(LANCASTER, N.H.) — Mitt Romney said Thursday that the $40 dollars many Americans would lose if the payroll tax holiday isn’t extended would make a “very substantial difference” to those who would be without it.
“It’ll be the difference between having a meal that includes meat or just Hamburger Helper,” said Romney in an interview with ABC News’ John Berman aboard the GOP candidate’s new campaign bus in Northern New Hampshire. “It could be the difference between being able to take your family to McDonald’s at the end of the week, it means the difference between being able to go to a movie or not going to a movie.”
“It makes a real difference to the American people,” he said.
Romney said that he believes both Republicans and Democrats need to “sit down and work out” a deal regarding the payroll tax extension, and that it was time to “put the sausage in the sausage grinder and come out with a bill that provides an ongoing payroll tax holiday.”
Often repeating on the trail that the “economy is his wheelhouse,” emphasizing his experience in the private sector as the quality that makes him best fit to replace President Obama, Romney said he did not think an improvement to the country’s economy would detract from his campaign message.
“Look I’m very much in favor of an improving economy — I want to see America go back to work,” said Romney. “The reality is that the economy is going to get better. It always does. The question is how long will this economy have been held down by this president’s policies. I’ll make the point very clearly that this is the slowest recovery since [President Hoover]. The president’s policies have not worked.”
As his bus rolled on between Littleton, N.H., and Lancaster, N.H., on the second day of his “Earn It” bus tour through the Granite State, Romney declined to accept an offer from former Speaker Newt Gingrich to debate him one-on-one.
“My view is that I’m going to debate with all the contenders,” said Romney. “Why would I have a debate without the other leading people in this race, and the other candidates? Only a few months ago Speaker Gingrich was in low single digit numbers, we didn’t say, ‘OK, let’s not debate speaker Gingrich, let’s only debate Rick Perry.”
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Eric Bradner, CNN
Phil Mattingly, Tom LoBianco and David Mark, CNN
Ruth Brown and Lis Stewart, Idaho Press-Tribune