Romney: 'I can't be perfect'
February 26th, 2012
01:06 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney: 'I can't be perfect'

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday responded to questions about his ability to connect with voters, standing by his financial success but acknowledging he also had some flaws.

"You know, I can't be perfect," Romney said on "Fox News Sunday." "I just am who I am."

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The former Massachusetts governor made headlines Friday when he casually mentioned in a Detroit speech that he drives two cars and his wife drives "a couple of Cadillacs."

A campaign spokesman said Ann Romney owns two Cadillac SRXs kept at different homes. The 2012 SRX model sells for between $35,000 and $49,000.

The candidate's wealth - Romney's income was $42.7 million over the last two years - has been the focal point of criticism in terms of his ability to appeal to working-class voters.

Asked Sunday about his cars and other statements perceived by some as "out of touch," Romney stood by his corporate success.

"If people think that there is something wrong with being successful in America, then they better vote for the other guy, because I've been extraordinarily successful and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people," Romney said.

His comments came two days before Romney seeks to win two big primaries in Arizona and his native state of Michigan. Recent polls show the former Massachusetts governor in a heated sprint with rival Rick Santorum to capture both states.

While Romney depicted himself as the underdog in Michigan, the candidate said Sunday he anticipates doing well in the Wolverine State that his father once governed.

"But how long the process goes on, I think it's hard to predict," Romney said. "I'm convinced I'm going to become the nominee, and we'll be willing to take however long it takes to get that job done."

- CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Arizona • Michigan • Mitt Romney
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Jimminy

    Who cares. Romney made a lot of money and owns some Cadillacs. So what. This is getting ridiculous.

    February 26, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. sensible

    It's not that you have been is the WAY you made your money. You bought marginal companies, laid off many workers, gutted the company, then sold it for profit. You took your money out of the pockets of workers. You did no 'honest work'. You only moved money back and forth, like a bankster. We surely don't want a bankster as president. You would be the 'fox guarding the hen house'!

    February 26, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. sensible

    Commander Data has more personality than Mitt!

    February 26, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. ajw

    But I expect you to at least be human.

    February 26, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Steve Obama-HOUSTON

    I don't think anyone should look down on him for being a successful American. He has many flaws that we can target. He really is out of touch with the middle class and the demands of everyday life for hard working Americans. None of the policies he has proposed will help the working class see better days. His policies will only make the richer more rich. The bottom line is, I applaud him for having multiple American made vehicles, multiple homes and many bank accounts even those that are overseas. Congrats Romney! You big money maker! OBAMA 2012.

    February 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Larry L

    He's being coached to show humility. Good luck with that.

    February 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. J

    It's not easy being green.

    February 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Trey

    Come on people. What's wrong with making $40 million and driving "a couple Cadilacs?"

    February 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Fair Taxes

    Obama's opening statement at the first presidential debate: "I yield all of my time to my opponent."

    February 26, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens says he is an underdog in Michigan. While he will probably win, you would think he is smart enough to know that you don't attack workers, auto bailouts, unions, social security, retirement programs, women's rights, and then expect that the 99% think you will help them with your flip-flopping.

    February 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Commenter

    The Right can forgive anything if your name isn't Mitt Romney. The Left can forgive anything if your name is Barack Obama.

    February 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Peace

    Romney is not one of us and does not feel our pain at all. We will vote for a person who knows how it feels to be poor and struggle each day to make a living.

    February 26, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Irma in north Carolina

    Mitt you say you cant be perfect, but you sure act like you are perfect. You need to be brought down some more, you just are to darn cocky.

    February 26, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Domonic

    Run Romney and don't apologize. It's the Latinos who are voting for Santorum in the primaries and will then turn around and vote for Obama in the election who are once again conning our American values. There is corruption all the way around and if Obama wins, there's more of our country going out to people who don't belong here, such as illegals demanding dual citizenship to go with their "dream act" and "immigration reform". Mexico has it all set up for just one parent to be an anchor, the other to keep their Mexican status. We are getting ripped off by Obama and people who like to pretend it's because they are brown, when it's their actions that cause their problems.

