Romney: 'I can't be perfect'
February 26th, 2012
01:06 PM ET
2 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. TheMagusNYC

    Far from perfect, but if he resists criticizing the president's apology, he will stand out from the other candidates. Our Commander in Chief has taken responsibility for the actions of our military, Santorum has labeled them ignorant, their action being an "accident."

    February 26, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Dan J

    God forbid his wife owns a couple of 40 thousand dollar cars. The story should be more that the Romneys can afford a new Rolls Royce, or Lamborgini or Maybach, and can buy one for each week of the year, yet they instead own a couple of moderately priced American cars instead.

    February 26, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. 4merRepubCT

    No one begrudges Romney his success. The problem is that his life has been spent too far removed from the great majority of Americans. He has no compelling story of overcoming adversity – no food stamps, no unemployment (the kind where there isn't any money in the bank), no struggle to break through a ceiling to be accepted. Romney did not have sleepless nights trying to figure out how to pay for a child's braces, or worrying about where the money would come from to fix the leaking roof or replace the washing machine that just died. He has not had to stretch a meat loaf over multiple dinners or walk by the produce aisle in the supermarket wishing there was enough money in the budget to put fresh fruit on the table. He simply cannot connect with the majority of Americans because it is not in his genetic makeup. Romney is very good at being what he is – a silver-spooner whose daddy opened doors and whose money provided all of the benefits of success in America. I don't know how Romney can help the middle class become successful, as he is not a self-made man, but the benefactor of his father's work ethic.

    February 26, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. todd in DC

    Perfect? He can't even be consistent.

    February 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. dave

    The problem with team Romney is that they like to view the world in isolated pieces suspended in vacuums. There are many ways one can be successful in America. Al Capone was successful in his aims. Ted Bundy was successful in his aims. Context matters. And in Romney's case, his success has come at the expense of many, many people whose lives and success was hurt by Romney's personal enrichment.

    February 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Charlie from the North

    And that small statement puts him ahead of George W Bush. Ya know the guy who "never made a mistake"?

    February 26, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. 60's survivor

    It's a fact of life. Not everyone can be THAT successful. Not enough resources and who would give you your hamburger at the drive up window in one of your two Cadillacs?

    February 26, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. mirrorlogic

    There is that arrogant implied statement again....don't you all want to be like me...HYPER-RICH. We all should be able to see an ELITE fool when he is before us, but some are willing to ignore their gut for whatever reason.

    Michigan...return to Romney the gift he offered you in his OP ED piece.

    February 26, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. mirrorlogic

    Texas say Remember the Alamo! Michigan says Remember the Op ED!

    February 26, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. TRUCK IT UP

    Just be better than OBUMMER he is gonna turn us all into Welfare cases regulating all our jobs away

    February 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. mirrorlogic

    So if you take Willard Mitts history and look at BAIN Capital...s that a reflection of the American dream? Is bankrupting companies the goal of America. Romney was into creating wealth for investors...not creating jobs.

    That is how he wanted to treat Michigan...to sell off the good parts and let Wall St win while Michigan's workers failed.

    February 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. mirrorlogic

    A $100 million dollar Trust fund for his boys...and it grows bigger every day. That is the making of an Oligarchy. The emergence of a HYPER-RICH family destined to rule and control more and more of the wealth...as the rest earn minimum wage.

    Say no to the Romney Oligarchy!

    February 26, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. mirrorlogic

    How many times can a single politician reflect contempt for the poor...

    Out-of-touch...a silver-spoon at birth...more corporate connections than a millipede has legs to start a company, with $37 Million in coin to help - and he has the nerve to say he knows how to run a business. He knows how to take advantage of old money and old political connections from old money...

    February 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    Way to miss the point Mr. Rmoney. It's the "I'm just am who I am" part that repulses regular Americans, not any lack of "perfection" on your part. You epitomize the elites who are so out of touch they don't even realize the vast gulf that separates the realities of their lives from the realities the rest of us face. You have no clue, yet talk as if you do. You don't. You never will.

    February 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. mirrorlogic

    Willard says....and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people. So his success came from corporate raiding through vampire vulture capitalism...and the help equaled PINK SLIPS.

    With help like that...who needs BAIN CAPITAL FRIENDS...

    February 26, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Mittens 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."

    He knows he will be because he sold his soul to Karl Rove and Grover Norquist, agreeing to be nothing more than a working set of digits that can sign the legislation they create. The GOP doesn't want a leader; just another puppet, like GW.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 26, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. mirrorlogic

    Willard says...and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people; now let's consider his investments. he told Kennedy that blind trust were a sham in essence that people could put constraints on what investments they made...yet he uses the same mechanism to conceal offshore investments – not American ones. Shame-shame Willard!

    February 26, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    We don't envy or resent your success, Mittens. We resent you crowing you're a "job creator" because you made your millions by taking over American companies, breaking them up, laying off American workers and outsourcing American jobs. Your only concern has been to make wealth for yourself and your investors – and none of you have the long-term economic stability of the US at heart. We also think you're a dolt to believe we should have let the American auto industry die and people to lose their homes so investors can buy them at rock-bottom prices and then rent them back to the original owners.

    Your actions speak louder than any words you may say. We don't want you to Bain-ify our country!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 26, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Mittens' plans for our country are like what he did to companies while working at Bain:

    1. Hostile takeover (steal the election; he's already proven he's willing to do that with his buying of votes in Maine).

    2. Suck out the assets (lower taxes on the wealthy; eliminate capital gains taxes).

    3. Reduce operating expenses to finance the debt (lower taxes means lower revenues means higher deficit; eliminate social spending, cut education, let infrastructure continue to crumble and decay, lay off public employees).

    4. Take his "fees" for his "expert management services" (see #2 above: he and his millionaire/billionaire cronies would benefit the most from the reduced/eliminated taxes).

    5. Leave the company to go bankrupt (our nation would permanently fall into third-world status, with virtually no Middle Class and an uneducated, sprawling poverty class, desperate to work for 50 cents/day, totally dependent on the charity of those few charitable organizations the right deem "worthy" of their donations).

    6. Move on to the next target company (invest in emerging nations such as China and India, where labor is cheap and regulations are minimal; make further millions and billions, lining their own pockets and chalking up their killing of America to the "free market correcting itself").

    February 26, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Follow-up question for Mittens regarding "Corporations are people, too, my friend."

    What gender is Bain Capital?

    February 26, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Bejoth

    He doesn't know who he is. It's always changing. He's not human. He's a mannequin.

    February 26, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Way to miss the point Mr. Rmoney. It's the "I'm just am who I am" part that repulses regular Americans, not any lack of "perfection" on your part. You epitomize the elites who are so out of touch they don't even realize the vast gulf that separates the realities of their lives from the realities the rest of us face. You have no clue, yet talk as if you do. You don't. You never will.

    February 26, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. gramma nance

    Stiff Mitt keeps putting his foot in his mouth...and what falls out changes daily/hourly.

    February 26, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. sayer

    I'm not concerned about the very poor IS a complete sentence, Mitt. I'm glad we all know who you are.

    February 26, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    "There's no time for on-the-job training."

    Which is why America will reelect President Obama. This is no time for switching horses midstream, particularly when the GOBP "horse" is really only the rear end.

    February 26, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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