Romney: Super PACs are a 'disaster'
December 20th, 2011
10:25 AM ET
3 years ago

Romney: Super PACs are a 'disaster'

(CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had a few complaints Tuesday about his GOP rival for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and the super PAC spending that has garnered increased attention during this election cycle.

Romney called super political action committees a "disaster" and said they should be abolished. Super PACs can receive unlimited, undisclosed contributions as long as they do not coordinate with official campaigns.

"Campaign finance law has made a mockery of our political campaign season," Romney said on MSNBC. "We really ought to let campaigns raise the money they need and just get rid of these super PACs."

The pro-Romney super PAC "Restore Our Future" has released ads in early voting states propping up the candidate's White House bid.

Romney also took aim at Gingrich, who he said was the original supporter of a federal mandate for health care.

Asserting that he's "demonstrated a conservatism that people want to see," Romney claimed the idea of an individual mandate for health care came "from Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation."

"They were talking about a federal mandate, I opposed a federal mandate from the very beginning," Romney said while defending his action as governor of Massachusetts when he overhauled health care and included a statewide individual mandate for residents.

Romney scoffed at the idea that Gingrich is the more conservative candidate in the race, criticizing Gingrich for picking up "the narrative of Barack Obama and the DNC" and going on the "attack against free enterprise" by openly questioning Romney's record at Bain Capital.

Gingrich and Romney have engaged in a back-and-forth about money earned in prior positions, with Romney suggesting Gingrich give back funds he earned as a consultant with Freddie Mac. Gingrich's retort: Romney should do the same with funds earned from Bain Capital.

And although Romney admitted the former House Speaker "has done a lot of things for the conservative moment," the businessman also accused Gingrich of siding with liberals on important conservative issues.

Both candidates are in a statistical dead heat for the top spot in a recent CNN/ORC International poll measuring national support, but Romney said he's satisfied with his performance thus far.

"I'm happy with the fact that I've been either at the top or next to the top," he said. "To be able to be steady through this and build some support over time has been good."

He attributed his positive outlook to lessons learned as a Mormon missionary in France.

Calling his time abroad "a dramatic experience" - in part because he "came from a family that was prosperous" and "found himself in a lower income house," - Romney also said he learned about rejection and eventually became "less concerned about how other people thought of me."

"In five months we knocked on doors from morning until late evening. We didn't convert one person in five months," he said. "So if you understand rejection … you don't measure your success by how other people react."

Also see:

Bachmann: I'm not a politician, don't even know how to be one

Romney, on Letterman show, jokes about hair, Newt Gingrich

Romney blasts Gingrich over judiciary ideas


Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Romney is right........when the Supreme Court upheld these things, they destroyed the proper political process, and made it all about special interests buying the candidate they want.

    December 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Sniffit

    "Romney called super political action committees a "disaster" and said they should be abolished."

    Broken clocks are right twice a day.

    December 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Lynn

    Just how many of those same Super PACS are running ads in support of Romney.

    December 20, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Thomas

    The pro-Romney super PAC "Restore Our Future" has released ads in early voting states propping up the candidate's White House bid.

    Romney: Super PACs are a 'disaster' ?

    Super Pac's are people too !

    December 20, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney’s mind said this “Corporations are people”
    Romney’s mind didn’t say this “Super PACs are disaster”

    December 20, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. realitybites

    Not to mention that now more than ever, this is created a self marketing opportunity for folks who know they have no way of making it into office. Ride the gravy train on all that free undeclared money, sell books, and get a job offer somewhere once you fail.

    December 20, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. da

    Hummmm....let see if he keeps this same attitude, if he get the nomination and the PACs are doing it to the President? I am sure he will flip on it!!! LOL

    December 20, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. steve pentecost

    Ole draft-dodging, responsibtly-dodging Mittens was anti-war when his chance to serve his country presented itself.His "dramatic experience" abroad contrasts significantly with those who chose another avenue for their"dramatic experience" abroad. Had he the courage to chose that opportunity he may have gained invaluable experience to lead men from "lower income homes". Alas his faith just would not allow such service. Now he wants to become the bellicose commander-in-chief of the very U.S. Military in which he would not serve. Like Bush and Clinton, he has supported every war the U.S. has fought except the one he could have joined. Too little , too late. Wanting to bomb Iran can't make up for the same decision he has taught his five warrior sons who also have courageously decided to defend the homeland from home. Shame.

    December 20, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Vanka

    The entire Mormon Church is nothing but a SuperPAC to get Mormons into positions of power.

