Speaking to the Detroit Economic Club, the former Massachusetts governor addressed an issue that has riled the GOP base, who contend that the party's loss of power last November was based, in part, on excessive spending.
"When our party has been in charge, we didn't distinguish ourselves on spending restraint," Romney said. "That's got to change — and it would in my administration."
The one-term governor suggested giving Congress a spending target and insisting that it is met. "If Congress does not meet the spending targets, then its appropriations bills should be vetoed. I regularly exercised my veto power while governor," he said.
Romney served one term as governor. He also suggested that Congress give the president the power of the line-item veto, an oft-repeated proposal that is has little chance in Congress.
That and the trip to the RSC will help Romney with the folks with whom McCain has failed to endear himself.