April 18th, 2013
07:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney: Obama gave a 'superb' speech

(CNN) – Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney praised President Barack Obama's remarks on Thursday at an interfaith service remembering victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

In an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Romney also stressed the importance of learning from such terror attacks and opened up about how his faith plays a role in times of crisis.

"I thought the president gave a superb address to the people of this city and the state and the nation," the former Massachusetts governor said. "It was an inspiring day."

Romney has deep ties to Boston. He ran his presidential campaign from the city and now serves as a chairman of a committee for the Boston-based Solamere Capital, the investment firm founded by his eldest son, Tagg.

Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick invited Romney to attend the church ceremony, along with other current and former Bay State politicos. Romney and the president did not speak at the event, the former GOP nominee said.

In the interview, Romney repeatedly emphasized a need to learn everything possible from Monday's bombings, which killed three people and injured 180 others.

The FBI released video footage of two suspects on Thursday and asked the public for help in identifying them.

"This is a learning opportunity," Romney said. "We should learn the lessons that come from this and apply them to the extent that we possibly can."

Asked if he would consider working on a security commission to study the terror attack and design steps to avert future attacks, Romney said he wouldn't turn away from a call to prevent violence.

He pointed to his experience leading the 2002 Winter Olympics and the security measures installed in Salt Lake City.

He also referenced his time serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a panel comprised of a range of leaders from both the private and public sector who advise the secretary of homeland security, under the George W. Bush administration.

"In my heart of hearts, what I understand is, it is intelligence work. And by intelligence, it's not just meaning the CIA and the FBI and wire taps. It is also people who are watching what's going on, reporting what's going on, combing that information such that we can prevent the worse things that are occurring," he said.

Romney, who belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also gave a rare glimpse into his faith and how he sees the role of God and free will

Asked why he thinks bad things happen to good people, he said the only answer he knows for that type of question is to "get on one's own knees and to pray for understanding and for comfort."

"I believe very deeply that we have a creator and that he loves us and cares for us. But when he actually intervenes in the affairs of the people on this earth - it's something that happens only rarely - and when that happens and why that happens and who that happens to is something that we don't understand," he said.

Romney said he also gains strength from seeing the community come together during tragedy and talked about his visits with injured victims in Boston hospitals on Thursday.

"This is a time when your faith in God is enhanced by seeing the goodness of the men and women He's created," he said.

Referring to the interfaith service, Romney said it was an "inspiring" and lauded the singing of "America the Beautiful," a song he was known to sometimes sing on the campaign trail.

"It was a hearty rendition."

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soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Speeches don't mean a lot.

    April 18, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Cephus

    Who is fooling who here? Mitts please stop the charade the whole world is waiting for the truth nothing but the truth.

    April 18, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. tammyk tammy

    IF Romney truly would not turn away from the call to prevent violence, then maybe he should have made some calls to Repugs opposing expanded background checks on guns. The party of stupid strikes again against the American people. At least Mr. Romney and I agree on one thing – President Obama is superb!

    April 18, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. ga.democrat

    President Obama is truly a man of compassion, love, and grace. With his words today he demonstrated why he is the leader of the free world. He gave comfort and resolve to the people of Boston and our nation. Anyone who can hate this man has no heart.

    April 18, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Joe

    Good for Romney to keep a positive message , the time for healing is here....

    April 18, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. bigdaddy

    That was very nice of Mitt.I am finally warming up to you...a tad.

    April 18, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. mysimru

    A true gentleman with class. Too bad he is not our President.

    April 18, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. lilybeth

    Classy response from Mr. Romney. I didn't vote for him, but in a time like this we can all take a page out of his book and come together. Regardless of race, religion or political leanings.

    April 18, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. a_writer

    Is this guy still around? I thought he would have, by now, said adios bailed out to Cayman Islands or Switzerland or some place where he has stashed away all his money

    April 18, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Amit

    Romney can be himself now and finally express how he really feels about something.

    April 18, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. nintex

    It's nice to hear Mr. Romney (and Rick Perry, referring to President Obama's remarks about the West, Texas, explosion) say something nice about the President, but it's such a shame it takes a national tragedy to make it happen. Why can't we have a civil dialog every day and not just when events happen like the ones in Boston and Texas?

    April 18, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. cali gal

    Puking all over this keyboard and unable to comment any further because I have to clean it up.

    April 18, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. John john the pipers son 1

    the 47% really don't care what you think Romney and never will.

    April 18, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. T. Lee

    Thanks for being non-partisan today Mitt – and it was a very good speech – as it would have been coming from EITHER side of the isle.

    April 18, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. ed t duck

    Nice. Romney basically blamed God for the attack.

    April 18, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. Gerald

    A very heart-felt day. Many agree that today is a day for unity.

    April 18, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Nietodarwin

    One believes in magic underwear and a planet called Kaleb. The other believes that at of the trillions of mammals that have lived, ONE "rose from the dead" and was "born of a virgin."

    Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion. (Charlie Chaplin)

    April 18, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. kodak

    Romney is not a person who would have made a great President, but he is a leader that has profound experience and knowledge that can help us. As our President...no. As a source of knowledge and wisdom, yes.

    April 18, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. STEVE

    Wait: Where is all the hate mail from the liberals. Give it time. Pretty sure we will hear some raciest comments to

    April 18, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. midgick

    Wow. For once Mr. Romney saounded like a normal average American Human Being. ould be a political stunt, but I really think he was being honest.
    Once agan, Americans show their true colors, resilience and resolve.

    April 18, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  21. benny

    Romney is a loser, God bless him. He doesn't realize obami only wants votes for the 2014 election to wipe out republicans. Otherwise, obami would be playing golf today.

    April 18, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. Jana B

    Who cares what Romney said?!?!?

    April 18, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  23. Kanageloa

    Shows that Mr. Romney has a lot more class, maturity and leadership experience than our current POTUS.

    April 18, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  24. doctorstrangeluv

    Who it this "Mitt Romney" person ?

    April 18, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  25. weedouthate

    One single unifying agent among all reasonable human beings: The intention to weed out hate and sow the seeds of peace.

    April 18, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
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