Mitt Romney’s Wall Street Journal op-ed: A new Direction for America

After more than a year of campaigning, endless political advertisements, two conventions and four debates, the presidential election is almost over. The big decision of 2012 will soon be in the hands of the voters. The choice Americans make will shape great things, historic things, and those will determine the most important and intimate aspects of every American life and every American family. All presidential elections matter. This one matters a great deal.

It matters to the senior who needs medical care but, thanks to ObamaCare, can’t find a doctor who is taking new Medicare patients. It matters to the men and women who once had good-paying jobs with benefits but now work part-time with no benefits just to put food on the table. It matters to the college student graduating this spring with a heavy load of debt and few opportunities to pay it back. It matters to the single mother who lives in fear of foreclosure as her employment prospects dwindle.

This election is about them. It is about all of us.

It is about the education of our children, the value of our homes, the take-home pay from our jobs, the price of the gasoline we buy, the choices we have in our health care. It is also about broader forces—the growth of the economy, the strength of our military, our dependence on foreign oil, our leadership role in the world.

After four years of disappointments, fixing America’s problems requires a new direction. The path we’re on hasn’t led us where we need to go. In so many ways, it seems that things have gotten even worse. We can make excuses for what has gone wrong, and many have tried. But excuses won’t turn this country around. Only leadership can do that.

I know something about leadership because I have led before. I have reformed businesses that were on the verge of collapse. I have helped to save an Olympics that was plagued by scandal. I have worked with men and women on both sides of the aisle in Massachusetts to achieve real change and real reform.

I can do it again in Washington. Republicans and Democrats in Congress may seem to share very little these days, but they share responsibility for the problems we now face. Just as it took both parties to bring us to where we stand, it will take both parties to get us moving again in the right direction.

That is something we can only accomplish if we work tirelessly to bridge the divide between the political parties. I will meet with Democratic and Republican leadership regularly. I will look for common ground and shared principles. And I will put the interests of the American people above the interests of the politicians and the bureaucrats.

Together, we will overcome our difficulties and usher in a new age of prosperity.

America is ready for that kind of leadership. Paul Ryan and I will provide it. Our plan for a stronger middle class will create jobs, stop the decline in take-home pay, and put America back on the path of possibility and opportunity.

This, in turn, will enable us to fulfill our responsibilities to promote the principles of peace as leader of the Free World. We will help the Muslim world combat the spread of extremism. We will dissuade Iran from building a nuclear bomb. We will build enduring relationships throughout Latin America. And we will partner with China and other great nations to build a more stable and peaceful world.

We face big challenges, but we also have big opportunities. New doors are open for us to sell our ideas and our products to the entire world. New technologies offer the promise of unbounded information and limitless innovation. New ideas are changing lives and hearts in diverse nations and among diverse peoples. If we seize the moment and rise to the occasion, the century ahead will be an American Century.

Our children will graduate into exciting careers that are worthy of their qualifications. Our seniors will be confident that their retirement is secure. Our men and women will have good jobs and good pay and good benefits. Our veterans will come home to a bright future. We will have every confidence that our lives are safe, and that our livelihoods are secure.

This requires a different direction, a change from the course of the past four years. It requires that we put aside the small and the petty, and demand the scale of change that we deserve: real change, big change. I pledge that my presidency will bring about that kind of change—confronting the problems that politicians have avoided for over a decade, revitalizing our competitive economy, modernizing our education system, restoring our founding principles.

If you are ready for that kind of change, if you want this to be a turning point in America’s course, join us and vote Tuesday for the kind of leadership that these times demand.

I am running for president because I believe in America. I believe in the America that never gives up, never stops striving, never ceases believing in itself. That is what I have been campaigning for, and that is what I will fight for as president of the United States.


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