I can absolutely make the case that now is the time for something dramatic and it is not the time to grow government. —Mitt Romney
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Mitt Romney is calling for "something dramatic" to help the economy recover, but he's not saying exactly what.
The Republican presidential says he opposes another federal stimulus package and new government programs. He also says that if the Federal Reserve were to undertake another "massive" program of buying government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, with the goal of driving long-term interest rates even lower, it wouldn't help the recovery.
"I can absolutely make the case that now is the time for something dramatic and it is not the time to grow government. It's the time to create the incentives and the opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses big and small to hire more people and that's going to happen," Romney said an interview aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
"You're going to see that happen in this country but not under this president."
Democrats tried to cloud Romney's message Sunday by renewing calls for the former businessman to release years of personal tax returns. Romney insisted as recently as Friday that he won't release more than two years of returns, although most presidential candidates, including his father, released many more.
"What is it that he is hiding?" Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said on "Fox News Sunday."
He also addressed Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's recent decision to share an anonymous claim that Romney hasn't paid taxes for 10 years.
Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, on ABC's "This Week," branded Reid a "dirty liar." Romney in recent days called on Reid to "put up or shut up."
Axelrod said Romney and his campaign "can resolve this in 10 seconds. They can release the tax returns."
As each side debated Romney's personal taxes, the Republican candidate is trying to promote an economic agenda he said repeatedly this past week would create 12 million jobs in his first term. Pushed to explain how, Romney said in the CNN interview, "That's what happens in a normal process."
"When you come out the kind of recession we've had you should see this kind of job creation," he said. "Good things happen when you have a private sector that's thriving."
Campaigning in Indiana on Saturday, Romney attacked what he called "an extraordinary series of policy failures" from President Barack Obama.
The Republican candidate planned to spend Sunday and Monday in private meetings at his vacation home in New Hampshire.
The former Massachusetts governor so far has been slow to release specifics for his economic plans. He repeated his opposition to Obama's tax plan that would preserve tax cuts passed in the George W. Bush era for all Americans but those who earn more than $250,000.
Romney would preserve the tax cuts for everyone, although he has not detailed how he would pay for the plan.
"I also hope people understand when they talk about raising taxes on the wealthy — as the president does — he is also talking about the same tax rate that applies to small business," Romney said. "The great majority of small businesses pay taxes at the individual rate so as he raises these taxes "on the wealthy" he is raising taxes on small business."
The Romney campaign on Sunday also released a television advertisement highlighting his recent trip to Israel. In the ad, he criticizes Obama for not visiting the Jewish state. The president last visited Israel during his 2008 campaign.
While in Israel, Romney said that cultural differences help explain the economic disparity between Israelis and Palestinians. The comment prompted accusations of racism from Palestinian leaders.