Wexaminer Mitt Romney on Thursday vowed to help the United States achieve energy independence by 2020, but offered few details of how he would deliver on an aspiration that has eluded all other presidents for decades.
I know that in campaigns, talk can be cheap. You can say anything," Romney said in Colorado, where he unveiled a middle-class jobs plan that called for more domestic energy production and fewer coal industry regulations. "This is not just an idea, but energy independence for North America."
Romney promised not only energy independence, but a better educational system, free trade agreements and small-business growth -- all while slashing a record federal budget deficit.
But he provided few specific proposals for achieving those things.
Romney did pledge to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would move oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and create thousands of jobs in the process. That pipeline was stalled by the Obama administration, which cited environmental concerns. Romney also said he would streamline permits for domestic oil and gas exploration and increase access to energy sources.
But when asked how those initiatives would ensure energy independence in just eight years, Jonathan Burks, Romney's deputy policy director, told reporters, "There's a lot of energy here in the United States."
That strategy of emphasizing a global vision while offering few concrete proposals has become commonplace for the Republican presidential contender. Rather than wage a numbers-specific battle with Obama, the former Massachusetts governor has trumpeted desired outcomes, banking that voters' disillusionment with the president precludes the need for a detailed framework.