The private jet industry has frequently criticized Obama for comments about the taxes paid by the owners of non-commercial, or general, aviation aircrafts. The industry has also opposed a proposal from Obama to increase a per-flight fee on private jets by as much as $100.
The proposal was originally one of Obama's recommendations to the now-defunct supercommittee of lawmakers tasked with recommending $1.5 trillion or more in cuts to the federal deficit last year. It was included in the 2013 budget Obama proposed to Congress earlier this year.
Seno said Thursday that “business aviation is one of the few bright spots in both domestic manufacturing and our export economy, contributing to $150 billion in the industry’s overall economic impact.
“It’s an industry that supports 1.2 million American jobs, and President Obama’s decision to demonize it last night jeopardizes those jobs,” he said.
Romney focused his answer on the deficit issue on a broader plan to reduce federal debt levels.
“I'm glad you raised that,” Romney said to moderator Jim Lehrer. “And it's ... a critical issue. I think it's not just an economic issue. I think it's a moral issue. I think it's, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation.
“They're going to be paying the interest and the principle all their lives,” Romney continued. “And the amount of debt we're adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral.”
He did not make mention of the private jet industry.