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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Does this make Mittens an apologist? How can he stand up to world leaders without being an appeaser?

    February 26, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. mirrorlogic you go...a chance to give back to Willard Mitt what he tried to give to you...a bankrupt candidacy

    February 26, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. bfin

    Whatever, you all just go from forum to forum, saying the same thing. Romney is the best man for the job! it would be one thing if you judged Him on His merits. but your judging Him on His Religion and wealth. I voted for President Obama, he is a great Man, but I think Mitt Romney is right, at this time. can you not debate without calling people names?

    February 26, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. DenverJ

    Mr. Romney acts as if he is some form of self made man. In truth, he was born into a privileged family, which enabled an elite education, which in turn opened doors to opportunity not available to most. We do not envy his wealth, but we do want to see compassion from a man who has never truly known financial hardships. Wealth and a fortunate birth do not entitle one to lead, that's for royalty in other countries. Here, one must earn the respect and trust of the voters.

    February 26, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Mitt

    "You know, I can't be perfect," Romney said on "Fox News Sunday." "I just am who I am – a rich guy with magic underwear."

    February 26, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    Plastic people are seldom perfect. Obama 2012!

    February 26, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. fiscal2020

    Whether or not you think that Mitt Romney saved Staples, Boston Pizza, etc., one fact is that Romney is not a traditional entrepreneur but a venture capitalist. America praises entrepreneurs and risk takers, not the venture capitalists who fund them. Romney has a hard time connecting with the working class compared to Santorum, because his main claim to fame is that he was skilled enough to move money around enough to generate a profit. Will working class America relate to a man whose main skill is moving money around fast enough so other people don't notice? We will see in November.

    The reason why Americans praise entrepreneurs is because entrepreneurs take personal financial risk for the chance to live the American dream. Entrepreneurs risk their financial future with a bank loan to open a business. Did Romney take any sort of risk, with his own personal financial safety? Millions of entrepreneurs take this risk by opening a sole proprietorship - they risk losing their homes, their family, their savings. They do not do it for a fast buck or quick profit. If Romney had failed at Bain Capital, his financial future and even his old job were guaranteed. Romney, unlike real entrepreneurs, never had to face the choice of going homeless or personal bankruptcy to open a small business.

    Whether or not you hate or like Obama's policies, and whether or not you are liberal or conservative, do not be quick to give Romney a free pass on business. Perhaps the seminal question is whether you want your children and children's children to live in an America of this man's vision where most jobs are either low paying $25k retail jobs (the kind that Romney claims he created, Staples, Dominoes, and so on) or high paying financial/business jobs, with no middle ground and no manufacturing. Remember ladies and gentlemen, Romney was no Steve Jobs or Bill Gates - he was not an entrepreneur, and has never had to take a serious risk with his finances in his life. No matter what happened, no matter if he failed or succeeded, he was safe.

    February 26, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Mitt know money talks , he's spent almost a hundred million on his campaigns in the last six years.

    One question , will it be a tax right off ?

    February 26, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. logicnLA

    Right now he needs to try for good enough.

    February 26, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Debra

    You're not even close. But on the other hand you've got a guy in the White House who has been accused of everything from a terrorist to a communist, a traitor, a Muslim, and unAmerican. All he does is turn the other cheek. And I'm wondering who's the real Christian here. Mittens, what you have to offer this country doesn't come close. You might as well go back to the trees you love so much. This time, don't take the dog.

    February 26, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Gop

    It is always nice to read the rantings of the far left wing Democrats here. you people cry about Romney being too wealthy but don't mind how much money Obama has in the bank. you say Romney might bankrupt our country if he gets elected but I say it is being done right now by your deal leader Obama. I would rather vote for a person that knows how to build wealth, then one like Obama that only knows how to tax and spend the wealth of others!

    February 26, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    "Whatever, you all just go from forum to forum, saying the same thing. Romney is the best man for the job! "

    Yeah, it's you LSD crazies who keep coming here and making the same statement, basically "He's a great man with great values and a great family and he's been a great success at whatever he does." Yet you all ignore his "greatness" comes from being a great corporate predator. He's a successful psychopath, nothing more. He knows nothing about average Americans and he cares nothing about average Americans. And you radical Romneyites never manage to address his robot phoniness, his elitism and his intellectually and morally bankrupt policies. Regardless of the words that rattle around repeatedly in your fact-free echo chamber, Flipper is not at all great. He doesn't have a heroic bone in his body.

