation
Governor Romney’s plan for innovation focuses primarily on macro-economic factors such as tax, regulatory, labor market, and fiscal policy reforms. Romney proposes encouraging free trade by reinstating the President’s Trade Promotion Authority (also known as the Fast Track), completing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and creating a “Reagan Economic Zone,” which would open up trade with countries that offer greater intellectual property protection. Romney also proposes economic sanctions against China to deter unfair Chinese practices, including designating China as “a currency manipulator.”
Romney asserts that if the U.S. is to remain a world leader in innovation, it is imperative that the federal government continue to invest in scientific research. In his recently released education plan, he stated that "the long-term federal investment in basic research within institutions of higher learning has been a crucial engine for innovation in our economy,” and pledged to continue to fund and support university research in the biological, physical, and social sciences.However, funding for applied R&D would be left primarily to the private sector, as Romney plans to cut non-defense discretionary funding by 5 percent.
STEM Education and Workforce
Mitt Romney believes that strengthening the American workforce will improve the economy. In order to reach this goal, he supports a Personal Reemployment Accounts system for the unemployed. These accounts would facilitate placement into training programs. This plan would encourage partnerships between states and the private sector, and streamline federal training programs that over-lap and over-spend. He will also pursue an immigration policy that will raise visa caps for highly skilled workers and grant permanent residency to eligible graduates with advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering in order to help the U.S. attract foreign-born residents with advanced degrees start companies, who tend to create jobs and drive innovation at an especially high rate.
Health and Medical Research
Romney supports repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguing that it places an unnecessary regulatory burden on the American public.
Romney opposes federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research and says that as president, he would focus on promoting adult stem cell research and alternative methods to derive pluripotent stem cells.
Advisers: Matt Hoffman, Scott Atlas, Tom Barker, Scott Gottlieb, Paul Howard, Tevi Troy
Energy and Environment
Romney says he “will make every effort to safeguard the environment, but he will also protect the jobs of American workers.” He would impose a regulatory cap of zero dollars on federal agencies and require congressional approval of all new major environmental regulations. He would amend the Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview, expand the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to approve additional nuclear reactor designs, and streamline NRC licensing processes.
Along with regulatory reform, Romney plans to increase domestic energy production. He would carry out a comprehensive survey of U.S. energy assets, open reserves for development, foster partnerships with neighboring countries, support construction of pipelines that bring Canadian oil to the U.S., and prevent the overregulation of shale gas development. He would concentrate funding for alternative energy on basic research by long-term funding mechanisms, such as ARPA-E.
Advisers: Harold Hamm, Jim Talent, Gregory Mankiw, Jeff Holmstead
National and Homeland Security
Romney wants to restore the three foundations of American power: strong values, a strong economy, and a strong military. In order to combat threats to national security, Romney proposes exercising leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. In his first 100 days, Romney would increase the Navy shipbuilding rate, commit to a more robust national missile defense system, conduct a full review of the U.S. transition in Afghanistan, and create an interagency cybersecurity initiative. Romney would also enact a defense spending floor of 4 percent of the GDP and modernize and replace aging military inventories.
Advisers: Dan Senor, John Lehman, Michael Hayden, Michael Chertoff
Vice Presidential Candidate
On August 11, 2012, the Romney campaign officially announced Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the presumptive vice presidential nominee. The announcement was made through the mobile app, “Mitt’s VP,” and confirmed by Romney in person at a campaign event in Norfolk, VA.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan crafted the GOP’s House budget resolution for FY 2013, “The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal,” which caps discretionary spending at $1.028 trillion for FY 2013. According to the AAAS R&D analysis, Ryan’s budget resolution would result in a 3 percent cut in total R&D from FY 2012 and a 5 percent cut in nondefense R&D, without accounting for the sequestration. Over the next decade, the budget resolution would reduce nondefense R&D by up to 27 percent, or $161 billion, below President Obama’s request.
Ryan supports the increase of domestic oil production through expanding drilling in protected areas, like the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, and building more refineries. On his campaign website, he calls for increased R&D funding for alternative energy sources and energy conservation technologies. He supported a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for electric supplies to increase the use of renewable energy resources, and is an advocate for the environmental health of the Great Lakes. Ryan also supports repealing the Affordable Care Act. His health care plan includes “a more sensible approach to combating preventable diseases and promoting healthier lifestyles,” as well as medical malpractice reform.