What we learned from our interview with Mitt Romney
September 25th, 2012
09:00 PM ET
2 years ago

What we learned from our interview with Mitt Romney

Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - If there's one thing we learned from Mitt Romney during the course of CNN's interview with the GOP nominee in Ohio Tuesday, it's that he plans to aggressively stay on the attack against President Barack Obama in the final six weeks of the campaign.

Consider his comments on the diplomatic attack that left four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, dead in Libya. Romney has criticized the president for calling recent events in the Middle East "bumps in the road" and suggested Obama had labeled Stevens' death one of those "bumps."

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When pressed on whether he stood by the attack, Romney said, "I'm not sure which developments in the Middle East he would consider bumps in the road."

He then suggested the Obama administration was trying to hide the truth behind what really happened in Benghazi.

"The White House's failure to acknowledge that - that the assassination of our ambassador was a terrorist attack, a terrorist event - suggests that they are trying to paper over the seriousness of what's happening in the Middle East," Romney told CNN.

Romney seemed unfazed about the latest poll numbers in Ohio, a state that is a near must-win for the Republican contender. A new Washington Post poll finds Romney trailing the president by eight points, though that was still inside the margin of error.

Asked whether it was a tactical error to put as large a focus on fundraising as he has placed on actual campaigning at rallies in the last few weeks, Romney demurred.

"Polls go up and down. But frankly, you're going to see the support that I need to become president on Election Day," Romney said.

He also declined to answer whether the hidden-camera video released last week by Mother Jones shows the real Mitt Romney. Instead, Romney presented himself as someone who is looking out for working Americans, saying he is "overwhelmingly committed to helping every American."

"People at the top are doing fine. They'll probably do fine whether Barack Obama were reelected or not. It's the people in the middle and at the bottom that are struggling in the Obama economy. That's why I'm running, is to help them," Romney said in the interview.

In recent days, the former Massachusetts governor has accused the president of trying to "fool people" about the Romney record. But when asked whether his own ads have played fast and loose with the facts, Romney stood his ground.

"We've been absolutely spot on. And any time there's anything that's been amiss, we correct it or remove it," Romney said.

Romney officials did not immediately respond to CNN's request to name one ad the campaign had taken down.

The GOP contender defended one controversial ad, which accuses the president of taking the work requirements out of welfare. Several fact-checking organizations, including CNN, have deemed the spot "false."

"It has been shown time and again that the president's effort to take work requirement out of welfare is a calculated move," Romney said in defense of the ad.

Romney went on to accuse the president of taking "work out of the food stamps requirement."

An Obama campaign spokeswoman called the food stamps program attack "another fallacy."

"Participants in the program are required to be actively looking for work, take part in training programs as directed, and accept jobs that are offered," Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Romney cares less

    M.R. is So Out of Touch! Like a smiling fool.

    September 25, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Romney then suggested the Obama administration was trying to hide the truth behind what really happened in Benghazi.

    Speculation , conspiracy !

    Romney needs to grow up .

    "People at the top are doing fine. They'll probably do fine whether Barack Obama were reelected or not. It's the people in the middle and at the bottom that are struggling in the Obama economy. That's why I'm running, is to help them ?

    I think Mitt beleives his own reterac . Isn't there a name for such an disorder ?

    September 25, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. BunnyBunny

    They only thing Romney has is attacking the President and lowering taxes on the wealthy. Unless he wants to talk to the elderly about how he's gonna give them a coupon to save on insurance when he forces them to buy their own insurance.

    September 25, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. kyle

    Go Mitt! Obama wants to give away free things to take away our freedom.

    September 25, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. ajw

    I learnt that he doesn't know fact from fiction.

    September 25, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Uma Spankhurst

    Lame. And Transparent. I'm referring to CNN of course. Who cite a poll that has an 8-point margin of error? What good is that poll? Romney's right. He's got the support. I voted for Obama in 2008, but not this time.

