April 18th, 2013
07:25 PM ET
12 months 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. Rogue351

    Everyone has to get in their own two cents. Can we get a comment from Palin as well ?

    April 19, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. freedom

    How can the president talk about rising up from destruction, when his agenda is destroying America as we know it? We will survive – for sure – and it will be inspite of you, Mr. President. And of course, he had to bring himself and his wife into the equation, talking about his past in Boston. This isn't about you!!! God help all those suffering in Boston right now.

    April 19, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  3. John

    Amazing how sensible one can sound when liberated from pandering to the extreme elements of ones party.

    April 19, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  4. Nancy Studer

    Nice. Thanks, CNN. It's always, always good to see our leaders coming together in times like this. I just wish it didn't take a disaster to get them to.

    April 19, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  5. Jez

    It is nice to hear a non-negative news story. Romney put the support of the country over politics. This gives me a lot of respect for him.

    April 19, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  6. Alex

    Thankfully we all act like men and women in time of need

    April 19, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. Hmm! - Correction

    Obama's speech writers wrote a "superb" speech! (OMG, WHERE would Obama be without his speech writers? NOWHERE!) They write 'em, he reads 'em, that's about it!

    April 19, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  8. Brian

    CNN headlines sound like headlines from those gossip magazines. "OMG, you will never believe what Romney had to say about Obama. We'll tell you after the break."

    April 19, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  9. barbarianofgor

    Yeah, let's hear from the LOSER...

    Like how he went and talked to that boxer, Pac something, then he lost and started losing...?

    LOSER, it rubs off, that's his agenda now...
    One man's opinion...

    April 19, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  10. Getoverit

    Come on Lefties. Here's another article from CNN that gives you the opportunity to bash him. Bring it!

    April 19, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. Marc

    Really? This is a comment about the same President that opened the door for these people to come over, with no immigration checks, and this is what we get. Why are we praising him for opening the door for these terrorists?

    April 19, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. jay_hawk

    You lost twice. First you quit but hung around than lost. Get a life and move on. Go back to Utah.

    April 19, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  13. USA

    All Dept's have a tuff task to do. Good Luck to All.

    April 19, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  14. Jason Benjamin

    Who gives a crap what Mitt thinks about the President's speech? Why not ask Michael Dukakis while you're at it?

    April 19, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  15. OMG

    OMG, is Romney seriously laying the groundwork for ANOTHER run? Noooooooooooooooooo!

    April 19, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  16. LetsBeHonest

    No comments yet? Romney is a class act and always was. I doubt we would have gotten the same response from the other party in this scenario if Romney had won.

    April 19, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  17. Chris

    congress passed cispa

    April 19, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  18. tony

    "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.

    It's very easy to understand once you consider the almost certainty that no god exists.

    April 19, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  19. john

    Looks like there is little interest in what Romoney had to say about Obama's speech!

    April 19, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  20. quote this

    I doubt his positive remarks about Obama were approved by Senator Mitch McConnell,

    who still looking to make Obama a one term president, or at least do his best to create a failed second term.

    Obama's problem is that he is not good old boy controlled by GOP, forget the election or issues that relate to general population.

    April 19, 2013 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  21. Jim Aguilera

    I did not vote for Mr. Romney. But I am impressed hearing his comments here and his compliment of the President. It is nice when people and lives are first and politics are put in the backseat.

    April 19, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  22. noteaparty4me

    Devall, Romney, in a word, class. Both men showed class. I like that, a lot.

    April 19, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  23. Michele

    Romney has always been a class act. It's good at a time like this to leave the party politics behind.

    April 19, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  24. snomannn

    Thank you Mr. Romney. Your words are appreciated more than you know

    April 19, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  25. jeff

    ""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.""

    Well it SHOULD since you both have the same ghost writers.

    April 19, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
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