Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney renewed support for auditing the Federal Reserve, wading into an issue that threatens to spark a fight at his party’s national convention next week.
“The Federal Reserve should be accountable,” Romney told thousands of voters at a campaign rally today in Goffstown, New Hampshire. “We should see what they’re doing.”
Under pressure from anti-tax Tea Party activists and other small government advocates, Republicans are considering including a plank in their platform calling for a full audit of the central bank — a prospect that concerns many party leaders and their financial supporters. Romney’s remarks could put pressure on the Republican Platform Committee — which is currently meeting in Tampa, the convention site — to adopt the proposal.
On the platform committee’s website, proposals to audit the Federal Reserve are among the most popular. Representative Ron Paul of Texas, a longtime Fed critic who made opposition to it a major theme of his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, has said that if Romney’s backers resist the effort, it could result in a political battle at the convention.
Romney has chosen his words on the issue carefully, stopping short of siding with Paul even as he seeks support from him and his supporters.
“I would like to see the Fed audited,” Romney said today. Still, he cautioned that Congress shouldn’t be given the authority to run the central bank.
“I want to keep it independent,” he said. “There are very few groups that I would not want to give the keys to. One of them is Congress.”