Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, an early frontrunner for the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nomination, defended his work at a private equity firm, saying that he wants people with extensive private sector experience in his Cabinet, Reuters reported.

In a cabinet, I would hope that people had worked in the private sector for at least half of their careers, Romney told works at financial service company Lincoln Financial Group in Concord, N.H. I like the idea that people would come to the government knowing how the private sector works.

Romney met with potential voters in the key early primary state of New Hampshire for the third time since launching his 2012 White House run in the state on June 2.

He defended the tactics used by Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded in the 1980s, which often instituted large layoffs when turning around struggling companies.

We were able to start a number of businesses. When it gets all totaled up, on a net-net basis, we helped create tens of thousands of jobs, Romney said. We invested in some settings where businesses were heading down in a big way. Sometimes you have to carry out surgery to turn them around.

Romney also touted the need for lower corporate tax rates, saying in a meeting with local businesspeople in Salem, N.H., that the rates should be lowered to 25 percent from 35 percent, and this would be part of his job-creation program.

You can't lower taxes to zero ... at least not yet, he said. I believe we need to bring the corporate tax rate down and close loopholes and special deals.