“I was speaking with one of these business owners who owns a couple of restaurants in town,” Romney said. “And he said ‘You know I’d like to change the Constitution, I’m not sure I can do it,’ he said. ‘I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.‘”
Romney continued: “You see then he or she would understand that the policies they’re putting in place have to encourage small business, make it easier for business to grow.
Romney’s amendment would come as quite a shock to the last person to earn the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958 and served more than two decades in the United States Navy, including more than five years as an prisoner of war. After retiring from the Navy at the rank of captain, McCain turned to politics and was elected to the House in 1983 and to the Senate in 1987. Because McCain devoted his life to serving his country, rather than to working in business, the Romney amendment would disqualify him from the White House.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower would likely suffer a similar fate. Like McCain, Eisenhower was a career officer before entering politics, graduating from West Point in 1915 and eventually commanding the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. It’s not clear whether Romney’s amendment would count the time Eisenhower spent as President of Columbia University as “working in business,” and Eisenhower did work two years supervising the night shift at a creamery before entering college. Unless Romney would allow Eisenhower to count his time in academia as business experience, however, Eisenhower lacked the three years required to become president under the Romney amendment. Saving human civilization from Adolf Hitler is not a sufficient qualification.