Romney: 'I can't be perfect'
February 26th, 2012
01:06 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: 'I can't be perfect'

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday responded to questions about his ability to connect with voters, standing by his financial success but acknowledging he also had some flaws.

"You know, I can't be perfect," Romney said on "Fox News Sunday." "I just am who I am."

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The former Massachusetts governor made headlines Friday when he casually mentioned in a Detroit speech that he drives two cars and his wife drives "a couple of Cadillacs."

A campaign spokesman said Ann Romney owns two Cadillac SRXs kept at different homes. The 2012 SRX model sells for between $35,000 and $49,000.

The candidate's wealth - Romney's income was $42.7 million over the last two years - has been the focal point of criticism in terms of his ability to appeal to working-class voters.

Asked Sunday about his cars and other statements perceived by some as "out of touch," Romney stood by his corporate success.

"If people think that there is something wrong with being successful in America, then they better vote for the other guy, because I've been extraordinarily successful and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people," Romney said.

His comments came two days before Romney seeks to win two big primaries in Arizona and his native state of Michigan. Recent polls show the former Massachusetts governor in a heated sprint with rival Rick Santorum to capture both states.

While Romney depicted himself as the underdog in Michigan, the candidate said Sunday he anticipates doing well in the Wolverine State that his father once governed.

"But how long the process goes on, I think it's hard to predict," Romney said. "I'm convinced I'm going to become the nominee, and we'll be willing to take however long it takes to get that job done."

– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona • Michigan • Mitt Romney
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Adam Wilder

    Romney: 'I can't be perfect' The statement of the year!!!

    February 26, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. frag

    Could you try and be right some of the time?

    February 26, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Deb

    I think this show he is actually very frugal. Most men with his kind of money would have a garage full of a dozen exotic cars and there would be nothing wrong with it. He worked hard for his money, made sacrifices in terms of time and family, and took risks to realize the American dream. He should be looked at as a role model for our sons and daughters that the American dream is alive and well. The fact that he was successful enabled him to contribute more than his fair share in taxes ( $3,000,000+ a year is more than any American should have to pay to the government) and in addition has generously given to charity. On the other hand, Santorum preaches to us but he isn't even a quarter as generous and instead of been a roll model, he tells us not to send our kids to college because they will be brainwashed.

    February 26, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. cjg

    No ones expects perfection in their President(except the GOP in regards to Obama) or in the candidates for that job , but we do expect rational thinking and understanding of the people they are wanting to govern. Romney does not have the understanding needed , Santorum and Gingrich do not have the rational thinking. Paul has it on both counts but is still too extreme in some things to have the backing needed.
    These candidates are all out of touch in some way!

    February 26, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Ace

    I am neither Democrat or Republican. I am an AMERICAN First. I can tell Romney is a Phony and is Plastic. I wonder how many So called Christians are going to vote for a Mormon. They know it's wrong. Oh well. Ron Paul had it right 10 and 20 years ago and it is all coming true what he said. look it up. But people rather vote on party or Looks.

    February 26, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. DavidE7

    Romney's wealth makes him no more qualified to be President than that of the de Medicis of medieval Florence or the big bankers of medieval Venice in the early days of capitalism. In America, we exchanged the aristocratic model for a Democratic one. Our hero is Abraham Lincoln, who came from nothing, and gave everything for the country he loved.

    February 26, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. PitBull

    I would like Santorum to get in but there's no chance. The decision was made long ago. I read somewhere that Obama and Biden were invited to a Bilderberg group meeting in 2008. Obama was subsequently elected.
    Who is invited to THIS years meeting – when you know that you'll know who's IN in November.

    And they SAY the people of America choose their president!!!!!!!!! Not if they\re not Billionaires they don't!

    February 26, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"You know, I can't be perfect," Romney said on "Fox News Sunday." "I just am who I am."◄
    That's why I have to FLIP-FLOP to let you know that this every time I am in a jam!!

    Pah-Leeezzzzeeee!!!!

    Obama 2012

    February 26, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. PJ/TX

    Nobody expects "perfection". We do expect honesty, reason, trustworthiness, and respect. So far, we get none
    of that from any of the Republican candidates. Bashing President Obama hardly solves the serious problems
    facing America. At least he is trying to do something, and is up against a formidable group of selfish,
    obstructionist, sanctimonious people called the Tea Party. Shifting left, right, center is for football players.
    So, Romney, show us the 'real' person, not the 'anything for a vote' person. We know enough about
    Santorum and Gingrich to reject them. Ron Paul is honest, but really, his son? We don't know you, and
    that scares us.

