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. daweadilx

    even though i support Obama +1 to romney. finally i can say something positive about the gop side.

    April 18, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Karen

    Why is it newsworthy that Romney thought the Presidents speech was inspiring. They both have close ties to Boston & are showing concern. The prayer service was moving. As a Catholic Democrat it didn't matter to me who were Democrats or Republicans, Jew, Muslim or Christian. We are all human beings & outweigh the evil committed on Monday.

    April 18, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Jeff

    And Romney is still relevant because...?

    April 18, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Sadie Boyd

    Williard, please get over your little thing with that old sporting event...do something new and helpful...don't you understand that the movers and shakers were playing T Ball when you had your hey day? It is a new world, catch up! Can't you do something else to laud about?

    April 18, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. Jim

    Romney is a class act! He is a great example of how to be a positive, and honest person. Complete opposite of the phony in office that we have right now! What a shame!!

    April 18, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. Kings on the back row...

    ..Now Willard, why did you not speak like this in 2012 ?

    April 18, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  7. Kelster

    why does cnn think anyone cares what Mitt rMoney says?

    April 18, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. Gerry

    Please, no more Romney. He's not relevant no matter what happens in Boston or Massachusetts. If you have available air time, maybe interview somebody else.

    April 18, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Nick

    Good for you Mitt, shows you're not a sore loser.

    April 18, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. JCG

    Where was THIS Mitt Romney during the 2012 election???

    April 18, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. Jim

    Who cares what Romney thinks or says?

    April 18, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Jay

    For once I do not have a bad thing to say about Romney, but I guess he's not a bad guy as long as the GOP is not telling him what to say.

    April 18, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. DN3

    Romney has the good sense to be an American and non-partisan at such a sensitive time. Good for him.

    April 18, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. Clint

    The only smart thing Mitt Romney has ever said.

    April 18, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  15. elmgator

    Who is Romney? Oh wait it is all coming back to me now, some mega rich dude who lost the election!

    April 18, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. Dewey

    Why is anything MR says newsworthy? Isn't he spending his time counting his money in the Caymans like some Caribbean Scrooge McDuck?

    April 18, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  17. Jerry5555

    What a classy guy

    April 18, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. Ladera Grrl

    It's so refreshingly pleasant to hear one politician praise another, regardless of party affiliation and without an asterisk (qualification). Thank you, Mr. Romney.

    April 18, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. Radjack

    Yep, Romney is a sharp politician!

    April 18, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. Tom

    Ten bucks says by tomorrow flipper Mitter will be saying Obama gave a terrible speech.

    April 18, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  21. Rusty 5

    Careful there Romney. Remember what happened to Gov. Christie when he spoke highly of Obama during Hurricane Sandy. You may be shunned and cast aside by your pathetic party that thinks that the only reason they are in Washington is to disagree with Obama.

    April 18, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. theINDEPENDENTone

    An amazing, honorable, dedicated American. One can only have the highest regard for the Romney family.

    April 18, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. The Dude

    Romney is showing some class here. I have to respect that.

    April 18, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. Jeff Cox

    Who cares what Romney's review was?

    April 18, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  25. RomnesiaIsCurable

    Ha! Romney ain't flip flopping anymo'... Remember " they are moving all production to China.".... Lol I miss those days.

    April 18, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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