Mitt Romney was in Virginia Wednesday touting his small business policy, part of a two-day visit to the swing state ahead of a scheduled rally for President Barak Obama Saturday.
"What the president has done - and I think unknowingly, never having spent any time in the private sector himself… was one item after another [making] it harder for small businesses to thrive and to grow and to start up," Romney said during a visit to a small business in Chantilly.
The GOP presumptive nominee's visit came the same week as a new Gallup poll showed American small businesses owner optimism was as its highest level since 2008. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which measures small-business owners' perceptions of their operating environments, showed a substantial increase in optimism between January and February 2012.
The Index, begun in 2003, ranks optimism on a scale of -40 to 120 based on a survey of a random sampling of small businesses' expectations over the next year. The index peaked in 2006 at 114 and then dropped to its lowest point at -28 in mid-2010. Now the index is out of the red, settling at 23.
But the Romney campaign said in a statement sent Wednesday that actions taken by the President over the next year will have negative repercussions on small businesses.
"President Obama and his campaign will do anything to avoid talking about his record of failure - and they certainly don't want to talk about his plans to increase taxes on entrepreneurs and small businesses," campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said in a press release citing a Wall Street Journal article entitled "[President Obama] Is Setting Up The U.S. Economy For One Of The Biggest Tax Increases In History In 2013."
But the Gallup poll said "small-business owners' expectations for the next 12 months are now the most positive they have been at any time since July 2008."
"Increasing small-business owner optimism is key to future U.S. economic growth and job creation. It may well determine whether the economy builds on the optimism of the first four months of this year or reverses course, as it did last year," the poll indicated.
On Saturday, the President will touch on many of these issues in a rally with the First Lady at the Stuart C. Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
by RTT Staff Writer
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