June 6th, 2013
12:27 PM ET
1 year ago

Romney regrets 47% comments

(CNN) – Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he was "very upset" for making the "47%" comments that became a big roadblock in his campaign last year in the final months before Election Day.

"There were a number of times that I said things that - that didn't come out right," he said in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

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.

Romney faced soaring criticism for saying at a private fundraiser that nearly half of Americans were victims "dependent" on the government and would vote for President Obama "no matter what."

"There are 47% of people who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you-name-it," Romney said on the tape.

Adding to his argument about entitlement, Romney said his "job is not to worry about those people."

His comments were secretly recorded at the May 2012 fundraiser and released in September to the left-leaning news outlet, Mother Jones.

Read more: Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment ‘disappointing’

Romney told Borger that the political climate today is unlike the campaign days of 25 or 30 years ago in the sense that "everything you say is being record."

"And, you know, now and then, things don't come out exactly the way you want them to come out. They don't sound the way you thought they sounded," he said. "And now, with a good opposition campaign, they grab it, they blow it up, maybe they take it a bit out of context, maybe they don't, but, it obviously, is paraded in a way that you hadn't intended."

Conceding "that's just the nature of politics today," Romney added: "You have to get over it and live with it."

Asked how he handled the transition from his highly-public, grueling campaign to a more private life, Romney said his days are a lot more simple now.

"It's easy to live life with family, with, uh, household chores you have, with the privacy you enjoy," he said. "What's difficult is going into a campaign and becoming extraordinarily focused, day after day, speaking to large groups of people, getting to know individuals one-on-one, learning their experiences, dealing with the media. That's what's difficult."

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.

– CNN's Kevin Bohn and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    OMG!!! Alright already. We know you regret it, but we know you meant it. Now beat it tax evader.

    June 6, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. rs

    It was probably the one thing he really, really believed in.

    June 6, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. Ron L

    BUT HE BELIEVES IT....who cares he regrets it???

    June 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. tiscali.it

    translation.. I am sorry I was caught on video talking about the 47% which help lead to my defeat of being President

    June 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    I bet he does. He also meant every word.

    This episode of "man, I wish I had lied better" brought to you by the letter $.

    June 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. just sayin

    welcome to leftist america where telling the truth means you have to apologize. reality is just too harsh.

    June 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Realistic85

    "Now and then, things don't come out exactly the way you want them to come out. They don't sound the way you thought they sounded," How exactly did he want this to sound??? What did he think it sounded like he said it? My guess he could hardly hear himself talking with all that wind whistling between his ears...

    June 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    He said it; he meant it. He only regrets it because it came back and bit him on the backside.

    June 6, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    May 17, 2012 – Mitt Romney: I don't know what I said, but I stand by it, whatever it was ....

    June 6, 2013 - Mitt Romney: There were a number of times that I said things that – that didn't come out right," he said in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

    Yeah, well. It is what it is, Mr. Mittens. Just face it and move on, would you? No apologies. No fanfare. No regrets.

    Just. Move. On. And. Stop. Whining.

    Apparently Mitt

    June 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. rs

    just sayin

    welcome to leftist america where telling the truth means you have to apologize. reality is just too harsh.
    _______________________
    Yes, and Romney's "truth" included my parents using their Social Security, Medicare and my Veteran neighbor using the VA for his health care. If they are Romeny's 47%, then Republicans are the party of sick, anti-American plutocrats.

    June 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Babyboomer

    So, what he means is, I'm sorry I got caught. How out of touch is it for him to still be viewing anything thru the len of 25 to 30 years ago. Those days are long gone...

    June 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. just sayin

    would the video have been important if the truth about the obama administration was given to the american people before the election???

    a terrorist attack on 9/11 where obama refused to help americans fighting for their life? instead he went to bed.

    the irs targeting obama's politcial opponents for 3 years?

    the justice dept. targeting the ap and reporters?

    all hidden and covered up.... by the most transparently corrupt administration in our history.

    June 6, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. AE

    If I fault the man it's because he is apologizing for having the guts to stand up and say what several politicians around the country feel.

    June 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. menotyou

    If you've paid taxes in this country, you are entitled to help when you need it. I receive SSDI, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, 250 free cellphone minutes a month and a discount on my electric bill and I am entitled to every bit of it because I paid lots of taxes for the past 30 years and I don't care what Romney or anyone else has to say about it.

    June 6, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    "There were a number of times that I said things that – that didn't come out right,"
    ---------

    but you still believe that it's true. THAT'S the problem Flip. You and Queen Ann don't care for anyone who doesn't belong to the country club crowd. GO AWAY!!

    June 6, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. rs

    just sayin

    would the video have been important if the truth about the obama administration was given to the american people before the election???

    a terrorist attack on 9/11 where obama refused to help americans fighting for their life? instead he went to bed.

    the irs targeting obama's politcial opponents for 3 years?

    the justice dept. targeting the ap and reporters?

    all hidden and covered up.... by the most transparently corrupt administration in our history.
    _______________________________
    Would the video have been important in the face of Republican made-up drivel?- to you apparently, yes. To those of us in the real world, not-so-much. And that is why Romney lost, and that is why the GOP won't win in the foreseeable future too addicted to fiction and delusion.

    June 6, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "It's easy to live life with family, with, uh, household chores you have,
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well at least he had the decency to HESITATE before proceeding with that load of crap about him having "household chores".
    Car elevator man.
    You just can't make these Tea-infused so-called Republicans up.

    June 6, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    Sure you do Willard. Sure you do...

    June 6, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Jeff in Virginia

    "There were a number of times that I said things that – that didn't come out right" ..... really Mitt? You're admitting right there that you told the truth about how you really feel, and that maybe you should have covered that up. America dodged a bullet in 2012.

    June 6, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Dave B

    BS. He believes every word of what he said. He just regrets getting caught saying it on tape.

    June 6, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    Of course you do Mitt. But you meant every word of it. Just like hoping for a Benghazi type attack. We didn't even know the entire story yet but that didn't stop you from trying to politicize it did it?
    Go away loser. Your own party didn't even want you.

    It was sweet poetic justice that he only received 47% of the vote......
    How are the magic panties working for you Mitt?

    June 6, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Thomas

    How is his horse ?

    June 6, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Colorado

    He only regrets it because he lost, but he and the repbus really believe it.

    June 6, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Boo

    So he's sorry for telling the truth of how he really feels...got it...

    June 6, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Name willard

    I am belive that mitt roomney will be great for job but obama are nothing encomony for 5 year

    June 6, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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