In an exclusive interview with FOX Business Network Thursday, presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he would not reappoint Federal Reserve chairman Bernanke when his term expires in 2014.
“I would like to select ... a new person to that chairman position, someone who shared my economic views, someone that I thought was sympathetic to the needs of our nation and I want to make sure that the Federal Reserve focuses on maintaining the monetary stability that leads to a strong dollar, and confidence that America is not going to go down the road that other nations have gone down to their peril," Romney said.
In an interview earlier this week, Glenn Hubbard, Romney’s economic advisor, said Romney should consider re-nominating Bernanke.
Romney said he hasn’t considered “a single person at this point. Given no names, any thought or deliberation. When the time comes to appoint a new Fed chairman I will give that a full analysis. But I don’t have anyone to write in to that slate right now, or anyone to write out.”
Investors have been keeping a close eye on the central bank, wondering if it will offer more quantitative easing or stimulus to help reboot the stalling economic recovery. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said it is considering additional stimulus moves as early as next month, actions Romney said won’t help.
“I don’t think QE2 was terribly effective, I think a QE3 and other Fed stimulus is not going to help this economy," he said. "I think that is the wrong way to go. I think it also seeds the kind of potential for inflation down the road that would be harmful to the value of the dollar and harmful to the stability of our nation's needs.”
Romney was in Hobbs, N.M., unveiling his energy plan that focuses on energy independence by expanding offshore oil and gas drilling and gives states more regulatory power over development of energy resources within their borders.
The plan also focuses on fossil-based fuels and would approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The Canadians are all speed ahead, the challenge has been with the president and his administration that has not approved the pipeline,” he said to FBN. “The Canadians expected this to happen immediately and that America would welcome the oil that would come from oil sands."
Romney said he would approve the 1,179-mile pipeline immediately if he was elected to the White House, but hasn’t held any discussions with Canada's leaders.
“I am not president yet, but I’m looking forward to being president and I can assure you that if I am president we will overcome the obstacles that exist here in the United States that we can get the energy here we need.”
He said that giving states the right to issue permits on any land in their borders will make the process more efficient.
“States already take responsibility for permitting on state lands and on private lands and they can do that within 10-30 days -- the federal government takes almost a year to get them out.”
The 21-page plan promises to "dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020.”
The plan also says revolutionizing and expanding the domestic energy industry will bring an economic boost to the struggling manufacturing industry.
“Upstream businesses that supply the industry will experience a surge in demand, and perhaps the greatest benefit will occur downstream as manufacturers gain access to a more affordable and reliable supply of energy and feedstock.”
The presidential hopeful, who has taken heat for not releasing multiple years of tax returns, said he has not outlined specific changes to the tax code with regard to deductions or exemptions for higher-income Americans, but that "we’re going to maintain the progressivity in the code."
"I’m not looking -- as I know the Obama people want to say -- to reduce taxes for wealthy people. I’m looking instead to lower tax rates, and limit deductions and exemptions in such a way that we have enterprises, small businesses able to keep more of their capital. And at the same time simplify the code.”