Mitt Romney talks campaign mistakes, political future
Exclusive: Former Republican presidential nominee on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 12:20
- Date Mar 3, 2013
Exclusive: Former Republican presidential nominee on 'Fox News Sunday'
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After our interview would both Romney is we sat down alone with the governor.
We talked about the campaign and how President Obama has dealt with the nation's problems since his re election.
But we started with why anyone should listen to Mitt Romney.
Before we get to current events what role do you see for yourself what part do you want -- play in the Republican Party.
What role do you want to have in the national today.
Well I recognize that I lost so I'm not going to be that the leader of the Republican Party other people we'll take that that mantle.
But I wanna have influence on getting our party to a position where we can be successful in solving the problems the country has.
You must know that there are a lot of people in the party who still blame you.
For losing the race they think that the Republicans could have won it in 2012.
To a certain degree when you hear about the re branding.
Aren't people saying they want us distance the party from you.
Well I recognize that is the guy who lost the election.
I'm not in a position to tell everybody else Concord NR -- that I got to listen and -- go to the credibility to do that anyway but I still care.
And and I still believe that there are principles that we need to stand for now look at what's happening right now.
I wish I were there.
It kills me not to be there not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done.
The president as the leader of the nation's president brings people together does that deals doesn't trades knocks the heads together the president leads and and I don't see that kind of of leadership happening what -- -- president do.
Well he's campaigning he's the only one.
They can say to his own party look you guys I need you on this and get some Republicans aside and say if you pull off one by one.
We don't have to have these these gridlock -- one after the other on issue after issue.
And and it's gonna take real leadership and people in both parties willing to put aside.
And start fighting for national victories so let me ask you specifically how do you think the president has handled.
The sequester the 85 billion dollars an automatic spending cuts will no one can think -- that's been a success for the president.
He didn't think that's -- question what happen it is happening today what we've seen is.
The president about campaigning to the American people doing rallies around the country flying around the country.
And the rating Republicans and blaming a point now what does that do that cost is the Republicans to to retrench.
And it put up a wall in the fight back is a very natural human emotion.
It when I was elected governor of my state I have a legislature.
It was not lost on me that to get anything done I couldn't be attacking them.
I had to find ways to to reach out to them the president.
Has the opportunity.
To lead the nation and to bring Republicans and Democrats together its job he's got to do and it's -- job only the president can do.
During the last presidential.
Debate you brought up the effect of the sequester would -- on the military.
And the president said this question is not something that I -- something the congress has proposed it will not happen for your thoughts not you are wrong.
Two fronts that there should be a deal done here and it should be not just solving the short term sequester issue.
But dealing with the long term fiscal challenge is an American past.
This is an opportunity I -- look at the sequester and also the expiration of the bush tax cuts as an almost once -- generational opportunity.
For America to solve its fiscal problems.
If we do that we can become.
-- a more competitive globally.
And America can lead that the that the world for the coming century and I see this is a huge opportunity.
And it's being squandered.
But by people who were more interested in a political victory than they are doing what's right for the country and it's very frustrating I -- tell -- the hardest thing about losing.
Is watching this this critical moment this golden moment.
Just slip away with politics.
The Obama administration is right now releasing hundreds.
Illegal immigrants we've been slated for deportation.
Because they say they can't afford to hold them.
What do you think.
I think the president has to act in the interest of the country.
And and that means if we need an aircraft carrier in the in the gulf and I believe we we do I thought when you do one more.
That he should do it.
I think if there are people who incarcerated.
He should make sure that that that we're able to keep them in jail.
The sequester as an excuse is in in my opinion that the wrong way to go look it's again it's it's politics it's okay how do we do something that would get a headline.
The will make look like those terrible Republicans are willing to come together I understand from Paul Ryan and I spoke with him just a day or two ago.
That that he put -- a proposal to give the president.
Flexibility of moving money between accounts so we're gonna bring the spending down but but -- you know you're gonna get Mr.
President the chance to.
Make sure that we don't have long lines at the airport.
Are we don't.
And -- -- says he doesn't want the flexibility at and why.
What why would you not want to have the flexibility to do what you think is right for the country the only answer the comes back is that there may be more interest and showing pain and saying see what the other guys did look this is the country.
It and and it's.
This is this is America we're talking about at a critical time.
And and you know.
Nero was his fiddling.
Because it's c'mon guys focus on I'm getting America.
Through a difficult time -- on the track.
To remain the most powerful and strong nation in the history of years.
And put people back to work.
The one issue in Washington where the president and Republicans seem to be coming together.
Is immigration rules warm and one big reason everybody agrees because the president -- view among Hispanic voters did you make.
-- political mistake in the campaign when you talked about.
