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. DAZZY

    Why is this news? Romney is just another joe shmo, does anyone really care what his opinions are now? Next up on CNN, Ray Johnson, a factory worker from cleveland, Ohio gives his opinion.

    April 19, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  2. Tom

    Who cares what this man thinks, about god, tragedies, or anything else that happens on this earth. He's all about money, period...something he's apparently handed down to his sons.

    April 19, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    Nice of you to say Mitt.

    April 19, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  4. William

    Romney is not a bad person. But he lost so i dont know why this is a story.

    April 19, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. michael

    romney as usual states the obvious

    April 19, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. mcwreiole

    Gov. Romney is such a rare gentleman. It is unfortunate for this country that his inspirational devotion to this country was bulldozed by a raucous, crass, self-serving bunch of know-nothings.

    April 19, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  7. CNN Ka Baap

    Media looks surprise. They expected Romney to bash Obama's Speech?

    April 19, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  8. hooktender

    Romney is a real class act. It's too bad we got stuck with Obama.

    April 19, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  9. Robert Frost

    Who cares what Romney has to say. He's a regular citizen just like the rest of us

    April 19, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  10. Jimmyjam048

    Sounds like Rhomney took his defeat with dignity. Unlike Herman Cain who is now paying listeners to tune in to his show.

    April 19, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  11. Jay

    Sorry Romney, I stopped listening to Obama's speech after my stomach twisted. Our president did what he does best, turn a tragedy in to a political agenda. He twisted immigration reform into it, and it made me sick!!! Just a question, but for the others on here who are paying attention, what's in the immigration bill that is going to affect us all? A thing called national verification for work, we are all going to have to be on this system, period. And I bet you that it will lead to tighter regulation on all of our lives.

    April 19, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  12. davevail

    Who cares what Romney says? He is just a "man on the street" at this point..

    April 19, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. Jerry

    As always Romney shows he has class, something you libs should learn

    April 19, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  14. alpg49

    With Romney's talents and contacts, he should stay in public service, but, let's face it – not via politics. I hope he goes on to head a NGO.

    April 19, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  15. julie

    now that romney is not under the influence of the fading GOP........he can speak freely

    April 19, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  16. plain&simple

    Romney is not a bad man. In fact he is probably a very good man who would have been a bad president. Just look at Jimmy Carter for comparison.

    April 19, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. Smitty

    Who cares what Romney said? He is about as relevant as my garbageman.

    April 19, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  18. ImNoDhimmi

    If only Mr. Romney was the President today!

    April 19, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. YeahRight

    Romney 2016! He's a class act.

    April 19, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |

    Mr. Romney sir, I respect you for your statement at a time of crisis. Amen

    April 19, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  21. suzanne

    All the while, he was listing his accomplishments as if he was still running for office. He cannot stop patting himself on the back.

    April 19, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. Tina

    Wow, I was expecting this to be about Mr. Romney trash talking the president. That was a pleasant surprise.

    April 19, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  23. Boo

    In response to ga.democrat's comment – I whole-heartedly agree with you. The president does have empathy and compassion, which it seems is lacking in this country by alot of people. I'm proud to say I voted for him.

    April 19, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  24. Paul

    It is not a charade. Mitt is actually a good person.

    April 19, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  25. Brian

    I am NOT a democrat, but Obama is a good man......

    April 19, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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