September 11th, 2012
12:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney tells CNN: 'You've got to work with people across the aisle'

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney told CNN he would try to follow the same path of bipartisanship on some key issues if he is elected that helped him get health reform passed while he was governor of Massachusetts.

"You've got to work with the people across the aisle, who may have differences in policy but who agree in terms of the goal. Ultimately you can convince each other, you can find common ground. There are a lot of places, by the way, that you just can't you just say, 'We're just going to have to agree to disagree,'" he told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger last month as part of an interview for the CNN documentary "Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power."

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In the interview, taped last month before he captured the Republican Party nomination, Romney pointed to one possible area where both sides may be able to come together although there have been major disagreements in the past about the best approach to take even on that issue.

"I think, for instance, we can agree that Social Security is fine for retirees and near-retirees but for people in their 20's we've got to come up with a better way to guarantee Social Security will be there for them. I think Democrats agree with that. I think Republicans agree with that. I think Ronald Regan and (former House Speaker) Tip O'Neill agreed with that and worked out ways to keep Social Security going for present generations," he said.

"We have to be able to do the same on important issues. I was able to do that in Massachusetts. There are some lessons I learned in doing that, and if I got to Washington, absolutely I expect to have a good relationship with leading Democrats and probably some coalitions of Democrats and Republicans that care about issues that I care very deeply about."

Some conservatives may not be too happy to hear those words because they want their party leaders not to be compromising and instead to stand up to Democrats to push party principles even if that results in gridlock.

However, the idea of bipartisanship and the willingness to work with the other party are key priorities for many independents – a key constituency because they are not aligned with one party and could be the deciding factor because polls indicate the race is so close.

Because Democrats controlled the state legislature while he was governor, Romney had to work with the opposition party to get his health reform initiative passed.

Romney previously has been criticized by some members of the state house for not doing a better job of reaching out while governor. He acknowledged to CNN he "got better over time, and I know I made mistakes in how I dealt" with the legislature.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Ferret out the BS

    You're talking out of both sides of you mouth again Mitt, what you say doesn't appear to match what you do.

    September 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. tee1227

    Hey Mitt remember mitch mcconnell said there number #1 gold is to make Obama a one term at any cost.

    September 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    tykl, did you even read the article? It's about mittens saying that the sides need to work across the aisle. We all know how well the reichwing has done that with President Obama, don't we?

    September 11, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Amnesia 101

    The Tea Party, congress, Mitt and Mr. Ryan all give me heartburn. Maybe some sugar will take care of that. Yep, much better.

    September 11, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Legalize Reason

    So let me get this right. Mr. Romney does not agree with the obstuctionist tactics that his party has employed for the past four years? How is he going to get O'Connel, Boehner, Cantor or even his VP choice, Ryan, to suddenly change their radical ideological behavior and act like responsible members of Congress, rather than saboteurs of the legislative process. Sounds like more GOP "pixie dust".

    September 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. linda

    So true Romney....why don't to tell the Republican party you represent to do just that instead of setting your minds to the idea to make this President a One Term President no matter what it takes.....signing pledges not to raise taxes as you have done.....come on you aren't telling us anything we don't already know.....now are you trying to tell us that it was the democrats that wouldn't work with the GOP.....if that is what your saying .......you are lying again.......

    September 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. John Oboho

    He ought to say how he'll go about it,when those across the aisle sound it to him before his first day in office,that the number one priority is to make him fail.

    September 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Al

    Yes Mr. Romney

    Now you got it right, firing people does not brings the success, it may bring money, but not vote, you need to work with the other side , and at your business you need to work with your employee not firing them

    but it is too late to got this wisdom for you. now may be your son can carry this wisdom I am registered republican but will vote for Obama

    September 11, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Here's what working across the aisle looks like currently Willard:

    STAHL: But governing means compromising.

    BOEHNER: It means working together.

    STAHL: It also means compromising.

    BOEHNER: It means finding common ground.

    STAHL: Okay, is that compromising?

    BOEHNER: I made it clear I am not going to compromise on my principles, nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people.

    September 11, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    If Obama was white he would be up 17 points.

    If Romney was black, Obama would be up 35 points.

    If you hate government programs burn your Medicare Card and burn your Tri-Care card if you are ex-military.

    There.

    September 11, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Mack J.

    Willard, if you have to "work with people across the aisle", please tell us why your VP nominee hasn't done that in the last 3 1/2 years.

    September 11, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Wonder how much Romney would get done if the dems obstructed and filibustered the way the repubs have done to President Obama? Hmmmmm -- something to remember, folks.

    September 11, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. alien

    Romney doesn't know his head from his ass, all he knows is they are conjoined.

    September 11, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. JohnW

    Mitt told CNN "You've got to work with the people across the aisle." Now maybe somebody could tell the GOP in Congress the same thing? That would be a nice change of pace.

    September 11, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Dave

    That's hilarious. Obama tried that and the GOP obstructed him at every turn. If Romney wins, I hope he doesn't mind a little payback, because he and the GOP are way over due for it.

    September 11, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. ghostriter

    tykl, you have got to be kidding. Obama compromised on several issues, from HC to the debt deal last year in which republicans such as Ryan are now trying to distance themselves from. You remember the deal in which Ryan said he was happy with and Boehner said republicans got 98% of what they wanted. Tax increases as well as spending cuts. That is about as bi-partisan as it gets.

    What have republicans compromised on in the past 4 years?

    September 11, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    i guess Mitt Romney didn't get the memos. "No compromise" from Boehner. "One term" from McConnell.

    September 11, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. skytag

    Romney should tell Republicans in Congress that they should have been willing to work with the president.

    September 11, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. jsmoulder

    Democrats are showing their lack of intelligence in this comment section. Of coarse Obama said the same things in 2008 about working with those on the other side of the isle, and he never did. From day one he said my way or the highway. I hope Mitt will do what he says or he will be out in 4 also.

    September 11, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    Early on-set dementia.

    Laughs or chuckles at things inappropriately; has short-term memory loss, seems to change mind a lot; can't remember what was said yesterday, tires easily, brags a lot, then gets a little depressed; goes on the offensive when asked simple questions; easily confused, thus confusing to others; -- the list goes on and on. 65. Yep, about the correct age for early onset.

    September 11, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. ghostriter

    There was bi-partisan agreement that Romney should release more tax records. And that the RNC was chocked full of lies, misstatements, unsupported opinion and overall BS. And that Romney was is and probably never will be the man for the job.

    See.....bi-partisanship.

    September 11, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Roni Lifshitz

    yeah, sure...it reminds me of the tale of the guy who killed his parents and than asked mercy from the judges, because he is an orphan now....(those cry baby bullies have no shame)

    September 11, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Lahdee Dah

    Has Romney shared this belief with anyone else in the GOP? No doubt his campaign will be trying to correct this statement later – just as they had to do earlier this week when he said he liked some of the reform provisions in Obamacare.

    September 11, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. the Situation

    That's funny Mitts. Yet your running mate wasn't willing to work across the aisle, all in the name of winning back the White House. Shut up!

    September 11, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Pay-backs are gonna be absolute he!! if a republican gets back in the White House at this point. People are angry at all the games the baggers and republicans have played the last two years.

    September 11, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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