    September 25, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. Michael

    Here is what I learned! "Yeah," Romney said in an interview aired on Sunday on the CBS television show "60 Minutes," when he was asked if he thought his relatively low rate was fair. Here is another reality! Repuglican’s policies blew up , the economy it looked like the Titanic sinking! President Obama repaired it, got it back sailing again, only, it’s not traveling as fast, needing some cooperation from those who really are responsible to work undo the damage done. Robme and Lyin Ryan will continue extremist conservative policies of George Bush! With cooperation this country would be back to speed, but those responsible are acting like anchors to our economic recovery refusing to help the victims of their heartless, greedy, selfish special interest, extremist ideology, and disastrous policies!

    September 25, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. rs

    As a former Republicans, what I always appreciated about real-live GOP candidates (1970s and 80s) is that they HAD opinions, they had alternative ideas and policies, and ignoring political hyperbole, they spoke the truth not only about their positions, but Democrats as well. These were elections around big ideas, and clear choices.

    That Mr. Romney has chosen to run a perfectly abysmal candidacy, and has offered not only no concrete policies or positions, he instead insults us with platitudes and lies.
    His choice.
    However, he reaffirms my allegiance to the President, and until they change their ways, and my desire to avoid Republicans like I would avoid the plague. The Republicans have ceased being the "adults in the room", and have ceased being not only viable alternatives to the Democrats, but even to just being credible politicians. They seek nothing higher than being lapdogs to the plutocratic class- ingoring the rest of us for their own gain. They are killing their party.
    Their choice.
    However, by their ineptitude, stupidity, and selfishness, they are fundamentally damaging our two-party democracy. For that, I cannot forgive them.

    September 25, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. Jeetu

    Romney and Ryan are a joke in American politics. Without understanding anything ablout foreign policy, they criticize the one that is working. Without knowing anything about the government or the economy they pretend that they can create 12 milltion jobs in 4 years. The fact is that these two guys will say anything at any time just to get elected. When someone points out those things, they just don' answer questions and reflect the blame on others.

    For example, on the issue of taxes, Romney said that he his capital gains should be taxed less because it creates jos. The fact is throughout the time of these earnings, he was campaiging to be the POTUS and had not created any job with his capital inverstments, except to make money for himself. Then, why should he not pay the regular tax rate.

    Ryan on the other hand is another joke and a lier. He just does not want to admit the truth that he wishes to cut down the benefits of medicare and social security. Voucher system that he proposes is meant to increase the out of pocket expenses of those who will be on medicare in the future. It is not just the older people, but the ones who will join medicare in about 10 years that should worry more about his plans.

    On abortion, Romney/Ryan and his republican agenda does not allow it even in cases of rape.

    So, what country do these two, Romney and Ryan live in or what do they want to make America into? Whatever it is, it is not USA as we know it and hence we don't want them in the WH and their republican friends in the House or Senate.

    Vote Democratic all thne way and protect our rights, health, freedom and values.

    September 25, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Steph

    He says now he cares

    September 25, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. Indy

    Problem is when Mitts attacks he sounds like a whiny brat and he gets all flustered and he is most famous for taking out of text comments and with a bold face lies about what was really said,but it is fun to see him almost lose his marbels when he is ranting about Obama.The more Mittens meows about Obama the more votes Obama will get.It is ironic that for seven years Romney has only been worried about the wealthy and corporations and after he told everyone what he really thought of the 47% he suddenly says he cares about the poor and the middle class

    September 25, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Mr. Moderate

    Between his constant fund raising and time away come campaigning to smooze with big donors, I am beginning to wonder if he is really interested in being President. Seems to be he is more setting himself to run a SuperPAC for a big fat fee after he loses.

    I find it funny how he constantly complains about how mean the Democrats are while admitting that all he is planning to do is attack the president rather than telling us how he will make the country a better place.

    September 25, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Indy

    What we learned is that even Mitt Romneys bus lies ! More take home pay ? Is Romney going to force corporations to pay thier employess more or is he going to be a socialist and give out more government money. Did he get employees more take home pay when he took over companies at Bain ?

