Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited Pittsburg State University Tuesday as the second speaker in the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series.
PITTSBURG, Kan. — Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited Pittsburg State University Tuesday as the second speaker in the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.
Romney gave brief opening remarks regarding opportunities in life but spent most of his time answering questions from the audience, asked by H. Lee Scott himself. Topics covered politics, Romney’s business success and his family.
Romney spoke on the division in current American politics and said he expected to see America come together toward a common goal — eventually.
“I don’t see it happening soon,” he said. “The last campaign was as bitter, vindictive, personal and vulgar as I’ve seen.
“For the American people, there is an understandable sense of anger regarding the gap between their expectations and the reality presented.”
The former governor highlighted his work in Massachusetts with an 87 percent Democratic legislature and said he would like to see more of that on a national scale. He pointed out that attacking those with opposing views creates a wall, which allows nothing to be accomplished.
“This idea that you govern from the extreme and never reach across the aisle is antithetical to serving a politically divided country,” Romney said.
Romney spoke on the topic of universal healthcare, which he helped implement in Massachusetts as governor. He said the view that everyone in America should have access to healthcare is shared among Democrats and Republicans.
Romney cited several authors, experts and studies in his answers. Seeking out data and analyzing it to come to a conclusion is something he looks for in selecting business leaders as well, and H. Lee Scott made a point to bring that up to students in the audience.
“One thing you’ll see with strong, respected leaders like Gov. Romney is they have so many facts, they’ve done the research to form their views,” Scott said. “Don’t miss that, students.”
The former presidential candidate said he also looks for people with a clear vision for the future, as well as a caring and respectful attitude toward others when seeking out great leaders.
He ended his session with a statement about what makes a nation great.
“America is great because we are good,” Romney said. “We have never, in my belief, entered into a conflict out of selfishness, but to do what’s right.
“A nation depends on its goodness more than any other aspect, and I urge you younger generations to embrace and lead with your goodness.”
The H. Lee Scott Speaker Series was established in 2015 through a $2.066 million gift from PSU alumnus and former Wal-Mart Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott and his wife, Linda. The first speaker in the series was Former President Bill Clinton in November 2015.
Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.