Mitt Romney today wrote an open letter to voters in Alaska. The full letter is below:
An Open Letter to the Voters of Alaska
You live in a state with huge potential to help America address its problems.
Alaska's energy is abundant. Your strategic location is vital to the nation's defense, and to global sea, air and space transportation. Rare earth minerals found in Alaska can help free our country from monopolies abroad. Your fisheries, which account for over half the value of wild fish caught in the United States, help feed our people and the world. And Alaska's natural beauty and wildlife inspire and beckon visitors from around the world.
Alaska can't reach its potential when America's president doesn't believe in opportunity or the ingenuity of Alaskans to develop resources and protect the environment. President Obama's miserable record of joblessness throughout America is exemplified by decisions he has made, again and again, to thwart job creation in Alaska.
I understand the Alaska pipeline is running less than one-third full. As president, I would push to open new opportunities for America's energy security, onshore and offshore, especially in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I would not have dragged my feet on exploration and development of major prospects onshore and offshore as this Administration has.
To the fisherman, to the miner, to those with jobs in timber, to the aviator, and to all the residents of Alaska who depend on subsistence resources, know that I understand your livelihood is based on decisions made far away in Washington, DC. I support bringing more authority -- on many issues -- to the states, and where the federal government makes decisions, I will work with people of America to keep America working.
In a Romney Administration, you will find permitting reform that will help Alaska unlock its potential, statewide. The federal government should be an ally in the effort to develop more of our nation's resources, not an obstacle. We will respect the rights Alaska gained with Statehood -- including control of Alaska lands, waters, and wildlife.
I will push, as your state has, for repeal of Obamacare. I believe our Founders' recognition that our Creator gave us the right to life should stand for all living Americans -- from the unborn to the old and frail. I believe the Bill of Rights is fundamental -- from its guarantees of freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms in the First and Second Amendments to its guarantee that states, not the federal government, are where power should be based, as stated in the Tenth Amendment. Government exists to protect your freedoms, not to take them away.
On March 6, Alaska Republicans will cast their ballots, and our team -- there in Alaska and around the country -- is working hard for your vote. We won in Alaska four years ago, with the help of many of you, and I have enjoyed staying in touch and learning more about your state in the meantime. My son Josh has been North to visit, too. We humbly ask for your support on March 6.