And what do you think of the idea that the -- -- -- in the senate is coming up where -- that would allow the eleven men million illegals.
Status basically a legal status in this country even before any increase in the.
Force people who have come here illegally should not be given a special pathway to permanent residency or citizenship in this country merely because they've come here illegally.
So I have deposition but I understand others have different positions others of my party do.
And and and to finally resolve this issue is gonna require people of differing views to come together and see if there could be some compromise or some common ground.
And it and I hope that happens I believe that will happen.
It does prince need to the campaign and and I want to ask you about several issues and what role you think they played -- in your defeat will be nice if governor Romney would exercise leadership.
Funny his former staff -- his major donors -- To take falsehoods off there.
Did the long bitter primary fight.
Force you to move further to the right and end up hurting you when the general election.
The idea that somehow it it that the primary made me become more conservative that I was just isn't isn't accurate.
On the other hand along -- blistering primary where people are attacking one another.
And where the attack sometimes are not on the mark but are creating an -- and you know and favorable impression those things are not helpful.
At some of the debates for instance you get asked questions that are kinda silly.
The end up hurting you in the general so and so a member of the famous question enough.
If you get ten dollars of cost savings for -- only one dollar tax increase would you go along with that you raise your hand if you just feel so strongly about not.
Raising taxes you'd walk away on the ten to one.
-- That's a good question why not be the one who stands up their raises your hands and of course it was time for one until it.
Again because if you said that you're not gonna raise taxes and it's -- Romney's changes position he said he wouldn't raise taxes now -- -- you well he's changed his position.
This is but you would have accepted.
Ten dollars and spending cut -- -- one dollar revenue he had that's that's a fairy tale because -- -- is gonna give you ten dollars in spending cuts for a dollar revenue increased.
You've got -- if you're going into a negotiation.
You've got to stand for your position no they're gonna stand for there's and then recognize that there's going to be some compromise the 47%.
We'll be here.
George will said you've got a problem.
When voters don't like Q you've got a real problem when voters think you don't like that -- Yeah -- was a very unfortunate.
The statement that I made it's not what I meant.
I didn't express myself as I wished I would have.
You know when you speak in private.
You don't spend much time thinking about how something could be twisted and distorted it and could come out wrong and be used but you know I did and it was very harmful.
What I said is not what I believe.
Obviously my whole campaign my whole life has been devoted to helping people all the people I care about all the people the country.
But but that hurt there's no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign just.
Before the election.
Hurricane -- and Chris Christie of New Jersey governor's embrace.
Literally and figuratively a President Obama almost -- -- You know I I don't think that so why the president won the election my campaign had that kind of stop and we're in the last week.
And -- this was a time we were -- we're getting ready to hammer hammer hammer our message we had to stop but.
As for Chris Christie -- what he thought was the best for the people of the state.
On eight hours as we sit here right now.
Do you wish he'd been a little less effusive in his support of Obama which made him seem more presidential I'm not -- -- worry about how.
The Chris it was doing what he thought was best for the people of this state.
I lost my election because -- market campaign not because of what anyone else -- looking back how do you rate yourself as a presidential candidate.
Well I see my mistakes and I see my flaws and.
And did better this time that did the time before -- cut and I don't get a third chance of not doing it again that -- that our campaign ad that I had as we weren't effective and it taking my message primarily the minority voters to Hispanic Americans African Americans other minorities.
That was a real weakness.
We did very well with the majority population but not what minority populations and and that was it that was a failing.
It was a real mistake but why do you think that was.
Well I I think the -- -- Attractiveness and feature was something we underestimated.
Particularly among lower incomes.
And and we just didn't do this as good job connecting -- audiences we should it what does the Republican Party need to do.
To reach out and attract more -- Well first of all I lost.
And so I'm not going to be telling the Republican Party come listen to me the guy who lost its gonna tell you -- when you look at -- -- but of course but but among those ideas.
But it clearly.
We have to do a better job bringing minority voters into.
Vote for Republicans.
And and that's Hispanic Americans African Americans of the minorities we've got to do a better job taking our message to them to help them understand.
Why we're the party with the ideas it will make a life better finally this interview.
In a sense it is your return.
To the national stage.
After everything you've been through.
Why do you want to get back in the game.
Well I'm not gonna disappear.
I'm not running for office I don't have a big organization that's out speaking in my behalf but I care about America.
And I care about the people that can't find jobs.
I care about the fact that we're racking up larger deficits and and put in apparel of of the future generation very much and in play.
I really care about this country -- care but.
But twenty grandkids the kind of America they're gonna -- And and sitting on the sidelines when when so much is at stake is just not in my nature.
-- thank you thanks Chris can be with you.