    February 26, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. yogi

    We are not expecting perfection Mr. Romney. The big problem is in your statement: "I just am who I am.", unauthentic, shallow, manipulative, and the scary part is that millions will vote for him. Unfortunately we cannot ask Republicans to come to their senses, because that is what is lacking. What a sad state of affairs the GOP is.
    Obama 2012!

    February 26, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. apple pie

    I've watched this guy, and he doesn't seem like the guy who would make any personal sacrifice for the country. I just don't trust Mitt as far as I can spit. He's won his millions playing monopoly. What the hell does he know about real work. He's never seen the bottom.

    February 26, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  15. Scott

    No one's resenting your success, Romney. People don't like your pretending to be "the common man" when you're not. You joke about having worried about getting a pink slip–but that would never mean your kids don't eat, or your spouse wouldn't get medical care. You joke about being unemployed–but you make more in a day of doing nothing than most make working for a year; or more in a month than most do in their life. Your family will always have food and doctors. Others without jobs may not. In America. Really.

    February 26, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. typical white person

    romney will make a great president. obama has already lost. hillary will probably be the democratic nominee as the dems will try anything to get another liberal elected. but it's not going to happen. romney will get the country back on track. thank goodness america has recognized that we need a conservative in office!

    February 26, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Ed Fl

    The biggest favor he can do for America is dissappear from the politiical arena. There isn't any chance that he can get elected. America is not going to accept him or his Mormom cult. Also his in your face POOR AMERICA is not going to get him enough votes for dog Catcher much less President.

    February 26, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Lucky18

    Romney says..." I am who I am"... I'll tell you who Romney is...He's a waffling, flip-flopping, core conservative wannabe, from Mass., a moderate when he was Governor. He was called a liar on the debate stage, a first in presidential politics.
    He's a Bishop in the LDS Mormon Church. He baptised his DEAD father-in-law, an aethiest his entire life, to the mormon faith. His wifes parents were denied entry to the Mormon Church on thier marraige "joining", because they weren't mormons. Unheard of in any other religion.
    If you think there will be a seperation between church and state in his "administration", you'd be mistaken!
    This is the man, the "elite" Republicans want as the next President of the United States!
    How's that for "I am who I am"!!!

    February 26, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    Whether or not you think that Mitt Romney saved Staples, Boston Pizza, etc., one fact is that Romney is not a traditional entrepreneur but a venture capitalist. America praises entrepreneurs and risk takers, not the venture capitalists who fund them.
    And you are completely wrong about what Bain Capital does. This is not a venture capital firm. Mitt Romney and Bain did much more to get companies up and running successfully than just throwing money at them. They made operational and strategic changes necessary to fix what was not working at these businesses and make them productive and competitive again. And this was and is a great way to create tens of thousands of jobs. Do some research. Bain Capital has been a great business to help grow the American economy.

    February 26, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Berleburg

    I am amazed that at least one person in the Republican group willing to say that he is not perfect. I am still not ready to decide on Romney though, as he is moving too far to the right for me.

    February 26, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Chedar

    If Romney is not able to connect with the i
    Ordinary citizen, you can bet he will only garner the 1% and not the 99% of the vote This is the answer to Romney when he say " I am who I am and none like all of you 99%

    February 26, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  22. Bryce

    Hint to people that want to skip comments from the the Ultra-Libs... Any posting starting by calling Mitt Romney either "Mittens" or "Willard" is a posting you can skip and save your time.

    Now you will be able to enjoy comments that are above a third-grader's capacity for name-calling. Enjoy!!

    February 26, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Marissa Telesmanick

    Mitt 2012!!! I cant even try and understand why anyone in their right mind would re-elect Obama! Reading all these comments makes me laugh! I fell for hope and change and let me tell you I'm over his empty promises and lies!!!! Anything will be better than Obama!!!

    February 26, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Claire

    Perfection is something romney can only discuss, because he'll never be anywhere near the concept.

    February 26, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. TomNPitt

    "If you're not wealthy, it's your own fault". How can you like this guy. His idea is to cut taxes for the rich and cut programs for the poor. Let's extend the retirement age and cut back on Social Security benefits for the upper middle class. How bad is this guy! And white middle and lower class wage earners are lining up behind him. You are the Serf's of his anticipated kingdom. All hail those wealthy enough to not have a job for the last ten years and still earn 42.7 million dollars, while paying less than half the precentage tax as the rest of us. What justifies that indescrepancy? Is it because we think that generates jobs?

    February 26, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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