CONCORD, N.H. - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday compared the federal government under President Obama to the British government under King George III at the time of the American Revolution, saying regulators and bureaucrats are stifling job creation and economic enterprise.
The former Massachusetts governor, speaking with a group of civil and business leaders here at one of several campaign events scheduled for Monday, told a story about finding a copy of the Declaration of Independence in the back of an airplane seat. He then quoted this passage, which referred in 1776 to the British Monarch, verbatim from memory: "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance."
The 30 or so people around the square formation of tables laughed.
"The reason that's funny and we're laughing is because that reminds us of what's happening in Washington," Romney said. "They have erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out our substance."
"We should see attrition over time in Washington. We're talking about streamlining -- streamline government. Streamline those agencies with massive regulators that are simply out of touch," he said.
Asked afterward whether Obama is King George in his analogy, Romney turned away to greet an attendee at the event before turning back and saying, "No, no, no, of course not."