Romney says GOP made 'mistake,' weighs in on Eastwood, health care
September 9th, 2012
12:21 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney says GOP made 'mistake,' weighs in on Eastwood, health care

(CNN) – Mitt Romney said congressional Republicans were wrong to accept a deal last year that could ultimately result in across-the-board spending cuts, including massive cuts to the military.

"I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it," Romney said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it."

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Also known as sequestration, the cuts are set to go into effect in January if Congress fails to find a deficit-reduction plan by the end of the year.
In 2011, congressional leaders reached a last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling. Part of the deal included tasking a so-called super committee with finding a deficit-reduction plan that fall. As an incentive, the debt ceiling bill included the spending cuts measure, to encourage the committee to move quickly or face the self-imposed penalty of sequestration.

The 12-member, bipartisan committee, however, failed to reach a compromise in November 2011, and now Congress has less than four months to agree on a plan that would avoid the automatic cuts.

Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, was among the Republicans who voted for last year's bill, also known as the Budget Control Act.

At issue is how to pay for reducing the deficit: Democrats want to raise revenues partly by raising taxes, while Republicans prefer to chip away at the debt through other avenues, such as cutting spending and closing some tax loopholes.

Asked Sunday if he would compromise as president and risk a conservative backlash in order to reach a deal, Romney said he would stand by his principles.

"There's nothing wrong with the term compromise, but there is something very wrong with the term abandoning one's principles," he said. "And I'm going to stand by my principles. And those are, I am not going to raise taxes on the American people."

Saying he's "as conservative as the Constitution," Romney later argued he knows "how to work across the aisle."

And while the Republican nominee has repeatedly vowed to work towards a repeal of President Barack Obama's health care reform, Romney said in the interview he favors some measures found in the law.

"Well, I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place," he said.

Romney listed the provision that ensures those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage as one aspect he would include in his own health care plan, which he said would "replace Obamacare." The former Massachusetts governor has taken heat for opposing the federal health care law despite the fact it was largely modeled after the 2006 law he signed in the Bay State.

On a lighter note, Romney said he laughed at Clint Eastwood's appearance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, where the actor performed an unusual skit, talking to an imaginary Obama in an empty chair on stage.

"I was laughing at Clint Eastwood. Look, to have him get up and speak on my behalf was a great thrill," Romney said.

Some criticized the event as bizarre. Eastwood said in a newspaper interview Friday that Romney's staff had, in fact, not approved his script in advance because he didn't think of it until a few minutes before his time slot.

"There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down," Eastwood said, according to the Carmel Pine Cone. "When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I'll just put the stool out there and I'll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn't keep all of the promises he made to everybody."

Romney's campaign argued Eastwood's speech, unlike the other RNC speeches, could not be judged through a political lens.

"You don't expect to have a guy like Clint Eastwood get up and, you know, read some speech off a teleprompter like a politician," Romney said. "You expect him to speak from the heart, and that's exactly what he did."

Filed under: 2012 • Budget • Debt • Deficit • Mitt Romney
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. gmenfan54

    "Flipper" is desperate. He is now starting to backtrack on several promises he made. Too late "Flipper". Your show is about to be cancelled.

    September 9, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. PJH

    What people are failing to recognize is that this is exactly how Nazi Germany got started. Lies, manipulation of the vote, shady tactics, disinformation, an attempt to install a unforgiven, controlling and severe ideal that a majority of the country doesnt share. Sadly, the same people supporting Romney Ryan are the ones they would send to the gas chambers if they had the power to do so.....A vote for Romney/Ryan is a vote for ignorance,'s the death sentence for 99% of Americans. Right now Romney and Ryan are trying to sell their ideals to Americans, is elected they will force Americans to swallow their ideals.

    September 9, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. zandhcats

    Gosh, he blamed Clint Eastwood?

    September 9, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Yeahona

    but if we all go into our corners of "principal" and that's where we stay, nothing will get done. This is exactly the problem. We don't live in a dictatorship or at least last time I checked, we didn't.

    September 9, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. dave

    So we're just going to pass over that Romney has flipped the roles in the process of coming to sequestration, he's now saying Obama shouldn't have proposed it. Lucky that it was actually the house republicans, led by his running mate, that insisted on sequestration in order to raise the debt ceiling so we did not default.

    How much more of the GOP campaign is going to be them blaming Obama for what they themselves did. This is Ryan's Simpson Bowels claim (you know the one where he blamed Obama for not adopting something that he himself had killed in committee) all over again.

    How can we take them seriously as possible leaders when they keep blaming others for their own actions?

