recommended reading

Romney in his comfort zone in technology speech

Cliff Owen/AP

RESTON, Va.--Appearing at home in front of an audience of technology executives and workers, Mitt Romney on Friday extolled the virtues of innovation, limited regulation, and low taxes to spur the U.S. economy.

"You have to have regulators in government who see their job as encouraging innovation in the private sector, as opposed to killing all potential risk," he told about 900 people at the Northern Virginia Technology Council. The crowd, often polite and quiet, interrupted the speech to clap at that line. They also applauded his calls to "staple a green card" to the Ph.D.'s that foreign students earn in the United States, or even abroad at top universities.

Romney's speech sketched the broad outline of the business climate he sees as necessary for the U.S. to prosper, including the importance of allowing people the freedom to take risks, with few proposals specific to the technology industry.

While discouraging government innovation in specific ventures like Solyndra, the green-energy company that went bankrupt after a $500 million government investment, he did tell the audience that more general investments in science and research are key.

"Government investment in basic science and research, which can be shared with all, that encourages innovation," Romney said. "So when the government invests in space, that creates new enterprises in innovation," he continued, briefly drawing on a page of the playbook of rival Newt Gingrich, who has spent a great deal of time on the campaign trail discussing his proposals to revitalize the space industry.

"Government as a crony capitalist makes it very hard for innovation to occur," Romney said.

In a nod to his audience, the former Massachusetts governor recalled a failed attempt to recruit Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Bain Consulting.

"I have not always been successful in my endeavor," he joked, noting that he told Ballmer at the time he could have been worth $1 million or $2 million if he had accepted the offer. Ballmer's net worth is roughly $14 billion, according to Forbes.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.