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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. Joe

    Quack quack quack goes the duck

    September 9, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. mac101

    "There's nothing wrong with the term compromise, but there is something very wrong with the term abandoning one's principles," he said."

    Does Romney understand how utterly ridiculous he sounds?

    Which principles – he's flipped his positions so often he doesn't even know what his convictions are, so how are we supposed to figure it out?

    September 9, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. 351969

    The biggest mistake would be electing this fruitcake.

    September 9, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. larry

    "Mitt the twit" says it all. He is sooo phoney that he reminds me of the creep who used to get beat up in school all the time.

    September 9, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. n

    Romney, what can we say about you that has not been said already? To elect you for president, is for America to implode in on herself and cease to exist.

    September 9, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. abbydelabbey

    Okay, I am biting my tongue resisting the very strong urge to say that the GOP is a mistake. But, yes, Romney, the GOP made a mistake (many mistakes), and, your candidacy is ONE big mistake, Your VP choice is another....

    September 9, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. hot air warrior

    Romney is for somethong, then he is against it. But, please Mr. Romney release your tax records so we can see what you are really for.

    September 9, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. MikeH

    Where's those 2009 tax returns Willard? I want to see if you committed felony tax evasion, and felony voter fraud.

    September 9, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Name

    Mitt romney need to own up to everything that he has said iam happy that he is being expose people are able to see the truth and hear the truth they will not be fool with lies the only pople who is in death ear and denial is the republicans

    September 9, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Sarah/Dumfries,VA

    Romney is really crazy,did'nt he say over & over again he will repeal Obamacare?nobody will believe that crazy guy anymore,how about his tax returns?he is a liar

    September 9, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. larry

    Women should be wary of the man who wants to control your body. I can have my personal opinion about subjects but I don't want the government, by law, to tell me what my opinion should be.

    September 9, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. michael

    i hope everyone on this blog against romney gets out to vote on Nov 6 for Obama. get others to vote also. GO Obama

    September 9, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Name

    Come on republicans can you come up with something better than that

    September 9, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. BCInNV

    Hahaha! More proof the Republican party is broken apart and can't agree on anything! Even the leader they chose says so! They are in shambles, and want to bring the rest of the country down with them.

    September 9, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Grannie11

    O what a web we weave, Romeny is a true and real person. Say's what is right and says what is wrong, a true adult in the room. it is about time.

    Romney-Ryan 2012 for God sake!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. dm nash

    I watched this Romney interview and that of Ryan on another channel and neither one of them could actually speak to any specifics about ANYTHING. More of the same old talking points. Ann Romney as well, spoke of how wonderful that "real" people spoke on Mitt's behalf at their convention – their supposed friends/congregants – but she seemed not to even know their names nor could she speak to how on earth besides her having MS that they could possibly know what people are going through. They just don't get it.
    Romney stated as above that he thinks GOP made a mistake w/sequestration but Ryan voted for it- and did his best to backpeddle a similiar question in his interview by being condesending to the woman interviewer O'Donnell. She of course, misunderstood – rather than "he" voted for it thinking it would not come to that. Romney deflected a question regarding Bush and Obamas statements regarding nuclear weapons in Iran and only stated sanctions & on the ground as a fall back -the same as Obama has already done. Of course, he name checked Netanyahu for good measure but had no solutions. Romney on healthcare could not properly respond with his replacement plan for "day one" when he promises to repeal Obamacare. Pressed whether he was prepared to tell those with pre-exhisting issues he finally stated he wasn't against all of Obamacare but still has no actual plan. He swears he's not raising taxes on the middle class but what he's put forth so far most certainly does do that. Ryan even had new and more excuses about his marathon time than he does to back up any of his votes. Neither of them can speak to anything that is not scripted in advance – just embarassing.
    Romney has had 6 years to have some concrete ideas and plans yet he has none (that's why he needed Ryan) . He couldn't even argue his points against the other GOP candidates in the primary- so good luck come October empty suits.

    September 9, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Martha in CF

    I am sure your republican party is so thrilled to hear out of your mouth, Romney, the mistakes they made. Their election in 2010 was also a mistake as not ONE job proposal has come out of their mouths either.
    Clint Eastwood made a mistake and so did your party to allow him to speak--The American people are DONE being wooed!!!!!

    September 9, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. BCInNV

    Fitting leader for the shambled and self-destructive party. They will destroy this country if we let them.

    September 9, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. dm nash

    btw – even Romneys' excuses for Eastwood are empty. I actually did expect for Eastwood to stand up there like a politician – after all he was one in California. Instead we got a meandering inappropriately suggestive dementia ridden embarassment.

    September 9, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. jai jai

    Maybe it was a "mistake" but it will sure get the attention of the American voters if our elected officials (whoever they are) can't hammer out some kind of realistic compromise on moving forward and the market (and our 401Ks) go kaboom.

    September 9, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. 4 trillion

    Today's polls Rasmussen &4 points Obama...........Gallup plus 5 Obama.........biggest dual spread in a year....This may be the biggest convention bump I have ever seen......looks like a plus 4 points for Democrats......

    September 9, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Catmandew

    Mitt the way forward OBAMA THE CONTIUATION of his failed ideals and corruption that fails our country daily! Obamacare the reason small bussiness is not hiring needs to be repealed!

    September 9, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. dm nash

    It is also insulting to the American people that this GOP ticket would point the fingure at supposed welfare queens when they are the most hypocrital of them all. Romney is the Queen of corporate welfare and misuse of government loans for Bain bailouts and Ryan won't even get his own apartment in DC but instead sleeps in his office and uses elctricity and heating paid for buy us taxpayers. We pay his insurance and he's even voted himself a pay increase for doing absolutely nothing but pushing abortion laws and obstructing any and all help for the economy.

    September 9, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Jeb


    The GOP made a mistake in nominating Flip Flopney!

    September 9, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. maltytasker

    Romney vows to "stand by his principles?" Did he stand by his principles on abortion & gun control? Well, maybe until he decided that he could get more votes by changing his principles. He's so flexible, how can we trust him to actually do what he says?

    September 9, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7