    February 26, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. longtooth

    I don't think he's a bad guy, but how can he possibly know what it's like to be an average American? I'm old enough to remember Jack Kennedy. He was very wealthy, but he didn't come across that way. America learned a new word during his campaign. "Charisma". That is something you can't fake. Obama's got it. Romney doesn't have enough money to buy it.

    February 26, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Manny in Cali

    "I just am who I am."
    Isn't this what Popeye used to say?

    February 26, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Sorensen

    Leadership is the capability to inspire and manage creativity, in that order.
    Romney is the ultimate antithesis of that.

    February 26, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. JLFuller

    What? You mean to say we ought to take him as we find him? That isn't very PC. That sentiment is much too ordinary. If we take him as we find him we have to accept that he is a rich guy whose wife drives Cadillacs and we know that is never good. We would have to assume that he sometimes doesn't connect with peoplke who are not wealthy and have a 170 IQ or beleive in families and love our country. Heavens to Betsy we would never be able to accept that he could actually know something that would help us out of our economic mess and if he would not bow and scrape to the giants on the left how could he know what really bad ideas he was forced to enact next?

    February 26, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Little Jimmy Truth

    That's true. Everyone is not perfect except Obama. Obama claimed himself as perfect.

    February 26, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. he said what

    No, he is not perfect.. along with not being touch with the people. The only people he can and will help become more successful are those who are already there. He has no plan to help others become successful, he just has a plan to subdue them, and to keep them in check so his already successful buddies can pay minimum wage and pocket the profit and put it in offshore accounts.

    February 26, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Auzzie

    "I can't be perfect" ???

    What an arrogant blowhard jerk!!!!
    Is this the best that the Republicans can come up with???

    February 26, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    come on Mitt WHY NOT? Heck there are many on the right that said Obama was supposed to be perfect and when he appeared human they have been attacking him ever since.

    February 26, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. scarf

    Romney is clueless. It's not his corporate success that people have a problem with. It's that whenever he tries to present himself as just an average American, he comes across as a pandering, ignorant fool. A few months ago, I was not too upset by the idea of a Romney presidency. Now, I find myself prefering a Santorum presidency. At least his foolishness is unvarnished.

    February 26, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. JPO

    Unlike George W. who had no flaws and made no mistakes.

    February 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Martin

    Mitt, when you start with wealth and connections, it's not hard to be successful in America.

    It's a lot harder to be successful when you have zero wealth and no connections.

    February 26, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Marry

    Well, if that isn’t the understatement of the day!
    If they would just acknowledging that the whole GOP “club” has over the last decade become an insult to the middle class and the country – stealing all they can possibly lay their hands on. Types like Mitt (but many more with the same philosophy that he represents) have only one thing in mind: An easy way to much more wealth and influence for himself and his “friends”. The biggest coup ever thought of in American history by the GOP! Considering that too many still vote GOP/TP and in doing so vote against their very own interests; every vote for the GOP is a betrayal on a better future of the country! Will the voter let them pull it off?

    February 26, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Craig

    The ONLY thing Romney has been successful at is eliminating jobs of hard working Americans! Get a clue, unless you are in the 1 percent, HE won't be helping YOU.

    February 26, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. NVa Native

    Ah, the old "Popeye" defense – sure, that'll work.
    It's better than "the trees are all the same height" or “I thought he liked up there on the roof of the station wagon”.

    February 26, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Mitt Romney is a good and decent man who has had to move into the far-right crazy network to even be considered for the Republican candidate. The comments being made by Santorum, Gingrich and now Romney towards the President can only be described as shameful. The continual attacks on women's rights are a page out of the 1950's. Where are the Statesmen that used to be the backbone of the once-proud Republican party? Why are they not speaking out against the behavior of the Republican candidates? Former Presidents Lincoln, Eisenhaur and Regan must be spinning in the graves as to the degrading that has become the Republican party. All decent behavior has been lost. Sad......

    February 26, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. ljmoon

    Romney keeps touting that he is an example of success but he fails to mention that a big reason for that success (buying and building upon Bain Capital) is because he INHERITED the millions of dollars from his father to create that business. He did not pull himself up from his bootstraps like he would like us to believe, his father did!!!
    Willard on the other hand was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    February 26, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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