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. rocky5

    May my loving father who art in heaven be with us all amen ...

    April 18, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. catsnake

    Wow, is Obama turning Rep?? Nope, just getting praise for being honest and smart, something even high level GOP's can appreciate.

    April 18, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    "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."

    April 18, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  4. iconoclast1

    "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."

    "In my heart of hearts"? Is there something about intelligence work that has anything to with one's heart? Is detective work something Mitt gets all emotional about? Did some advisor tell Mitt that he should use the word "heart" as often as he can? Is that why he also said, "It was a hearty rendition"?

    April 18, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. Rabbi Omri Katzenburg

    God Bless you Mr. Romney!
    You are a true friend of all, particularly to Israel. We ALL wish you had been elected instead of President Barack HUSSEIN Obama. This man is not genuine and truly has a hidden agenda. May you always be involved in every environment as a friend to all!
    Come to Israel and visit your brothers and sisters anytime

    April 18, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. Larry L

    It's times like these when we see that a small, decentralized federal government with few capabilities is exactly what we don't need in a world plagued by transnational terrorism, global nuclear threat, and international crime. Deciphering today's intelligence data requires cutting-edge technology, incredible coordination, and highly specialized teams with unique skill sets. Rand Paul's vision of a weak federal government would fail miserably in this sort of scenario.

    April 18, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. ObamaLuver69

    Shame on Romney for trying to steal the spotlight from POTUS.

    April 18, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  8. Alina77

    Romney seams like a nice guy when far right doesn't tell him what to say... He could be my choice if he would be who he is not what they tried to make out of him. By the way, the medical system that worked so well in Boston was HIS BABY.

    April 18, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. bankrupt1

    They should make sure nobody is recruiting after events like this.

    April 18, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. Michael Bonner

    It's nice that we as a nation can put aside our political affiliations and our differences for a while and come together as one.

    April 18, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  11. whta

    Romney is cool. And I agree Obama's speech was great as well.

    April 18, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. J.R.

    Was hoping he would be president

    April 18, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. bigbrother

    Obama did the one thing he does well. He read the speech his writers wrote for him. The two faces of the president. The one where he stays in script and the one where he looses track of the teleprompter and calls hard working citizens liars because he isn't getting his way. Which one will he be tomorrow?

    April 18, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Gerry

    Why does it matter what Mitt Romney thinks?

    April 18, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. Joe

    Thank you Governor Romney for your gracious comments and this particular time where we all need to come together!!!!

    April 18, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. AB

    Romney – please EXIT stage left!

    April 18, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  17. tonyl

    Romney is full of it and you know what.

    April 18, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  18. Grace

    Well It's nice to see we can still come together when it really matters. Thank you Mr. Romney for your comments and showing that some things are above political bickering.

    April 18, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  19. cdub

    Good article. If the man is good at intelligence and intelligence gathering, I'd say give'm a job.

    April 18, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. jamesjamzies

    I didn't vote for Mitt, but I kinda wish I did at this point.

    April 18, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  21. John

    Sucking up to Obama for a job?

    April 18, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. Shauna

    A good man. Regardless of how he was painted in the election.

    April 18, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  23. Jackie

    Mitt is still struggling as he is lost. He is growing slowly as with this relationship to the State if would be nice if he would do something without being asked or paid. He might want to spot lending on his job at the Olympics as he sent jobs overseas with US money and fed the Mormon church undisclosed money. Now it would have been nice if he had given Obama his plan for the 12 million jobs plan he talked about. Smart man to praise Obama as right now the country would turn against him. Obama is handling to disasters at one time, Boston and Texas along with other duties of the USA.

    April 18, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. Justin

    Thank you, Mr. Romney for allowing civility to succeed in this great tragedy.

    April 18, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Nocivilityhere

    Let's all take a lesson from Mitt. He showed class today. Let's all take his lead and show the same class.

    April 18, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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