Mitt Romney, John Kerry: Economic Platforms Similar

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mitt Romney seems to be echoing some of John Kerry's economic message from the 2004 election.

Kerry, who in 2004 was the Democratic nominee for president, campaigned heavily against President George W. Bush's record for slow-growth recovery and pledged to deliver an economic plan that would provide jobs and strong growth.

John Kerry

"It is a plan that puts and keeps good-paying jobs at the heart of our economy," said Kerry in 2004.

Romney made a similar comment when he released a jobs and economic plan in September 2011.

" W e will right the economy, create good jobs, and restore the promise of the future," Romney said.

A quick glance at Kerry's 2004 promises to create a stronger economy reveals that Romney shares some similar views with the former Democratic nominee.

Corporate taxes:

Kerry 2004: "As president, John Kerry will cut taxes for businesses that create jobs here in America instead of moving them overseas."

Romney 2012: "The U.S. economy's 35 percent corporate tax rate is among the highest in the industrial world, reducing the ability of our nation's businesses to compete in the global economy and to invest and create jobs at home."

Middle-Class Taxes:

Kerry 2004: "When John Kerry is president, middle-class taxes will go down. Ninety-eight percent of all Americans and 99 percent of American businesses will get a tax cut under the Kerry-Edwards plan."

Romney 2012: "Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates. ...With 54 percent of private sector workers employed outside of corporations, individual rates also define the incentives for job-creating businesses."

Washington on a Budget:

Kerry 2004: "John Kerry will cut the deficit in half during his first four years in office. ... A nd impose a real cap to keep spending in check."

Romney 2012: "As president, Mitt's goal will be to bring federal spending below 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term.

Skilled Labor:

Kerry 2004: "And this requires a bigger, skilled labor force to make them. John Kerry and John Edwards believe we should invest in these jobs and invest in the people who will fill them."

Romney 2012: "Jump-starting economic growth therefore requires that American workers have the skills that are needed to unleash their potential. One of the troubling features of the American economy today is the mismatch between the skill set of the American workforce and the requirements of the employment market."

Size of Government:

Kerry 2004: "They Kerry and Edwards want to expand the reach of opportunity, not the size of government.

Romney 2012: "The mission to restore America to health begins with reducing the size of the federal government and getting our fiscal house in order."

Part of Kerry's campaign pitch in 2004 depended on less-than-stellar economic recovery after the early 2000s recession to prove the first Bush administration had failed the American people. Much like the Massachusetts senator, Romney is depending on a similar message to sway voters to his corner.

A problem Kerry encountered, though, was a gradual uptick in the economy throughout 2004, including an early surprise of jobs growth in May of that year.

January jobs grew at a surprising clip this year as unemployment dropped to 8.3% , which threatened to derail Romney's gripe that America's economic situation had failed to improve quickly enough.

Ahead of January's jobs report, which came out in early February, Romney wrote an open letter to Obama in The Detroit News to voice his displeasure with the country's unemployment.

"We have now had 35 consecutive months of unemployment over 8 percent, the longest such stretch since the Great Depression." Romney wrote on Jan. 27.

It appears that the former Massachusetts governor harkens the same history as Kerry too, as the then-Democratic front-runner released a statement after the larger-than-expected job growth number in May 2004: " It is still in the worst job recovery since the Great Depression."

Solace Romney could draw from Kerry's 2004 loss is that exit polls revealed that the prevailing issue on voters' minds at the polls were moral values, not jobs and the economy .

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York

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