Word is out that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will likely announce his run for the GOP presidential nod next Tuesday, but Wednesday he reminded CNBC's Larry Kudlow, "I'm not a candidate yet."
Romney sure sounded like one, just hours after delivering the first major policy speech of what's not an '08 campaign... yet. Romney, the Harvard Business School grad who made his mark on Boston's business community as a founder of the multibillion-dollar investment firm Bain Capital, spoke to the Detroit Economic Club in his home state of Michigan.
Keeping with the economic theme, Romney gave an exclusive interview to CNBC's Larry Kudlow. With a background like Romney's, it's possible the economy could become a focus of that upcoming bid. He’s already enlisted the help of two powerhouse economic advisers. Glenn Hubbard and Greg Mankiw, who joined Romney's PAC last fall, both served as chairmen of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.
Romney told Kudlow he's not afraid to be branded as a capitalist. "Profits do not go into the pockets of executives," Romney said. "By and large they are reinvested in new technology and new ideas and growth. What you want to see is profits in corporations where those corporations invest in the in new technologies and new ideas. And that is our future."
Profits and paychecks are, of course, at the center of the roaring debate over executive compensation, and whether some company chiefs are paid outrageous amounts at the expense of shareholders and employees. Romney said he is against any kind of government intervention when it comes to CEO pay. "In some cases I think they pay compensation packages that are excessive and unnecessary. That's shame on the board and the owners," he said.