Borrowing Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign push, Mitt Romney said Monday he thinks the Federal Reserve should face an audit.
“Very plain and simple, the answer is yes. The Federal Reserve should be accountable. We should see what they’re doing,” Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said at a town hall in New Hampshire.
Mr. Paul, the Texas congressman who is still technically in the running for the Republican nomination, though he does not have the delegates to win it at next week’s convention, made an audit of the Fed a chief part of his campaign.
Earlier this year, the House passed Mr. Paul’s bill to grant the Government Accountability Office the power to conduct such a broad audit, though Senate Democrats have shown no inclination to bring that bill to the floor.
Still, the issue has gained political currency after the Wall Street collapse and after a previous more limited GAO audit found the Fed had used extraordinary powers during in the aftermath of the financial mess.
On Monday, at the town hall, someone asked, “Isn’t it time to audit the Federal Reserve?” and Mr. Romney didn’t hesitate.
Mr. Romney said he doesn’t want Congress to meddle too much in the business of the Federal Reserve, which is the independent agency the government set up to manage the country’s monetary policy. But he said it should be audited as part of a push to know more about the connections between the government and wealthy campaign contributors.
The GOP’s platform committee begins meeting later Monday, and Mr. Paul is seeking to have a Fed audit included as an official position of the party. Gov. Bob McDonnell, the platform committee’s chairman, told The Washington Times last month that he supported accountability at the Fed, and said the committee was looking at a number of Mr. Paul’s ideas.