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. sonny chapman

    Hey Confused, it's the Story of Mankind since Adam & Eve & Cain & Abel. America does offer the best hope fro the most diverse group of people of breaking the cycle. Until then, the Meek will not inherit the Earth.

    September 11, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. TacticalThunder

    Romney is off to the Right, then he's trying to be in the middle, etc, Back and Forth. Then he has the nerve to make a speach on 9/11. He just lost my vote.

    September 11, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Hmm. Romney went into the halftime break maybe down a point or two. Both teams come back onto the field and the Ds immediately score some points, and grab hold of all of the momentum. Romney is not quite sounding desparate, but you can almost hear the desparate thoughts and self doubts going though his mind as he speaks.

    September 11, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. PJ

    So far, Romney's words haven't meant much. Two days in a row he has swerved to the center/left, then they
    backtracked on his "I'm for some of the health care reforms", so how will they wiggle out of this one?
    This guy is all over the map.

    September 11, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Kr55

    Is Romney bashing his party with these comments? I think most people are aware there is 1 side here that have been completely unwilling to make a deal under any circumstance outside of Obama abandoning all of his values and beliefs and basically joining the ranks of tea party republicans.

    September 11, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Jenny Sills

    And they used to call Zell Miller Zig Zag Zell. I think I am about to get motion sick! At least Obama is consistent!

    September 11, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. myviewis

    Governor Romney proved he worked across the aisle with Democrats according to this article and he did get Romneycare passed in Massassuchets......"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."

    September 11, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. beegee

    Right right Mitt. Democrats and Republicans agree on tax cuts for the middle class. What's stopping that from happening? We're not stupid!

    September 11, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. myviewis

    TacticalThunder

    Romney is off to the Right, then he's trying to be in the middle, etc, Back and Forth. Then he has the nerve to make a speach on 9/11. He just lost my vote.
    ---------------------–

    I doubt very much Romney ever had your vote.

    September 11, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. rob

    Romney seems to me to be a get it done sort of guy. He has a record in a blue state working with the Dems in the legislature there. Unlike President Obama, I think he knows that in Govt you don't always get what you want but you need to get things done. The President got almost everything he wanted inhis first two years with a Huge Dem majority in the Congress. When the Dems got crushed in the 2010 midterms because the American people had enough of their policies, he was lost. What we are left with is a LOOMING DEBT CLIFF and TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS as far as the eye can see.

    This is total lack of serious leadership. We need a new leader in the White House

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    September 11, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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