Mitt Romney: ‘America needs heroes’

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> STARKVILLE, Miss.–Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told a Mississippi State University audience that America needs heroes.
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> “You don’t have to be larger than life to be a hero. Just be larger than yourself,” he said.
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> Romney spoke about the personal and political lessons he learned during what he called “the most remarkable of my life’s journeys,” — his most recent presidential campaign. He also shared views on current national and global issues and challenges, including Russia, a country he said is the nation’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”
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> “The sovereignty of a nation is to be respected. You don’t invade just because you’re bigger,” he said. “We have to teach Russia, like we teach anybody, they have to follow international law or the consequences will be unfortunate for them,” Romney added.
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> He discussed a need for strong opposition to ISIS and referred to Israel as “our best friend in the Middle East.”
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> The 2012 Republican nominee for president of the United States said despite his campaign loss, he came away from the experience more optimistic about America’s future because of meeting people across the country.
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> “America is the greatest nation on Earth,” he said. Romney said he and his wife Ann did not get caught up in the pomp and popularity of the campaign, but rather were struck most by the friends they made.
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> “The real currency in life is the friends you keep.” He addressed college students in the audience when he said they would have stronger recollections of their college friends than their college classroom lessons later in life.
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> Romney said that from meeting national influencers to meeting everyday Americans, he was impressed with the enormity of influence one person can have.
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> “Each of you will influence other people’s lives,” he said. “Consider carefully what you say, how you act……because you will shape the lives of others.”
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> He went on to discuss the need for strong American leadership, and he outlined his views about the country’s most pressing priorities, including foreign affairs to create a safer world, restored economic opportunities, and policies to lift people out of poverty.
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> Bettersworth Auditorium in MSU’s historic Lee Hall was filled to capacity for Romney’s address, as was overflow space in the Colvard Student Union where the speech was simulcast. Romney was a guest on campus participating in the university’s Global Lecture Series. The public lecture culminated a visit that also included a question-and-answer session with student leaders and a classroom visit to “The Global Context,” an MSU senior-level political science course.
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> MSU first lady Rhonda Newman Keenum said Romney’s career has given him unique experiences that make him a fitting guest for the Global Lecture Series. She introduced Romney in the absence of MSU President Mark E. Keenum, who is traveling on university business.
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> Romney, who also was a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and presided over a period of sustained economic expansion. Without raising taxes or increasing debt, he balanced the budget every year of his administration, closing a $3 billion budget gap inherited when he took office. He also enacted educational reforms and in 2006 signed into law a private, market-based reform that ensures every Massachusetts citizen will have health insurance.
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> Already a highly successful businessman, Romney first gained international recognition for his role in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics. With the 2002 games mired in controversy and facing a financial crisis, Romney took over as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and delivered a highly successful games.
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> Previously, from 1978 to 1984, Romney was a vice president at Bain & Company, Inc. In 1984, he founded Bain Capital, one of the nation’s most successful venture capital and investment companies. Bain Capital helped launch hundreds of companies on a successful course, including Staples, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, and Sports Authority.
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> MSU’s Global Lecture Series, sponsored by the Student Association, previously hosted former U.S. secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Gen. Colin Powell, news anchor Dan Rather, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient F.W. de Klerk, the seventh and last president of apartheid-era South Africa.
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> MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu, facebook.com/msstate, instagram.com/msstate and twitter.com/msstate.
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