    December 20, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Mgc tampa

    Pacs a disaster? REALLY, this is too funny given that most of them are driven by republican operatives like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. Haven't seen him refusing any of of the money or crying when it was used to blast newt. what a hypocrite!

    December 20, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    All of these superPACs came into existence as a result of the "Citizen's United" ruling. Pres. Obama strongly disagreed with the ruling. He was severely criticized for making the remarks. It sounds as if Gov. Romney agrees with Pres. Obama's opinion by remarking that the effect of superPACs on our election process has been negative.

    December 20, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. GOP ~ "tax the middle class, blame the poor"

    But Super Pacs are people too?!

    December 20, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Adp

    "Super Pacs are a disaster"
    "Romney' super pac has released ads in Iowa"

    ..................

    December 20, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. realitybites

    What would Karl Rove do is they were abolished? Ask Fox for a job?

    December 20, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel wrote:

    Romney is right........when the Supreme Court upheld these things, they destroyed the proper political process, and made it all about special interests buying the candidate they want.
    -------------
    I agree. The Supreme Court basically made it legal to bribe our politicians on the one hand, or to make existential threats on the other hand.

    December 20, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Max

    Abolish Flip-Flopping

    Here's a deal: If SuperPACS should be abolished , then flip-flopping on major issues should be abolished as well. At this stage it's impossible to abolish Romney's flip-floppings which will eventually bring him down, so forget about abolishing superPACS.

    Mitt the 'flip-flopper' will always flip-flop...that's just a part of his nature. And he's still left to explain to the American what this Mormonism and Joseph Smith is all about. Isn't Mormonism a cult in which he believes?

    December 20, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. SecedingfromTexas

    Maybe he should get with Newt and try to arrest Justices Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas for
    legitimizing the Super Pacs and handing the elections over to the "Corporations are People Too" crowd.

    December 20, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Me

    Ya see! It's statements like this that will keep Mitt Romney from the GOtP nomination. Doesn't he know that the super PAC is a Republican creation. Made to overcome the will of the people? HOW DARE HE TALK DOWN ON THE SUPER PAC

    December 20, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Lynn

    Super PACS for Romney are blitzing Iowa with ads to the tune of over 3 million dollars. Hypocrisy?

    December 20, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that it takes so much money to run for office now that it eliminates all but the very wealthy or connected from running for office. I would like to run for office, but I can't since I don't have the money. That is sad because that is not what the founding fathers had wanted. This was supposed to be a place where anyone could run for office. It has turned into a place where only the wealthy can do that.

    December 20, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Greg in Arkansas

    Super PACs are good for the economy because hundreds of millions of dollars, in the form of candidate donations, will be injected into the economy. That money, otherwise, would be stuck in a stagnant account that helps no one except the corporation hoarding the cash.
    So.....The winners are:
    The print shops producing candidate flyers
    The post Office delivering the flyers
    Television and radio stations airing commercials
    The newspapers and billboards selling ad space
    The hotels, restaurants, meeting rooms renting space to candidates and staff......
    and the list goes on.....and on.....and on..........
    BUT......the losers are:
    voters that have to deal with the ads......and......the truth

    December 20, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    But NOT the ones that benefit you, eh MITTens??? MITTens, as you most likely already noticing, is already changing his tune and trying to move back towards the LEFT!!! All of a sudden he is using words like, 99% – the Middle Class, etc. when in the past, it NEVER came from his lips............Such a flip-flopping hypocrite!!

    Obama 2012

    December 20, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Max wrote:
    And he's still left to explain to the American what this Mormonism and Joseph Smith is all about. Isn't Mormonism a cult in which he believes?
    -----------–
    Why should he have to do that? Why should Romney have to explain LDS to people who believe it is a cult? He's running for political office, not spreading the Word. Personally, I prefer it better for our politicians to keep religion out of the conversation. The only importance religion has is what impact does its' teachings have the character and moral behavior of its' followers.

    The exact content of the teachings is pretty irrelevant. The Christian Bible is not a owner's manual to regain a paradise on earth. Like most major religions, the Christian Bible is a moral compass to help us navigate our way through the life's trials and tribulations. It helps us to better understand life's day to day decisions without expressly telling us how to make them.

    December 20, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitt Romney's "Restore Our Future" is a super PAC. Apparently that business acumen of his being touted non stop isn't quite as great as he'd like us to think it is.

    December 20, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. A.Powers

    @Thomas
    Super Pac's are people too !

    Yeah baby!

    December 20, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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