June 6th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment ‘disappointing’

Park City, Utah (CNN) – As Mitt Romney begins to re-emerge into the public spotlight with a Utah conference, the former Republican presidential nominee told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger he was disappointed with President Obama's pick of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to be his next national security adviser.

"I find that a disappointing appointment on the part of the president. I think what she did was to very seriously mislead the American people about what happened in Benghazi. My greatest concern about the Benghazi events was the fact there was not a rescue effort attempted and that is very troubling to me," Romney said.

You can watch extended excerpts of CNN's interviews with Mitt and Ann Romney on “The Lead” at 4 p.m. ET and “The Situation Room” at 5 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET.

He was speaking about Rice, who days after the U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya were attacked on September 11 of last year went on the five Sunday talk shows and blamed the incident on protests in the region instead of calling it a terrorist attack.

In the interview, Romney opened up about what it was like for him and his wife Ann to live in a security bubble during the campaign and the transition to private life which he said he mostly welcomed. Instead of living with around the clock security, he does grocery shopping and pumps his own gas.

"We lived our entire life, if you will, in privacy like most people do. And then there was this extraordinary period of a year or so when we were highly visible and the Secret Service was around you and people are getting everything you want - you’re in your hotel room, you can’t even leave your hotel room. They put exercise equipment in my hotel room so I could exercise because I couldn’t go down to the regular exercise room without being photographed," Romney told Borger. "So you are in that kind of very public bubble for a while and then when it disappears - and it disappears overnight - when you lose the election. It is just gone. Snap it is gone. It is back to where you were before. And that feels right.”

With a full day of activities beginning Thursday, Romney is hosting a multi-day conference in Park City, Utah featuring several prospective 2016 GOP contenders as well as other national leaders with some of the party's major donors also in attendance. Romney hopes this meeting, called "Experts and Enthusiasts," will allow the approximately 200 attendees to discuss the nation's problems and possible solutions in a different forum.

Among those Republicans expected to participate are Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee and Romney's running mate last year; Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has made no secret of his interest in a 2016 presidential bid; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. During the event, Ryan is scheduled to take some participants on a skeet-shooting outing while Paul will play golf with some and Christie will have breakfast with others.

Because Romney hopes to broaden the dialogue, some prominent Democrats also have been invited to participate, including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod, who was one of the men instrumental in Romney's defeat last year. Axelrod is expected to discuss his daughter's fight against epilepsy and his family's prominent efforts to combat it.

"What I want to do is bring together people, Republicans and Democrats, businesspeople, philanthropy-oriented people, political folks, and talk about where the country is and say what should we, as a nation, be talking about and working on," Romney told CNN.


Filed under: 2016 • Ann Romney • Chris Christie • David Axelrod • John Hickenlooper • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Rand Paul
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Bill

    You are irrelevant Mittens. And she is imminently more qualified to be national security advisor than you ever were for president. Go away loser.

    June 6, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    Poor Willard. It must truly hurt your pride to be the first young looking, wealthy, nice looking melanin challenged male in America to lose to the brown dude with the funny name. Cry me a river.

    @ Dominican Mama.
    Lady you just made me spit coffee everywhere with your I'd rather eat glass comment. Good one, me too!!

    June 6, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Knott kneeded

    Mit is a loser. He should just go away.

    June 6, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    What difference does it make? Ask me what I think about Mitt Romney's faux indignation and I will tell you no lies. I'm deeply dissappointed that he still hasn't figured out that it's time for him leave the limelight for a while. But, if he wants to continue to remind Americans what the Republican party really stands for, then carry on, Mitt.

    June 6, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Jeff in Virginia

    What's disappointing is CNN giving this guy a megaphone.

    June 6, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. RWB1956

    Watch her interviews on Meet the Press and Face the Nation,all the way through and see if she really lied.

    June 6, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. The Right Left

    An ungracious loser who just cant his mouth shut. His talking helps the Dems and hurts the GOP. Carry on Willard.

