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. Mike

    funny he goes around acting like he is perfect if you listen to him you would think the only one who could stand next to Mitt is God himself that no one else is worthly....as for people having issue with his sucess that is his ego talking what people care about is that he pays his far share of taxes, and as far as helping us no thanks Mitt ,we don;t want you because you think it is okay that you pay only 14% tax rate while others are payinhg a much higher rate, you have failed to tell people that the reason the Salt Lake City games were saved was because you got the Governemnt to give you a billion dollars, you hidden the fact that you used 500 million a year to fund Romneycare, yet you freely point to others and blqame the federal defict on them while your own actions helped pump it up, you brag about balacning 4 budgets yet fail to be honest again in telling the people you had to as it is manadated by law and you did it by raising taxes by almost 750 million a year,and cost shifting to local citiy and towns to the tune of another 750 million a year, yet telling people you were a strict conservative as Governor,.. as for you success you need to thank the american taxpayer in helping you make your milions when you cost shifted employee pensions to the federal governemnt ( how did that one cost us Mitt?) while you put hundreds out of work.... so people don;t care that you have millionsno what they care about is how dishonest you have been about your sucess, and how out of touch you are with us............

    February 26, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. westward

    Nobody's expecting 'perfect', but there are millions of middle class and poor Americans that need help, and, you, Mr. Romney, just don't give a rip about them.

    You are no where NEAR good enough to be a candidate.

    February 26, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Jack V

    The only people that would be for Romney are either filthy rich, delusional, or poor slobs that hate themselves. And that is a perfect answer.

    February 26, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. todd in DC

    *Truck it up*, exactly what jobs did Obama regulate away? He saved the auto industry, and prevented the Great Recession from becoming a second depression.

    February 26, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  5. Hair bear

    Poor mittens! He's lost his kittens! But he's not perfect, just pay someone to find them!

    February 26, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  6. Steve

    No, you can't be perfect, Mittens. And you can't be President either. Thankfully, we have a successful man in the White House now who is going to be there for a 2nd term. Obama 2012.

    February 26, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  7. Ryan

    All those people trying to call out Romney on his campaign funds are just naive. They say how much of a snob Romney is with all that campaign cash lying around and act like Obama's a saint. Lets just think back a little and wasn't Obama the one who was against super pacs? Wasn't Obama the one who decided to leave politics out of his presidency? Well guess what, that little million dollar donation to OBAMA'S SUPER PAC by Bill Maher isn't helping his accusations of the republicans, it just makes him a hipocrite. On top of this, gas is peeking at four dollars a gallon and what does he do? He plays politics and tries to blame the republicans. He is the president, not the GOP canidates, why doesn't HE fix it? Do you want to pick on someone who ran a succesful buisness who can save this country, or would you prefer to follow the example Mr. Hipocrite Obama has set?

    February 26, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Robrob

    Why is this story running with, 'I can't be perfect' as a lead? It's the least interesting thing he said.

    February 26, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. korkea aika

    Mitt, what are ya gonna do, help us be born rich like you? You were born on third base and now you're waving to the crowd like you hit a triple. Give me a break.

    February 26, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. Nick

    Is bankrupting companies one of his successes? Let him allow auditors to inspect his claim as how many jobs were lost by his company taking over, how many jobs are spent overseas and how many jobs are created.

    February 26, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  11. Nick

    fiscal2020, your comments are very true and 100% correct. It be good if the "so called media" writes columns like this so that people will get who Mitt Romney is.

    February 26, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. Saint

    Okay, Romney seems to be getting a lot of heat from people on this thread. I am not voting for him but I fail to see his wealth as an issue.

    Romney earned his wealth by being smart, disciplined, and outgoing. He seems to be good at making money, and as of now, the government seems to be pretty damn good at wasting money. It seems that Washington could use a guy like Romney who actually knows how to balance a budget and increase the bottom line. So what if he has money? Isn't that what many of aspire to have, financial independence?

    Just because someone understands your position does NOT mean they are qualified to make your life any better. Is your doctor not qualified to treat you because he makes more than you? Is your gardener not qualified to mow your lawn because he makes less than you? A persons wealth and income should not disqualify them from holding a position.

    Obama might be a good guy, but consider this, he has no idea how to run a company. He worked for the government which is not accountable for anyone. Senators don't have quarterly reviews where they are fire for doing a poor job. As for his stints working at non-profits, they too are not accountable since their performance does not impact the survival of the organization, as all their funding is donated. So before you cast your vote based on which candidates financial situation most closely resembles your own, how about you vote for the candidate whose skills end experience will enable him/her to make the decisions that will improve the financial situation of the country as a whole.

    Seriously people...

    February 26, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. A Voice of Reason

    I dont' expect a candidate to be perfect, but I also don't expect them to be average. Does anyone really expect the President of the United States to be an average Joe? Then why is it we expect them to relate to them? The Obamas certainly take plenty of vacations that my family couldn't afford to take.

    I want a President who knows how to govern, to lead, and to get the job (and the economy) on track. And if we're trying to place the priority of them relating to the average Joe as the priority, then I think people are prioritizing on the wrong thing. We want a representative who understands us and our desires and wants– so it is valid to want someone who relates to you. Yet we also want someone who can lead and get the job done– and that's not something that the average Joe does. Mitt Romney may not be your average Joe and may not relate to them– the question one might ask, is does he represent your views enough to represent your interests.

