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. ST

    If Romney has been serious to see people are working together, why didn't he advise his fellow republicans to do so? Should it be until he is in the Oval Office that he sees the necessity? I don't buy his words at all, after all he never sticks on what he says.

    September 11, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Then why did Romney chouse Pail Ryan for his running mate ?

    Ryan was a lap dog with the laude bark for GW Bush and the do nothing Congress l

    Husbands of lobbyists don't compromise .

    September 11, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. JohnW

    @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.
    -----------------------------
    I find it ironic that someone espousing intelligence would have a couple of misspellings in their comment. Anyway, you are completely, entirely wrong about Obama saying "My way or the highway." That all came from the GOP side of the fence. Obama's major problem when he started his term is that he underestimated the level of GOP pig-headedness, assuming that they would actually do what was best for the country instead of caring only for their own. He had to learn the hard way, but learn it he did.

    September 11, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. ART

    Twist and turn where we stop no body knows, flippity flop again and again, he changes his mind the man has no spine .Hoarding and hiding wealth the name of his game by golly that rich man is INSANE.

    September 11, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. demwit

    What does Romney know about working across the aisle? Its not like he's had success at that before!! Oh wait...

    September 11, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Bill

    Too bad he will never know what that would be like, since he will not ever be president.

    September 11, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Facts don't LIE

    how do you work across the aisle when on the other side their number one goal is to make sure you are NOT re-elected? I have yet to hear ANY Republican comment on what McConnell said that day, nor even condemn it. Bi-partisan working with Republicans is agreeing with most everything they want. Remember when Boehner said he got 95% of what he wanted so he was happy last time? THAT is how they want to work!

    September 11, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. John,PA

    The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.

    Romney will have a clear mandate from the American people, Romney won’t have to work with the people across the aisle; there won’t be enough Democrats left to call it a party.

    September 11, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    We need mid-aged, vital, healthy, intelligent people in our government.

    No more of this rigid party-first, I want 98%, mentality.

    The old ways are gone forever. This IS the 21st century, not the 18th or 19th or even 20th.

    Vote them out and lets get a new improved younger smarter government for our great country. Keep some of the elder wise folks as advisors to get the new ones up to speed on foreign affairs. Other than that, vote them out. They are sucking at the teet when they are old enough to be great-grand-parents.

    And NO, color does not matter. Nor does last name.

    September 11, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    I can just hear it now....crackling over AM talk radio...."who does he think he is, saying we have to work with THEM? Can we change candidates? We need one who listens and obeys, not this RINO stuff"

    September 11, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. simp

    Look people President Obama did try to reach across the aisles but when you have a congress that from DAY 1 has been plotting to make this president fail, the hell with them and mitt and ryan too. I get so sick of CNN having these interviews and not asking the tough questions. gloria borgar is as right winged as the rest of CNN people and I dont think she's very bright. the only one i can tolarate is anderson, at least he seems to get at both parties and not always sticking to having a bunch of repub commentors like wolf and that stone face john king does.

    September 11, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Oregon Calling

    Ok, so what about the party of NO? Don't they have to work across party lines?

    Peace ~

    September 11, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    The countdown to Oct. 16, tax day for those who filed for extensions before Apr 16, and the "Big Renege" is on. Mitt Romney promised The People his returns, but he would be political suicied to release them just before the election. But, what choice does he have?

    Romney designed this box himself, and took such great pride in doing it. Romney has bungled the tax issue so badly that it reflects badly on the man's character. He started off smug and confident that he wouldn't have to release any returns at all. He was booed off of the debate stage over his tax returns. His wife has already told us what is going to happen come Oct. 16. "You all" are not getting anymore returns. Romney STILL wants to weasel out of releasing any more returns and RENEGE on his promise to the voters. (I hope he reneges.)

    September 11, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. truth hurts

    obama has proven one ting over the last 4 years. he has no idea on how to lead or work with people that aren't far left like him. he repeatedly attacks people that do not share his opinions. what he did to the US supreme court justices during the state of the union was a perfect example of why obama needs to go. he only knows how to do one thing, poison the well.

    September 11, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    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

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Projecting js? Because what you just stated was actually SOP for the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who told America that it was his way or the highway. And the crazy old man screaming at the chair during the RNC who thinks the chair told him to tell mittens to go make love to himself is confused as well. The previous occupant of the Naval Observatory (aka, the VP residence) actually made that comment on the Senate floor, and it was directed at Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, and he used a less than delicate phrase to invite Senator Leahy to do so.

    September 11, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    @John,PA
    The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.

    Romney will have a clear mandate from the American people, Romney won’t have to work with the people across the aisle; there won’t be enough Democrats left to call it a party.
    ------------------------------
    You've let the cat out of the bag too soon, ole buddy. Too soon.

    September 11, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Bless his heart, but I've seen about as much of Mitt Romney as I care to see, becoming more - not less - confused by his... well, his political positions. At this point, there isn't anything the man could say that I would believe.

    September 11, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. SM

    It doesn't sound like he has any intention of working across the aisle where women's rights are concerned.

    September 11, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. rep

    maybe Mitt can tell that to the GOP 95% of whom signed Norquist pledges never to compromise on tax increases. THAT is the biggest example of complete emptyheaded incalcitrance and refusal to compromise right there.

    September 11, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. CURIOUS

    Can Romney manage the affairs of this country any better than he handle his trip aboard, or the republican convention at home?

    September 11, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    Look at this one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    @John,PA
    The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.

    Romney will have a clear mandate from the American people, Romney won’t have to work with the people across the aisle; there won’t be enough Democrats left to call it a party.
    ----------
    You've let the cat out of the bag too soon, ole buddy. Too soon.

    September 11, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. sonny chapman

    It's in Obama's DNA to try & work w/others. It's in the Repubs. DNA to "smite thine enemies".

    September 11, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Just show me

    I wish someone would just show me actual facts, not a bunch of meaningless talk but actual facts that we are better off with Obama.

    September 11, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    John,PA wrote:

    The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.
    ---------------------
    Actually, the voters didn't see The Great Sucker Punch coming that the Republicans pulled in 2010. They promised "jobs, jobs, jobs" and delivered wars on women, unions, gays, and anyone else who was "not one of us."

    September 11, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    This is the REPUBLICAN ATTITUDE YOU WON'T HEAR FROM RYAN/ROMNEY – BUT JOHN WILL TELL YOU:

    @John,PA
    The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.

    Romney will have a clear mandate from the American people, Romney won’t have to work with the people across the aisle; there won’t be enough Democrats left to call it a party.

    ----------

    THATS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY 2012.

    You've let the cat out of the bag too soon, ole buddy. Too soon.

    September 11, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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