    September 25, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  14. enuff

    Romney is using the bump in the road attack when Obama had made the statement BEFORE the Libyan events according to CBS. But then, everything Romney says is "spot on"...even when it is proven wrong. As far as his fundraising goes – is he still whining about how Obama turned down the public money so that means he has to raise more? If he were really interested in winning, he'd be actally campaigning, not trying to collect money. Or is he just going through the motions now because he knows it's over?

    September 25, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  15. KeepinItReal

    Who is Mitt Romney and what are his views? This man has changed his mind so many time, it's exhausting keeping up with all his ups and downs, criss-cross and around. Whew, confusion. Aren't those stages of alzheimer?

    September 25, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  16. ColoradoJoe

    >>"People at the top are doing fine., isn't that what he criticized Obama for stating months ago? Now he is stating it too? I also thought he stated people are not doing better than when Obama took over? Obviously at least the 1% are going well. Someone is making money if wall street is up 10%. The fact he states that he will lower everyone's taxes by 20% and THEN cancel deductions, he acknowledged that it becomes a wash. This is his version of progress? The DO-SI-DO dance?

    September 26, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. Dave

    Quote: "People at the top are doing fine. They'll probably do fine whether Barack Obama were reelected or not. It's the people in the middle and at the bottom that are struggling in the Obama economy. That's why I'm running, is to help them," Romney said in the interview.

    What happened to "I'm not concerned about the really poor, they have a safety net" ?? Sounds like Mittens can't make up his mind what he thinks...

    September 26, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  18. noah

    If the one thing you learned is that Romney will attack Obama up to election day, I'd say you wasted your trip.

    September 26, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  19. mk1

    What we have learned is really nothing at all. Like usual he basically is telling us to trust him as he gives generic answers to questions and never specifics. I could trust him about as far as I could throw him, and that isn't far. He has not proven that he is trustworthy in the slightest. A very serious threat to America and everything we hold dear.

    September 26, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  20. John Oboho

    Romney would say anything,do anything to be president.Everyone already knows he's a desperado.Desperate to fulfil his selfish ambition of being addressed as President of US.

    September 26, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    Never mind the facts. His campaign has said it. We will not be driven by fact checkers and here he doubles down on all the fact checkers and says his version is right. What a joke. Its been the essence of Republicanism for sure during the last three and a half years, meaning:-
    Here's our ideology and plan that's what's gonna happen even though we lost the Presidency and House and Senate and in 2008 when poll after poll tells even after 2010 tell them certain parts people dont want. They ignore the facts and say we are doing what the people want.QED 47 % and et la you are just voters who are pledged to us !Think again and watch this space.
    Politicians that sign pledges to effectively a PAC leader will never again get my vote.All elected officials can pledge thier troth to thier wives and me! And I am as fickle as the wife about changing my voting mind!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    September 26, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  22. Lysette

    I would really prefer CNN to actually ask the hard questions of Romney, rather than reading that yet again they seem to have let Romney run with the same old tactic of "I won't answer anything but will attack the other guy". Q1, regardless of whether you call it a terrorist attack or not, what precisely would you have done Mr Romney if you were the President on 9/11/2012?
    Q2, there are those who are concerned voting for you will mean a ground war with Iran inside 2 years. Given your "never appologise" stance and clear willingness to use military force, are they right, that as president you would be easily led into a new ground war in the Middle East?
    Q3, To reduce taxation but increase defence expenditure relative to Obama's planned defence expenditure seems impossible to balance without either blind optomism in capitalism or somehow increasing gross tax take by other means such as reducing exemptions, so if elected will you remove more federal tax exemptions such as that for deployed service personnel (who are part of the 47%)?

    September 26, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  23. Getoverit

    No media bias here. LMFAO!

    September 26, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  24. Patchygroundfog

    Like a shopkeeper in Tunisia, every time Mitt Romney opens his mouth I want to set myself on fire ...

    September 26, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  25. Hermann Munster

    One wonders if this guy has any grasp of the facts at all.

    September 26, 2012 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
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