Outlining some areas he may cut if elected president, Republican Mitt Romney said he would "probably eliminate" the second home mortgage deduction for "high-income people," and likely get rid of deductions for state income and property taxes.
His remarks were overheard at a closed-door fundraiser by some reporters on Sunday. They provided greater detail than Romney's previous public statements in discussing tax policy and what federal agencies and departments he would eliminate, NBC News reported.
Romney's wife, Ann, also called the recent flap over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's comments about stay-at-home mothers "an early birthday present." Ann Romney turned 63 on Monday.
Speaking to donors in the backyard of a private home in Palm Beach, Fla., Romney said he would possibly eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an agency once helmed by his father, George.
"I'm going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I'm probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go," Romney said. "Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I'm not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we've got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states."
Romney said he would not get rid of the Department of Education "entirely," but would try to consolidate it with another agency or make it "a heck of a lot smaller."
Andrea Saul, a Romney spokesperson, said the candidate was "discussing some of the ideas he has to tackle the big issues facing America."
"Governor Romney has also laid out a bold set of policy proposals that will grow our economy, cut spending, and get our massive debt under control," Saul said in a statement.