    February 26, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Thomas

    The first honest thing Mitt has said !

    February 26, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    If Romney is GOP nominee Obama will do better than 2008

    Romney said this “I am unemployed” but he makes $21 Millions a year ( $57000 per day)
    Romney said this “corporations are people” but most Americans don’t have money to buy a share
    Romney said this “ Each home have Cadillac” most American own a home big dream
    But each Homes with Cadillac day dream

    February 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    The candidate's wealth – Romney's income was $42.7 million over the last two years – has been the focal point of criticism in terms of his ability to appeal to working-class voters.
    Criticism for being successful?!?! What do people think we are voting for, someone to redo the electrical wiring at The White House? Someone to clean the windows? No. We are voting for someone to manage the federal government of a nation of over 350 million people with the largest economy in the world. Get real. We have seen the results of hiring someone to undergo on-the-job training. Now the national debt has increased 75% and been downgraded for the first time in history. Unemployment benefits have been extended to almost 2 years and Washington has become a dysfunctional political circus that none of us can be proud of.

    There's no time for on-the-job training. We better find someone who can hit the ground running. America needs responsible leadership now. Romney 2012!

    February 26, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Beverly - NYC

    Mittens for the 99th time no one is jealous of successful oeople we get. What most folks have an issue with is the arrogance of of the 1% who decry paying 3% more on taxes,while gladly taking millionaire welfare in tax cut and loopholes. It's hard to listen to someone pulling in 42 million in income whine about how hard his life is and how envious the rest of us are.

    February 26, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Mike

    That's a refreshing bit of honesty that he is who he is, and makes no apologies for his success. He shouldn't make apologies as long as he played within the rules, and by all accounts he has. That STILL does not change the fact that he is OUT OF TOUCH with the general public, and would absolutely send the country in the wrong direction if he were elected. I wish him all the luck on five more years of making $40 million, as a private citizen under President Barack Obama.

    February 26, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Clint, Wa.

    "You know, I can't be perfect," Romney said, REALLY!!!

    February 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Don Lynn

    What will you do to help us drill for our own oil and stop all these bleeding hearts over the environment so we can build gas refinery,s ,we can get the gas price down at the pump and put a lot of people to work and help all the people back on the road go places and spend some money ,and stop the oil company from killing the people of the USA .....................

    February 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Linda

    As a "working class voter" I can honestly state that any candidate who can tell me exactly how he or she will work with Congress to get important, working-class friendly legislation gets my vote. I don't care what religion a candidate proclaims or how much money a candidate makes (why would I want a person leading me who didn't have anymore sense than I do when it comes to making money???), how many times a candidate has been married or had affairs or how many children he or she has. Procreating doesn't make a person a good person. Neither does going to church or making money. Use an example of Congress and the President butting heads and tell me how you'd do it differently.

    February 26, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Leopold

    He is right.
    Romney is an excellent candidate and he can't be perfect, and certainly there will be those that will never like him no matter what.
    I know many wealthy democrats who own far more expensive cars than a cadillac SRX. And its usually foreign made cars. So he's successful. What do we want as President? Someone who is not competent, like the present occupant of the White House?

    February 26, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. alleygator

    This 'imperfect' meme is something we always hear from Republicans and conservatives. It's a 'straw man' argument - a way of glossing over their flaws while making themselves appear humble.

    They don't allow Democrats and liberals the same latitude, however. When a Democrat has a misstep, he immediately becomes the devil incarnate.

    February 26, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. timz

    I'd be more impressed if there were any convincing evidence that Mitt's "success" was a product of his own talent and hard work rather than his birth into a wealthy and connected family. George W. Bush was a "success" too . . . and look where that's gotten us.

    February 26, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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