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Romney says big business 'doing fine,' with foreign tax haven assist

The former Massachusetts governor, speaking at a fundraiser in Minnesota Thursday, added large US businesses are receiving loans and are better at dealing with regulation.

By Julie PaceAssociated Press / August 24, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign event at Watson Truck and Supply, Thursday, Aug. 23, in Hobbs, N.M.

Todd Bailey, Hobbs News-Sun/AP

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Hopkins, Minn.

Creating a potential headache for his campaign, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said big businesses in the U.S. were "doing fine" in part because they get advantages from offshore tax havens.

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His comments echoed similar assertions about the state of big business by President Barack Obama which Romney has criticized. They're also a reminder that the GOP candidate has kept some of his personal fortune in low tax foreign accounts.

"Big business is doing fine in many places," Romney said during a campaign fundraiser Thursday. "They get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses."

Romney's assertions resembled Obama's declaration earlier this summer that the "private sector is doing fine." Romney and other Republicans pounced on the president's comments and cast them as an indication that he was out of touch with the nation's economic struggles.

Romney didn't mention Thursday that he has kept some of his personal money in offshore tax havens, including accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

The presumptive GOP nominee was to join up with his running mate, Paul Ryan, on Friday for a rally in Michigan. The duo also planned to appear together Saturday in Ohio.

Romney was campaigning and fundraising as his party readied for him to officially become its nominee for president. Republican delegates to the Republican convention will begin the roll call vote to officially nominate Romney on Monday, which could allow him to accept the GOP nomination earlier in the week than has occurred at previous conventions.

Republican officials said the formal presidential nomination process would begin earlier in part because of concerns about supporters of Ron Paul, one of a number of Republicans who challenged Romney during the primary, could seek to disrupt the roll call. Officials were also discussing the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac on the convention.

Ahead of the four-day GOP gathering in Tampa, Fla., Romney has sought to refocus his campaign on the economy after a week dominated by comments Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin made about rape. Akin said in an interview that victims of "legitimate rape" can biologically avoid pregnancy, prompting Romney and other top Republicans to call on him to leave his race. Akin rejected those calls.

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