Romney Plans Rural Policy Push (via Agri-Pulse Communications)

VAN METER, IOWA, Oct. 9, 2012 – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brings his 2012 campaign back to Iowa today with a focus on farm and rural policy.

 
Romney plans to address agricultural issues during an event held at the Koch family farm near Van Meter, focusing on some of the same themes that he outlined with the August rollout of his national farm and ranch coalition: Expanding trade, elimination of the death tax, getting rid of excessive overregulation, and building energy independence.

“America’s farmers and ranchers play an incredibly important role in our economic prosperity and must be supported,” said Romney. “My Plan for a Stronger Middle Class includes policies that will help the agriculture sector thrive and deliver an economic recovery for rural America.”
 
According to his campaign, Romney will criticize President Obama for pursuing harmful policies from “tax increases and onerous regulations, to a stalled trade agenda, to efforts to drive up the cost of energy, the President’s agenda has consistently disregarded the concerns and needs of farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.”
 
“We already ask our farmers and ranchers to cope with natural disasters,” said Romney. “They should not also have to battle a man-made disaster of taxes and regulations from Washington. Our economic recovery must also be a rural recovery, and my plan for a stronger middle class will ensure that our agricultural sector grows and thrives.”

 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has repeatedly visited the state to make the case for four more years of President Obama and to blame the GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives for failure to pass a new farm bill. But today, Vilsack is just across the border in Omaha, attending a regional drought recovery workshop. Patty Judge, a former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and former Lt. Governor is expected to be on hand in Van Meter today to rebut Romney’s comments.

In advance of his speech, the Romney campaign announced its Iowa Farmers for Romney coalition that is led by Iowa GOP Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey and former Farm Bureau leaders Dean Kleckner and Craig Lang, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham, and an advisory panel made up of more than 70 farmers and their spouses.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey pointed to the important role that farmers and agricultural businesses play in powering Iowa’s economy.

“Over the course of the past three and a half years, President Obama hasn’t made good on the promises of his campaign four years ago, and the impact of his economic policies has been devastating throughout the country. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will provide new direction and fresh leadership in the White House that will allow us to boost trade, bring America back from the fiscal cliff, and increase take-home pay for the middle class.”

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