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. Matthew

    Romney has his progressive view on most issues..that's just the same as a slow Obama effect and that's not for me. Santorum is rhe conservative that will lead me back to freedom..God Bless Santorum 2012!

    February 26, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. Harry Baxter

    Perfect isn't expected. Borderline adequate would be a step upward for any of the Motley Crew that make up the GOP slate.

    February 26, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. snod man

    I almost fell over when Santorum said Obama was a snod for wanting all kids in the country to go to college... Romney is only trying to be president to stroke his ego, nothing more.

    I work with so many people that are so brilliant and self made. Most are not from this country because we do not have enough engineers, scientist and physicians. I work with middle managers who are so extremely bright and hard working that you simply can’t believe we get these dumps to vote for.

    Rick, please go look in the mirror and see what an evil you are. Mitt, go look in the mirror and see what an egomaniac you are. Look at who you are trying to get to vote for you. These are the people of the past who are brainwashed.

    February 26, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Publius Novus

    "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 . . . ." You just don't get it Willard. Even in this statement, it sounds like you are suggesting that President Obama is NOT successful. You made a bunch of money Willard. We all get that. But there is a world of difference between buying and selling a bunch of companies and running the largest economy in the world. Do you understand the U.S. economy? I really doubt it, because you are either a flat out liar, or you can't do the math of your own budget proposals.

    February 26, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. koolman

    This guy has no idea what average americans daily lives are like. Like having to get up every day and go to work. I'd bet hes never done a days work in his entire life. Hes worth over 250 million dollars, that is what we know about. Hes got it stashed all over the world so who knows, he probably doesn't know what hes worth.
    It was reported on his income tax returns that in the last two years he made 42.7 million. Do the math, thats over 40 dollars a second 24 hours a day 365 days a year. You get yours only for the time you work. He gets his while hes sleeping in one of his many homes or whatever he does besides working like you and I. Now tell me how he can possibly understand what nornal americans go thru. Hes got alot in common with jr. bush...born with a gold and diamond spoon. Come nov. I'll be voting for the best man since the last democratic president mr obama.

    February 26, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Coolheaded

    I like Romney - he isn't a clone of the talking head commentators (ala Gingrich, Palin, Santorum) that leave me feeling like they're in a "show biz" reality show, playing the role of political leaders, instead of living real lives. How many former Presidents - from Ike to Reagan - drove Cadillacs? Shows he has good taste.

    February 26, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Debby

    Fiscal2020 you forget to mention Romney never took a salary when he was governor of Ma. or the Olympics. Romney didn't fail at Bain bottom line he is successful. Romney wants to be Pres. for the American people. He doesn't need the money.

    February 26, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. Pablo

    "I just am who I am." Not true–I am what I not am when trying to get the conservative vote; I am what I used to be when appealing to the female vote; I am not what I was when I incorporated Romneycare; Gee whiz, I don't don't really know who I am at all. Do you?

    February 26, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. billy davis

    This guy keeps putting his foot in it.

    February 26, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, and who he is is an out of touch vulture who doesn't quite understand why everyone else wasn't smart enough to be born wealthy and then get even wealthier by preying on others in financial trouble. No one is asking Romney to be perfect. They just want him to be a qualified candidate for President, which he is not and which none of the GOP crop this year are, either.

    February 26, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. HomeSweetHome

    Tell us Mitt what are you and your friends doing to fix the problems you all created with your greed since you NOW know you are not prefect.

    What you could do for all of us is go home (where ever that is) and enjoy living off the money you are making off the backs
    of real Americans. You know the ones that live, pay taxes and store their money here in the US.

    Obama 2012

    February 26, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Henry Moore

    Ronmey can't have his wife drive a $45000 car but it is "ok" for the common folk to drive $50000 pickups, right. Get real guys. There is a huge sector of the population driving expensive cars. Don't penalize the guy for having money!

    February 26, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Jeff

    We'd all be rich if we're just as willing as he was to rape and pillage companies. Most of us have a work ethic that sees what he does as wrong. Kind of like how a sober person sees stealing as wrong, but after a few drinks that part of the brain loosen up and it seems ok to steal. Romney's brain is missing that control mechanism. Must be nice to go through life thinking it's ok to take from others to give to yourself.

    February 26, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  14. Cy Bode

    Not perfect , (really) he will be fortunate to get 46 % of the vote
    I know willard has his father's connections to thank for his career
    what do his son's do for a living , I know they and he and his Father and Grandfather , along with cousins
    have never served in the Military . The chicken hawks are back , nice thing about John Mc . has a son in the USMC another Naval Acad . graduate and somehow I doubt they have 100,000,000 in trust . and John served His Father and
    grandfather were 4star Ad.'s Last of the good guys

    February 26, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    @ Little Jimmy Truth.....

    If you can prove that Obama said he was perfect PLEASE do so for I have NEVER heard him say that. If you can't then perhaps you should change your name to Little Jimmy UNtruth!

    February 26, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. gg

    the trees are the right hieght,the great lakes are full of water-sounds like the last republican president

    February 26, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. Riotous

    Perfect? We'd be satisfied if you had half a brain and at least some ethics.

    But oh wait, you represent the Republican Party.

    Never mind. You represent Republicans *perfectly*.

    February 26, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. i want a mega rich Mormon who hides money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    For a good looking Guy, he's not too attractive. Strange.
    Obama 2012.

    February 26, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. dre2012

    fiscal 2020 is right on! romney never risked a damn thing in his life! his parents provided for him and his wife, and he made and only made safe investments in business. plus, he hasn't the slightest idea what it takes to run a country both nationally and globally...FORGET ABOUT IT!!

    February 26, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. dmm1

    "But I am not perfect." No one is. Scriptures are clear on that. But that does not excuse us from our actions, it does not give us license to lie and rationalize. What is important is what is in your heart. If your motives are honestly pure, if you are honestly honest with yourself, and you make mistakes that is a different matter from lying and rationalizing to yourself (and thus to the deity as well).

    "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Tim 6:10)

    "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt 6:21)

    Related to the above is Mark 10:17 – 25.

    "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48)

    "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

    "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, "Master, all these have I observed from my youth." Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."

    22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."

    And finally:

    "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24.

    In other words, it is pretty much impossible for a rich man to enter heaven.

    February 26, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. ill

    cant be honest neither..
    him saying that he "cant be perfect" goes against everything else he been saying for why he should be president

    February 26, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. Mark1

    I'm taking Romney's advice. I'm voting for the other guy.

    February 26, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  23. 2buttercups

    This is probably the most honest, sensible thing he's said so far.


    February 26, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  24. A Texan

    Yes, you are who you are........ That`s the problem.

    February 26, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Jilli

    Willard, it's not your lack of perfection or your complete and unadulterated success that so many find offensive, it's your complete lack of personality, perception and humanity that are the problem.

    He's been living in a bubble his entire life – he's completely clueless.

    February 26, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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