Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reaffirmed his view Wednesday during an Oklahoma City campaign stop that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“I have the same view on marriage that I had when I was governor and that I've expressed many times — I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” Romney said when asked by reporters about President Barack Obama's support earlier in the day for gay marriages.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said states are able to make decisions in regards to domestic partner benefits.
“My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference,” said Romney, 65. “I know other people have differing views. This is a very tender and sensitive topic as are many social issues. But I have the same view that I've had since, well, since running for office.”
Romney spoke for about 15 minutes to about 45 supporters at the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters. He attended a fundraiser Wednesday evening at the Nichols Hills home of Harold Hamm, who is chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc. Romney earlier chose Hamm to lead his energy policy advisory group.
First visit since 2011
Romney, making his first visit to Oklahoma since a campaign stop in October, criticized the Democratic president for failing to follow through on promises he made four years ago to create jobs, partially by investing in green energy ventures.
Since 2009, the wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs, Romney said, while oil and natural gas companies have added 75,000 jobs, he said.
“In the president's case, he's done almost everything in his power to make it harder to take advantage of our natural gas, our coal, our oil and nuclear,” Romney said.
Romney said he wants to increase exploration of energy in the United States, including off-shore drilling.
“I want to provide more licenses and permits for drilling for oil and gas on federal lands,” he said.
“The president is just being guided by things that has been spoken about by liberals for years and years and years and have been proved not to work,” he said. “The idea of raising taxes on small businesses — it doesn't help ... That will kill jobs.
Romney said the country has had a national unemployment rate above 8 percent for 39 straight months and the county had experienced record foreclosures during the president's time in office and the median income has dropped 10 percent during the last four years.
“Middle-class families are really feeling squeezed in this country,” Romney said.
Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins said the country's economy is improving from the effects of the 2008 recession under the president.
“It took eight years to dig that hole so we're not going to get it filled back up in a couple years,” Collins said. “It's going to take a while. President Obama said that when he was elected. He said we're not going to get out of this thing in just a short time.”
Romney, who campaigned earlier Wednesday in Colorado, talked about his support of TransCanada, the Canadian company seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Romney said he backed the efforts of TransCanada, which last week submitted a new permit application for the segment proposed to carry crude from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska. TransCanada has announced that it would proceed this summer in building the southern part of the pipeline, which will carry crude from the oil storage supply hub in Cushing to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Romney pledged that one of his first tasks if elected would be to repeal the nation's health care law, which was backed by the president.
“Obamacare is the dream come true for old-school liberals,” he said.
Romney appeared with Fallin, who formally endorsed his presidential bid. Fallin, Oklahoma's first female governor, had remained noncommittal about any of the GOP presidential contenders.
“I'm going to do everything I can to help Gov. Romney in his campaign,” she said. “Our nation is headed on the wrong track and we need a president who's going to get our nation back on the right track.
“We in Oklahoma don't believe in big government,” Fallin said. “President Obama has been hostile to American-made energy.”She pledged she would try to deliver all 77 counties to Romney. Obama failed to win any Oklahoma county four years ago.