    June 6, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Rudy NYC

    What difference does it make? Ask me what I think about Mitt Romney's faux indignation and I will tell you no lies. I'm deeply dissappointed that he still hasn't figured out that it's time for him leave the limelight for a while. But, if he wants to continue to remind Americans what the Republican party really stands for, then carry on, Mitt.
    ---------

    I makes no difference to me what this man says. Unless of course he wants to try a repeat of 2012. Rudy, I agree that he needs to let go. Apparently he got a taste of being fawned over by the media and wants to continue being "the man about town" ... or should I say ... a "real" Washington insider. Dude reminds me of Donald Trump.

    June 6, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. MaryM

    I think CNN should continue to let Mitt speak. Every time republicans see Mitt it reminds them, Republicans Lost

    June 6, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. V-MAN

    Who cares about what Mitt Romney think? You need to move on and accept defeat. Your oponion didn't matter before and still doesn't. Guess all of you are upset because this nomination doesn't need senate approval.

    June 6, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Wake up People!
    Babe now that the threat of them being in the White House has been snuffed the only thing that Romneys are good for is comedy relief.
    One of my most cherished moments in politics was the vivid image of an Ann Romney being dragged onto the stage by her husband, looking disheveled, hair in disarray, Bachman-like eyes glassy and teary whilst he delivered the concession speech that he never wrote.
    I have and never have had any use for Romneys.
    Evidently their Party of choice has gone back to ignoring their existence as well.

    June 6, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    RWB1956

    Watch her interviews on Meet the Press and Face the Nation,all the way through and see if she really lied
    ------------------
    She stated the same thing, almost word for word, on each show. She said the violence in Benghazi was a reaction to other reactions in Cairo and other cities in the Muslim world. Her words were very carefully chosen. In fact, she never mentioned the word "video" in her prepared statement.

    June 6, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jeff in Virginia

    What's disappointing is CNN giving this guy a megaphone
    -------------------------------------------------
    I'm just thankful that he snatched it from Sarah Palin's claws.

    June 6, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Wake up People!

    @Dominican Mama.

    Wasn't election night wonderful?? For an extra special treat....Google Republican election night reactions. There are so many pictures of them crying and hugging themselves and saying why, why, why......

    When my sister and I want a good laugh that's what we look at.

    June 6, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Hey dope ,you lost the elections because of who you are and who you represent ,the gop teaparty ,the garbage of America ,gop losers!!!!

    June 6, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    I think history will look back and identify the 2012 general election as the moment that the Republican Party died. The day the GOP passed the event horizon, and it went over the cliff into a non-recoverable free fall. Someone should write a book about Romney's 2012 campaign and name it, "The Last of the Republicans".

    June 6, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Guess all of you are upset because this nomination doesn't need senate approval.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yup.
    That pretty much sums it up.
    They can't block an Obama move and they are going beserk over it.

    June 6, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Bessy

    Who cares what he thinks ! Go away you fool ! You have no opinion that is relevant to this country.
    The Republicans are just keeping this going because they want to try to do away with any chances Hillary might have next election, if she should decide to run.

    June 6, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. rick

    Really? America already told you that it doesn't care or listen to what you have to say. How AWFUL do you have to be that you could NOT BEAT OBAMA !!!

    June 6, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. gmenfan54

    "Mitt the Twit" is at it again!

    June 6, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Anonymous

    what does him giving a comment have to do with a defeat, Romney,was a more virtuos man

    June 6, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    Sure he's disappointed with the POTUS choice. He was disappointed when he got shellacked last Nov. He was disappointed when it came to light that his campaign bought "donated" goods to influence the media perception of his Sandy disaster relief efforts. He should now quietly fade away and continue what he does best. Being irrelevant on the political front.

    June 6, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Smarter than U

    Lets see. She may or may not have misled the US for 1 day. How long did Colin Powell mislead the US in the run up to the Iraq war? How long did Bush mislead us after Mission Accomplished? Mitt I think your magic underwear is too tight.

    June 6, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. bill davis

    I could care less what Mitt thinks, the problem is Obama has done nothing but lie,

    Gas prices up and home prices down, no one has a job, but we have money for political pay off loans

    Welfare Payroll and Government Spending is up...

    June 6, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Phil Layshio

    Apparently he learned nothing and is still in the "Bubble". The guy is the ultimate loser, he typifies the un-American qualities we see in todays GOP.

    June 6, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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