    Yet more importantly one should ask does his experience and reputation lead you to think he can get the job done of governing the country? [For it doesn't matter how well someone represents you if they can't get the job done.]

    February 26, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. Tyler Durden

    "I am who I am."
    Problem, Willard, is you don't know you "am".
    And if you don't know who you "am", how can the voters?
    Re-elect the one that got you out of the Bush mess (Iraq, Osama, etc.), not another ruling class stooge that will be Bush II. If you make less than $300k per year and you vote Republican, you are voting against your own economic interest. Don't be a rube.

    February 26, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  15. huxley

    At least with Obama you know what you are getting. Romney is going to say or do anything it takes to gain more power and stay in Office.

    February 26, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  16. mommytwice

    I think the issue isn't that Mr. Ronmey is out of touch with the American people, it's that he was never IN touch. Neither was Bush. Anyone born into that kind of money has no idea what most of us deal with every day, how we shop, where we shop, how we make family financial decisions, etc. No clue. It's not a bad thing. His success is what everyone wants. But he can't even comprehend what raising a family in a tiny house on a shoestring budget is like, just as I can't comprehend having multiple houses and a cadillac at each one.

    February 26, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  17. labman57

    As is the case for many ultra-wealthy conservatives, Mitt's financial success was attained at the expense of the middle class worker and - in an expression of his patriotic loyalty to the United States - by hiding his corporate earnings in offshore accounts.

    Mitt "Greed is Good" Romney and Bain Capital had a penchant for buying companies, laying off a significant part of the workforce, and then selling the company for a hefty profit.

    Mitt regards the middle class worker as expendable chattel. He only evaluates businesses with respect to ways to maximize profit margins for the benefit of upper management and the major investors.

    Legal? Probably, but just because you have the right to do a thing does not necessarily make it the right thing to do.

    February 26, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. Allen

    Romney was caught with bank accounts in the CAYMEN ISLANDS and SWITZERLAND. Why would anyone have accounts in far away countries and have to deal with foreign languages and different regulations unless it was to evade paying taxes?

    February 26, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  19. Jared

    His wife's cars are actually very modest for a man of his wealth.

    I think the "out of touch" argument for Romney is going out of control. 1) Romney, Santorum & Obama ALL make much more than the average American and ALL of them have had much different lives. 2) though Romney is wealthy it doesn't mean he has had average problems like the rest of us. His wife has had serious medical problems. His family isn't free from pain and suffering like the rest of us. Romney is a great man for the job. His academic, business and family achievements far out due anything I have done.

    February 26, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  20. ned

    It's amazing how people commenting here have not really put much effort into research, and completely misrepresented what Bain capital did. Go check with the economists (both dems and repubs) who really know, and you'll find that he strengthened those companies and turned companies on the brink of failing into successes, creating jobs in the process. I'd much rather have a really smart, rich guy who actually knows how to work with big numbers at the helm than some buddy boy who is in over his head. Who cares if I connect to him on a personal level?

    February 26, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    The most important information in recent times for this guy and his claims are:-
    1) The GM "bailout" was a government managed/funded chapter 11 was a failure!!. The alternative Romney proposes now after the event a "private bailout" or managed bankruptcy ( chapter 11) could not be financed by private financiers as they saw it as too risky, and tooth and nail fought any write down of corporate GM bond debt.
    Now GM back to No1 in the world, and that is failure?? No, no political ideolgy and obfuscation.
    2) Several organisations have evaluated his budget plans ( all deficits 10 years) and debt plans and all say his plans increase the debt as much if not more than Obamas plans.
    3) Find me a social policy he has not flip flopped on. Mormon(ism) is a religion but its certainly not catholicism, but truth is it should not affect whether anyone votes or not for him.... regrettably it will!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 26, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  22. bannister

    All of you who believe Romney is "elitist" – just take a look at Obama! Obama is a PUPPET of the Super Rich 1%!

    Doesn't it strike you odd that he only served 3 years in the Senate -before he runs for PRESIDENT? And that he was immediately backed by billionaire George Soros? And that BP oil gave him more money than ANY OTHER presidential candidate? And that he filled his administration with ex-members of Goldman Sachs? And THEN he gives BILLIONS of dollars to Wall Street immediately upon taking office?

    And you guys think he's just a "man of the people"? Who magically "rose to the top"? Boy, are you guys naive!!! Obama was clearly CHOSEN and GROOMED by the Super Elite to represent their interests.

    Romney may not be perfect – but unlike Obama, he EARNED his money through legitimate business – and did you know that Romney GAVE AWAY his entire heritance so he could start from scratch? And that he gives a greater percentage of his wealth to charity than Obama does?

    February 26, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  23. kateslate

    Part of the reason he has been "extraordinarily successful" is that Bain bought politicians' votes and it turned tax and regulatory burdens in his favor.
    Would that we all had enough money to change the rules under which we operate. He makes me want to throw up when he tries to convince us he is a self made man. Yep, when you start 50 feet from the finish line in a 500-yard race, you have an easier time of finishing first, "Mr." Romney.

    February 27, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. John

    I don't see any one of the potential GOP nominees as a creditable replacement for Obama, who at least is trying and working to get us out of this mess that we were thrown like a rabbit to the dogs by the last republican congress(and this one) and Bush. Once bitten(Republican) but no more. I've seen the light brothers and they're not shining on the GOP. The sheeps' clothing has been stripped off and we see them for what they are. Wolves.

    February 27, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  25. kateslate

    The modern day robber barron lives!

    February 27, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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