Can Romney court conservatives at CPAC?
GOP candidate defends credentials ahead of big speech
- Duration 8:04
- Date Feb 9, 2012
GOP candidate defends credentials ahead of big speech
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And the race for who'll take on President Obama is still anybody's guess and even though all eyes -- on presidential candidate Rick Santorum earlier this week as he won all three contests in Missouri Minnesota and Colorado.
The rest of the GOP field is looking ahead to the races coming up in Michigan -- Arizona and beyond joining me now from Washington presidential candidate.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney governor welcome back sir how real it.
I'm terrific bank shot -- Buick there are what -- what do you make he had great momentum came out of Florida he took Nevada.
And Rick Santorum comes up -- with a hat trick he got three states the other night what do you make of what the volatility in the race.
Well we each chose the places that we would compete competed aggressively in Florida Nevada won both of those races and by the way got a lot of delegates.
He left Florida and Nevada and went off to the other states that didn't have delegates to award.
They made a good showing there we're gonna have a lot of raced down the road I think a part of his success was due to the fact that speaker Gingrich really had a campaign that this sort of disappeared.
For those states but long way to go I'm back I'm pleased with the delegates I've got the -- I've got and hope to get a lot more.
-- the headline on the Drudge Report earlier today -- gloves are off as.
As former senator Santorum.
Seems to be going directly EU it seems to be a back and forth end is this gonna it's gonna turn into.
Gingrich vs Romney.
Probably vs Santorum -- that we have.
A shift here.
Well I I think you've seen that Rick Santorum get his opportunity and out of the -- you know one of the leading contender -- He hasn't been as visible in the -- that sweepstakes so far but he certainly is now.
And and that means that they'll be under the microscope like all the rest of us have been -- Obviously some of the things that is said his record are troubling that that the fact that he.
Voted to five times to raise the debt ceiling without getting -- compensating reductions in federal spending that's a problem.
The fact that while he was in Washington government spending grew by 80%.
And the fact that he's a defender of earmarks look I'm in favor of a ban on earmarks.
I think spending in Washington is out of control and and and I wouldn't raise the debt ceiling without getting compensating reductions.
In and federal -- You're going to be speaking at C -- this weekend.
One of the largest gathering some conservatives around the country.
And -- -- every speech by the way go back after the 2008 process -- in that I thought actually I remember at that time I thought as one of the best speeches -- you gave.
It it seems like this is an opportunity for you because and that and I had Karl Rove on the program discussing this last night.
It's there but you still it seems have not been able to close the deal.
And these were his words as well and his observation with conservatives within the Republican Party.
So what -- you say that that.
When you go to C -- this weekend to tell these conservatives I will govern and govern as a conservative.
You can put your trust -- me.
Well of course first of all -- note that I won among conservatives a New Hampshire I want solidly among conservatives in Florida.
One among conservatives in Nevada and and have the most delegates in this race so I wouldn't say that I haven't been able to get good support from conservatives.
But secondly what I'll say and and in my speech -- first describing the challenge that we face -- a nation and that conservative choice that that has to be brought forward but.
But secondly -- look at my record to describe my record as governor.
Some of those things get -- over -- people forget but economically course and we balanced the budget every year.
We put in place a rainy day fund of about two billion dollars.
And some things that we didn't talk about a lot we had an attack on religious -- religious liberty in Massachusetts as well that the legislature passed a bill for morning after pill.
Insisted the Catholic Church from the Catholic churches provide this.
To their employees at universities and hospitals I veto that bill I was one of those that stood up and fought against.
The intrusion on a religious liberty in my state.
And that we'll be talking about marriage as well obviously the Supreme Court in my state.
It began that a process of we're providing for same sex marriage.
I led the charge to a put in place an amendment that would return I would reverse their decision and that we missed by one vote in the legislature.
-- to be able to proceed without amendment so that these I have a record of being a strong conservative on the issues that matter and I'm at a point that out when I'm together my friends -- seat back.
Let me ask you more about this this religious liberty issue because it's really becoming a bigger and bigger.
Part of the debate in the country as a relates to the mandate.
That would force the Catholic Church to provide services that are the antithesis of their teachings their convictions their values.
And the president's going forward you didn't deal with this of Massachusetts.
And I know -- come up with some of your opponents that in the end.
The healthcare that got passed the Massachusetts did allow for these things but there's more -- the story -- and explain that you vetoed it.
And the democratic latest legislature was at an -- -- it.
Well actually that the provision in Massachusetts is it's different to the lot of Obama care at and it was actually put in place prior to my becoming governor.
So insurance policies in Massachusetts had similar provisions but not the same as Obama's they had more exceptions.
And that was and before I came into office.
What I came into office and we sort of working on health care I fought to remove those mandates they're called.
Remove those mandates from coverages I was unsuccessfully got to the legislature to do that obviously when he got a legislature that's 85% Democrat.
You can understand why that could be the case.
But we sought throughout my term what -- where the liberals try and and make America more secular and trying to -- -- infringe on people's rights to free religion to be free worship of religion in the way people would choose.
And and I had to battle that with the with the morning after pill had to battle that with regards to.
Embryonic stem cell research and cloning time and again I had to stand up for the values that -- -- fought on the national battlefield today.
We we have a lot of foreign policy issues right now on the table governor number one is what I would call -- hostage crisis that is going on in Egypt.
Secondly we've got to slaughter taking place in Syria.
Thirdly we've got Iran and the air -- becoming very aggressive Saber rattling continuing their pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Number one what do you think about the way the Obama administration is handling it and if you were president what would you do differently.
Well you -- -- a whole series of of issues there and and I'm happy to discuss and as you'd like one by one shot but put over of -- overall.
That the that -- the reality is that that it for America to to be able to preserve our interest sent to encourage freedom to spread throughout the world America has to be strong.
And -- where to stand by our friends and we have we have distance ourselves from our friends under this administration.
We have to show a commitment to a strong military this president is shrinking from our military commitments.
At -- at the same time we have to promote our values around the world and and the president was silent.
When there were dissident voices that took to the streets in Iran he should have been outspoken aggressively supporting those what -- those voices.
-- likewise with the Arab Spring now turning into an Arab winter he has been asleep at the switch.
He has been ineffective in being able to -- to promote.
Democracy and freedom and that and the free exercise of a personal rights and -- in parts of the world that that are obviously a critical to the stability of the world.
So this president has really -- I think up almost every dimension of foreign policy.
This president has weakened America's relative strength.
Yeah well it's it seems to be getting is becoming a bigger issue every day almost as big as the economy which obviously is in the forefront of people's minds.
Finally governor what I did see you in Nevada he would not your wife had not been able to have a day off for six weeks did you give her at least.
One -- off.
I -- it.
You know she has -- MS and she needs to get a little recovery from time to time so I said okay takes -- time off this week.
Got a ride horses which which is what she's doing but I -- go for two weeks but she said met.
I'm coming back on Monday -- -- to go to Michigan see my friends and Michigan she's gonna campaign across the state and even as I've -- around the nation.
You know raising money and end -- preparing for some states to come up down the road.
We always appreciate taken time -- busy schedule governor thanks so much for being with us we'll see up there in the campaign trail -- -- Thanks shot gonna do it yet but coming up this week we witnessed.