- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The growing anti-capitalism protests on Wall Street, which organizers hope to bring to Washington and other cities, won’t help solve the nation’s economic problems, GOP presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said in an interview.

“The best way to create greater income and greater jobs for all of America is not to attack one part of America or another, but instead to pull together and find how we can do a better job of competing globally,” Mr. Romney said in an interview with The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News.”

“Divisiveness has never been a source of greatness and strength.”

Mr. Romney, who became a multimillionaire after co-founding Bain Capital, a management consulting firm in the 1980s, blamed some of the current anti-business unrest on President Obama.

“The president is misguided in this effort to attack the ‘haves’ on behalf of the ‘have-nots,’” he said. “This divisiveness is dangerous on his part and is misleading to the American people about what the source is of our challenges.

“It is not that some people are more successful than others. It is instead that government is not doing its job to make America the best place for growth and investment.”

The anti-capitalism protests that began three weeks ago with a handful of college students camping out in a park near New York’s financial center swelled to a crowd of thousands and resulted in hundreds of arrests Saturday as protesters swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge.

Mr. Romney also weighed in on the president’s comment Monday that most voters are not better off than they were before he took office, though Mr. Obama insisted the nation is on the right track under his leadership.

“I’m glad he’s finally admitting the truth,” Mr. Romney said. “Although he’s tried to find someone else to blame for his failure, the truth is Americans are not better off than they were three years ago. The truth is the buck stops at his desk, and he’s failed.”

Mr. Romney, campaigning in Florida on Tuesday, is leading the Republican field nationally in most polls, including this week’s ABC News/Washington Post survey, which showed the former Massachusetts governor with 25 percent support to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 17 percent.

During Tuesday’s “America’s Morning News” interview, Mr. Romney highlighted his differences with the Texas governor on the issue of immigration.

“I believe that we should build a fence; Gov. Perry has a different view,” Mr. Romney said. “I believe that we should turn off the magnets that bring people here illegally such as giving in-state tuition credits to illegals. Gov. Perry proposed and accepted a piece of legislation that did that; I vetoed such a piece of legislation and opposed that.”

Mr. Romney also supports an E-verify system so employers know who is a legal citizen, and he wants to heavily sanction employers who hire people who are here illegally.

“Gov. Perry opposes an E-verify system, as I understand it,” he said. “So we have some differences of opinion with regards to immigration. I think the American people understand that.”