ABC News obtained a video clip of Mitt Romney in 2002 touting his ability to bring federal funds to Massachusetts:
“I am big believer in getting money where the money is,” Romney says on the video, “The money is in Washington.”
“I have learned from my Olympic experience that if you have people who really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities,” Romney says.
Among that money Romney got for the Olympics was a grant from the Department of Education:
“She [a colleague of Romney's at the Olympics] said, ‘Why don’t I get the Department of Education to buy tickets to the Paralympics so that high school and grade school kids can go to the Paralympics?’ She literally got, I believe the number was over $1 million from the Department of Education, funding to buy tickets for kids,” Romney said. “This way we got kids there and we also got additional revenues that we wouldn’t have had. That kind of creativity I want to bring to everything we do.”
Romney has aggressively attacked both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich for their prior earmark requests, and history of support for earmarks. Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul drew a distinction between Romney’s efforts to obtain federal funds and Santorum and Gingrich’s efforts to obtain federal funds for their states. “Every state budget in the country is dependent on federal funding, and every governor in the country makes requests for funding, but governors do not get to decide how Congress appropriates money,” Saul told ABC.