Romney visits Costa Mesa

Business owners, executives discuss health-care act and taxes' effects on their businesses. Presumptive GOP nominee says lifelong government workers are out of touch with their needs.

July 23, 2012|By Joseph Serna
  • Mitt Romney, white shirt, speaks to a group of business owners and executives during a roundtable discussion at Endural LLC's headquarters in Costa Mesa on Monday. The presumptive GOP nominee also visited Irvine for a fundraiser earlier that day.
Mitt Romney, white shirt, speaks to a group of business… (LAUREN WILLIAMS,…)

Mitt Romney criticized President Obama's health-care reforms and other regulations that some small businesses find burdensome during a campaign stop Monday at a Costa Mesa manufacturing plant.

The presumptive Republican nominee, who met with business owners and executives at the Endural LLC plastic container plant, said health-care reform and other regulations are stifling businesses and, in turn, slowing job growth.

"It's not just about getting the bad guys, of which there are a few, but also helping the good guys, encouraging entrepreneurs, understanding how hard it is to start a business, grow a business, help it live and thrive," he said.

The former Massachusetts governor suggested that lifelong government employees do not understand the needs of private business owners.

"I happen to think that for people who have spent their entire livelihood working in government, they sometimes don't appreciate just how hard it is to start a business, grow a business, maintain a business," Romney said.


He also called on his opponent to meet more often with the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a nonpartisan panel of business leaders aimed at helping the White House grow the economy.

"I guess in the last six months he's done 109 fundraisers. He's found time for that," Romney said. "I suggest between the fundraisers, get together with the jobs council and learn from people who are working hard to create jobs."

Romney found himself in friendly territory, speaking to 10 or so handpicked business owners and executives.

Those who gathered for what was billed as a business roundtable agreed that the demands of the health-care reforms, which are being phased in, could prevent them from hiring.

John McDermott, chief executive Endologix in Irvine, said the Affordable Care Act's 2.3% tax on medical devices like those manufactured by his company could increase his business expenses by up to $1 million.

That means he may not hire up to 50 new employees in the near future.

"It forces us to re-think our business, slow down potentially, which I think everyone here at this table doesn't want to do," he said.

The tax is "an invasive approach to business," Romney said. "When you get 2.3% on top sale, $1 million is extraordinary taxation. Application of a tax to medical devices is going to cost jobs in this country."

Ruth Lopez Novodor, chief executive of Beverly Oncology and Imaging, said she cringed when thinking about the health-care overhaul.

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