    September 9, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Paul

    Now you see the real Romney. It is never he that could be wrong. In this case his entire party was wrong, and he is correct. This would be the position of a king or a dictator – which I am sure in his heart he would love to be.

    September 9, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    Well it's Sunday so I expect him to walk back his statement about liking some of Obamacare by Tuesday morning.

    September 9, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Armand Winter

    Obama proposed a $4 Trillion debt reduction plan that would have kept S&P from downgrading us, eliminated the need of the Super Committe, which was ultimately sabotaged by the Republicans resulting in automatic cuts to defense spending... back in April of 2011.

    Instead Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Norquist and the GOP decided to protect Mitt Romney's 15% tax rate.

    1) Why can't Romney pay his fair share in taxes?

    2) Why do you want Norquist and his Palestinian wife who gives money to terrorists, running this country? – Look it up on wikipedia

    3) How does this help job creation?

    September 9, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    First they spoke to “empty chair” now empty head is talking what happened to GOP

    Romney campaign staffs are saying they gave up

    September 9, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Kareen

    Watching and listening to Romney/Ryan is like a Circus act.

    September 9, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Steve

    Romney is not going to "raise taxes on the American people," just on the middle class. After all, the super wealthy are American people also.

    September 9, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Steve

    I don't know how you can believe any words out of this guys mouth? He has flipped and flopped on every one of his "core principles" as he calls them. He's Bush 3!

    September 9, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. The Left Wing

    "There's nothing wrong with the term compromise, but there is something very wrong with the term abandoning one's principles," says the man who has been on every side of most issues. The only principle that I see that Romney stands by is if you give all the money to me and people like me then I'll be happy.

    September 9, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. John P. Tarver

    I just hope President Romney can hold to this conservative track. If Romney fires enough people in Washington our economy can be saved.

    September 9, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Bazinga

    I'll give Mitt credit, he is not underestimating the stupidity of the American voting public. Lie through your teeth, because they can't remember anyway!

    September 9, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Andrew

    Yea the GOP mad a mistake electing Romney is a running mate! Flipflopper Romney on health care too! What a complete Liar and Flipflopper!

    September 9, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. xcxzxzc

    I cant help it, I cant vote for Obama ,might not know everything about Romney, but I do know enough about Obama that I dont want anymore of his destruction, and decline of the country. You would have to be a complete idiot to want four more years of his smoke and mirrors.

    September 9, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Obama2012

    And the GOP made a mistake picking you to be their nominee....

    September 9, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Brian from DC

    I think it's hysterical that Romney is finally coming around to some aspects of Obamacare which of course was patterned after Romneycare. Huh?

    September 9, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    "I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it," Romney said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it."

    The mistake is YOU and YOUR wife thinking the American people are stupid enough to elect YOU.

    Last week, the DNC and the president did a GREAT job of exposing you as the inexperienced fraud and con man you are, and I personally, could not be prouder of their accomplishments. Your only goal in wanting the job as POTUS is to have it, once in there – you would be MIA just as you were as governor in MA. The fact is, more and more people are waking up to you Willard, and they're NOT liking what they hear and see, and BTW, good luck back peddling on the ACA as you will find out even more how much the American people don't like being taken for granted.

    September 9, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Alan Piccard

    You actually have to have principals to stand by them. Mitt's principals are the ones that will get him elected.

    September 9, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Nonis

    Romney talking about principles! Now that's an oxymoron.

    September 9, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. jma58

    Romney looks like, walks like, and talks like a wimp.

    September 9, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Paul

    "Romney said he would stand by his principles." – and the Comedy Central award for best one-liner of the century goes to...

    September 9, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. John

    Well Mitt Romney right about one thing and that Is the Republican make a Mistake. The First Mistake was with the Republican Control Congress couldn't sit down with the same number of Democrats and compromise to get a budget done. The Second mistake was they didn't believe In what the President Obama would do If they didn't come up with a budget. And third Mistake was when the Republican pick Mitt Romney to run. The Forth Mistake was making Paul Ryan His running mate. And there fifth mistake was letting Clint Eastwood making fool out of all of you. And the sixth mistake Is all the LIE and Flip-Flopper Mitt Romney Is doing make him look like he has no Idea what he doing. And He need to show more than two years of tax return, he need more than at least seven years. If Mitt Romney Isn't hiding something from the American people than he shouldn't have a Problem with It. When hid Father run he did. But since there are Republican I bet they are more mistake coming. I hope the American People don't make the Biggest Mistake of all and Elected Mitt Romney, Because It will be just like four more years of President BUSH, and we all know how much dept he put America In.

    September 9, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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