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. John

    Classy response. Now, if only some (or any) of his followers would follow his lead.

    April 19, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  2. veggiedude

    I wish politicians would just leave their religion at home. I don't like to hear it from Obama and I don't like to hear it from Romney.

    April 19, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  3. helenecha

    Once upon a time, people saw the emperors wearing the new clothes walking in the street. Now people see the Presidents holding the chance making confidence in the speech. It is that clear, hey?

    April 19, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  4. cqt141414

    regardless of what political views we have. Romney is a very good man, and a great American.

    April 19, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  5. allenwoll

    .
    I have NO interest in hearing from Mr Ro-Money ! ! !
    .

    April 19, 2013 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  6. Greenspam

    As a Republican, I am furious that Romney was giving an endorsement to Obama. I guess Romney has trully lost his mind. I may even have to call him a Liberal going forward.

    April 19, 2013 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  7. Egbe Henry

    In all things we should try to no how it started

    April 19, 2013 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  8. Ted Mfune

    "Romney and the president did not speak at the event, the former GOP nominee said." You mean: "...to each other."

    April 19, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  9. justsayin

    Good thing Romney isn't in office now! The economy would have been on track and we would have had better counter terrorism measures, but then the news would be so much more boring.

    April 19, 2013 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  10. rolandclarkmusic

    Why is this even news?

    April 19, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  11. Sandplasma

    That's very class of him, this is how it should be all the time.

    April 19, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  12. Zyworski

    "It is also people who are watching what's going on, reporting what's going on, combing that information" That Mitt uses too many words, I can condense his statement down to one word, snitching. I had Mitt and his type figured out a long time ago.

    April 19, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  13. Nyasa

    Why do we care what Mitt The Twit thinks of President Obama's speech? I'd rather know what Melissa and Joan Rivers think about the presidents speech! Mitt, Trump, and GW Bush are all irrelevant; unless we're talking about tax evasion, orangutangs and war crimes!

    April 19, 2013 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  14. Jerry

    Mr. Romney is a superb/sensible individual. Definitely NOT a phony hypocritical serial liar!

    April 19, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  15. tom

    We are all Americans

    April 19, 2013 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  16. Jay Jay

    Well respect to Mr.Romney for that at least.

    April 19, 2013 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  17. Steve

    Well, this is a reappearance of the good Mitt, the moderate, reasonable man who took a powder during the election because a moderate can't win the GOP nomination. Nice to see you again.

    April 19, 2013 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  18. jerpell

    Me thinks we have the wrong president!.....Me does , me does.........

    April 19, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  19. Phillip Moya

    Romney you didn't get my vote, but after reading your comments you got my respect. I agree it's time for us to get on one knee and ask for understand and comfort.

    April 19, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  20. Lourdes Underwood

    Romney.. what Romney thought... really? Romney lost the election, you know.

    Can we please, let Romney go back to the obscure places where he was prior to the election and let him count his money and leave the running of this country to its elected officials? Can we please stop calling Romney for an interview on every little thing Obama says or does? Romney didn't win. Romney is not president and never will be. His opinion matters as much as mine and I just checked and I don't have CNN on my call log.. so.. can you, as an organization, please move on from the election already?

    Maybe you wanna call Bob Dole next for his opinion on the president's speech? How about John McCain? Maybe you wanna call George McGovern.. because you know, he ran in 1972 and he wasn't and isn't president either...

    See where I'm going with this? Let Romney's friends call him and ask his opinion. You are CNN.. Act like it.

    April 19, 2013 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  21. lol

    Looks like another Republican is gonna get blacklisted by the extreme right. Tomorrow's headlines: Mitt Romney blasted by Fox News for praising Obama's speech. According to them the president does everything wrong.

    April 19, 2013 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  22. Seyi

    Obama is a good president,God bless obama God bless american

    April 19, 2013 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  23. gobnait

    Well, what did you expect? Contrary to popular liberal belief, Romney is a man of principle and rare character. No matter the lies and distortions that Obama and his minions promoted about him in their disgusting smear operation during the campaign, Mr. Romney never wavered in his values and dignity. It's our collective loss that he was not elected. Imagine how well the economy would do under a proven leader with real world experience instead of an ideologue intent on destroying it. My only consolation is that I have a clear conscience knowing I never voted for the man bent on implementing his leftist agenda.

    April 19, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  24. JDudg

    Why are we still caring about what this man says?

    April 19, 2013 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  25. Dantia

    To bad Romney didn't win the election... All bama can do is speeches that someone else wrote for him.

    April 19, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
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