September 11th, 2012
12:35 PM ET
6 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. GI Joe


    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 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Kiki

    Romney is flip-flopping around to track back to the center more than a fish washed ashore flip-flopping around to get back in the water.

    September 11, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Anthony in California

    "DID you or DID you NOT sign Grover Norquist's PLEDGE?"

    Once Biden drops that gem during the debates, Ryan is toast.
    Its a simple yes no answer that (if Yes) then opens up a real ugly can of worms for the media and public to dive into details about. Also reinforces the goal they set on day 1 to make Obama a 1 term President and to obstruct any legislature that he creates to help the country.

    While we pledge allegiance...
    Republicans pledge to Norquist.

    September 11, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    @John in PA

    So you admit there will be a republican dictatorship. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    September 11, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. spinGolly

    Mitt is the absolute worst POTUS candidate I've seen in my lifetime. At first he was hitting below the belt, now he is just flailing like a little girl. You repugs should be ashamed

    September 11, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. From Canada

    Its almost like Romney had to wait on the DNC to decide what his new talking points are. All of a sudden he likes parts of Obamacare and now he thinks "you have to work across the aisle....." What a flip flopper!!

    September 11, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. California Gary

    Right you are Rudy NYC..........the GOP hit us with a sucker punch back in 1994 too......then we found out what their "contract with America" really meant and our Democrat president won handily in 1996. Same thing getting ready to happen here. We got sucker punched in 2010.......but we now see what the Tea Party agenda really is.......and that will lead to our Democrat president winning handily in 2012. Amazing how often history repeats itself......

    September 11, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. i'm confused

    The wealthy old men who grew up as spoiled little rich kids that control
    the republican party today have really made a science out of
    manipulating stupid Americans. This group of cowards like to start
    unnecessary wars (e.g. George W Bush's invasion of Iraq) and then they
    send all of the poor trailer trash that make up their primary voting
    base off to die in those wars. Unfortunately bravery & intelligence
    tend to be conflicting human characteristics and in MANY cases are
    entirely mutually exclusive of each other. This explains why so many of
    our military today vote republican even though THEY ARE VOTING AGAINST

    September 11, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. L

    Are the Republicans crazy! They threw our Democracy under the bus and refused to work with President Obama. Working across the aisle doesn't mean Democrats cave every time, while Republicans get there way. They are nuts if they think that the American public believes they tried to "reach across the aisle" with Democrats. Now they are spouting harmony if they win, and want our democracy to work as it should have over the past four years. Disgusting!

    September 11, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Kimberly

    I am surprised this man is still running. He has NO shot at winning, and he will NEVER be president! he is so phoney!

    September 11, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the best poster children for what is wrong with the Republican party that anyone could ever find. Romney is out of touch with average middle class Americans, and doesn't seem bothered by it because he feels that are less important than the job creators. Paul Ryan is supposed to be a budget guru, but when asked about how many years it would take for his plan to balance so that we can stop adding to the debt he replied, "I haven't run the numbers, yet."

    As the Newt Gingrich might say, "They're both phoney bolagna."

    September 11, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. cali girl

    It is a little strange, since we don't know Robmeys plans. The only thing we do know is Ryan, very right wing. Robmey still no plans so who knows if across the aisle is going to work.

    September 11, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    @Just show me.....

    Fact # 1. During 2007 and 2008 the price of steel doubled. The company I had worked for for almost 10 years had to start letting people go. Many of them had 20 plus years with the company. I watched so many friends and co-workers lose everything, even hope. But thanks to President Obama, at least we had unemployment to help. Last year I finally got another job, I may not be making what I used to but at least I have a job. The company I came from was a small family owned company. I now work for a large company and instead of raises we get picnics and parties, while the owners and their kids drive Benz's and Jaguars.

    So while I may not make what I did previously, I am making it.

    Thank you Mr. President!

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 11, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Logic N LA

    He should start by asking the current Congress to start working withthe current President. Waitning to try and correct things is selfish and childish.

    September 11, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Yeah right. Tell that to Sen. McConnell, John Boehner, Grover Norquist, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and the whole bunch of Tea Party politicians in the Congress. This Congress has the worst record of passing laws ever, the most filibustres and obstructions to bills and the lowest favourability rating ever. If they had worked across the aisle instead of trying to make the President fail, the economy and country would be in much better shape. They all need to be held accountable for their unpatriotic and selfish behaviour.

    September 11, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Laverne

    You can see the desperation on this man's face! Right now he does not now if he is coming or going and he better figure it out quick because if he shows this kind of fluster during the debates it will be over for him period!!

    September 11, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. ja

    according to the current gop, romney just disqualified himself, working across the asile is of the slightly sane days of the gop

    September 11, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The question is what is your olive branch to the Democrats should you be elected? What are you saying are your starting points? I don't think that he understands the Democrats' starting points and needs to get a better idea of what they are before he starts talking with them.

    September 11, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March 2010. How come it took two and a half years for the Republicans to figure out that $716B from Medicare is being used for dark purposes? I mean, I thought that we had already heard every bad thing "imaginable" about Obamacare in 2010.

    Does anyone out there actually believe that the Republicans could have overlooked such a significant chunk of supposedly misappropriated money. And even if they did overlook it and miss it in 2010, what does that actually say about the competence of the Republican Party?

    September 11, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Republican supporter of President Obama

    Willard is talking about this NOW!?!?!?!?!? Gee I wonder why – oh it's b/c the GOP controlled Congress is a disgrace. Sorry – you have not fooled me on that one.

    If they want to learn about reaching across the aisle they will have to learn from the sidelines this time. They grabbed onto power and thought they could stall everything to make the current administration look bad. Now they are beginning to see the result actually might not help them in the long run.

    September 11, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Obama's America 2016

    Still waiting for Obama to work with others.

    September 11, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. flavoter

    Has that Romney guy talked to his running mate and his fellow republican / tea party buddies. His runnig mate has no problem being an obstructionist. Even when it harms the economy and the American worker they are totally out of touch.

    (CNN) - Congress is reaching a point where it will no longer be able to function at all. Over the past two years, some members of the Republican Party have ramped up the partisan wars on Capitol Hill. They are threatening to bring the legislative process to a standstill

    September 11, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    "The question is what is your olive branch to the Democrats should you be elected?"

    His olive branch, you ask? My guess it'll go along the lines of "I'm Mitt Romney - Trust Me".

    September 11, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Anonymous observed:

    Yeah right. Tell that to Sen. McConnell, John Boehner, Grover Norquist, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and the whole bunch of Tea Party politicians in the Congress. This Congress has the worst record of passing laws ever, the most filibustres and obstructions to bills and the lowest favourability rating ever.
    Salute that.

    Romney's remarks are either: willfully arrogant, woefully ignorant, or overwhelmingly both.

    September 11, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Willard is a Tax Evader

    Show us your tax returns Willard!!!!!! You are a criminal for not disclosing your off-shore accounts!!!!!

    September 11, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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