EXCLUSIVE: Mitt Romney Talks Black Unemployment, Voters and Entrepreneurs

Will the MBDA be a part of your agenda?
I don’t know a good deal about the program. So I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be eliminated or cut because I just don’t know enough about it or about how effective it’s been in terms of it stimulating minority business investment.

Are there any initiatives you’d develop to ensure black and minority firms gain access to financing and contracting opportunities?
My ambition is to target and encourage small business. I don’t have plans to provide a special set-aside for minority-owned businesses other than the programs that currently exist. So, I will continue to encourage small businesses to grow, and to be the most pro-business president we’ve seen in a long, long time.

Diversity is a large part of business. Looking at your 25 years of business experience, including Bain Capital, how did you apply diversity to recruiting executives?
In hiring, we try to hire the best person we could possibly get without regard to the gender, race, or the sexual orientation of the person involved. I can tell you that when I became governor [of Massachusetts] I noted that government by and large drew from the same pool of applicants. I wanted to get more diversity in my senior administration members. So, I tasked our team with reaching out to other sources of résumés and to bring in people of a broader background. So, in my cabinet I had a number of minority members.

So how would your presidential cabinet look?
I would hope to have the most capable people that I could find across the country. I would expect a number of them would have business backgrounds. I would hope a number would also have experience in the public sector. I recognize that you’re looking to see if there would be representation of various ethnic groups and genders. The answer is yes. I would love to have a cabinet that reflected the fabric of America.

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