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September 15th, 2011
07:20 PM ET

Romney: Stimulus hasn't worked

GOP 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today on a range of issues from health care to the lessons Romney learned from his last presidential run. A highlight from the interview is after the jump. A full transcript is posted on CNN.com.

Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

VIDEO: Romney: U.S. must be firm with Iran

Highlight from Full Interview
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM":  The Republican - let's call him the front-runner - Rick Perry, at least according to a lot of the polls, he just spoke to our sister publication "Time" magazine and he made this statement, I'm going to play it for you and then we'll discuss.

Listen to Rick Perry.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I still believe they are socialist.  I mean, their policies prove that almost daily.  I mean, look, when all the answers emanate from Washington D.C., one size fits all, whether it's education policy or whether it's healthcare policy, that is, on its face, socialism.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BLITZER:  He's talking about the Obama administration's policies.

You agree with him?

ROMNEY:  Well, you know, words have a lot of unintended meanings, and calling people socialists probably goes on the fact that it is true that President Obama's team and the president himself seem to believe that government has a better approach to our economy than does the private sector, and I disagree with that approach.

I believe we have to have a government that's a partner, that is encouraging the private sector, encouraging freedom, encouraging free people.  What they've done instead is add regulation, add taxation, add burdens to the free enterprise system, which does tend to make us more European.  And Europe isn't working in Europe; Europe is not going to work in this country.

I don't use the word socialist or I haven't so far, but I do agree that the president's approach is government heavy, government intensive, and it's not working.

BLITZER:  You use the word more European than socialist, is that what you're saying?

ROMNEY:  I - I just say, government heavy, Washington heavy.

A nation which is free and dependent upon free enterprise as ours is doesn't need Washington telling businesses how to they can do every aspect of their business, how people can get their education, how they can get their health care.

Look, government is playing too heavy handed a role in America today and people want to see the government pulled back, as it should be, and allow free American people to pursue their own path in life rather than having the government dictate that for them.

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CNN Political Ticker: Poll: Romney maintains top spot in California
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