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. ned

    fiscal2020. Well, let's list some "entrepreneurs" who were made successful by venture capitalists: Ebay, Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Nordstrom, Dell, Mattel, Starbucks and many others. 21% of the GDP comes from venture capitalism. Can you spell "millions of jobs"? Romney is in good company, and knows more than Obama about the economy.

    February 27, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  2. Bozzz

    Republicans aren't putting forth viable candidates. I'll vote Obama this time around for sure.

    February 27, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  3. republican_loyal

    Mr. President:) if i could jus vote on the day in your country i would do so why because i believe in your party "the republicans" the way George W. Bush take actions across the globe maintaining safety and security among nations and most important making the earth a happy place to live...Sir gudluck hope u win...

    February 27, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. donna rochester

    How convenient! Two cadilacs, one for her two separate homes, how nice. If Romney loves this country so much, as he says so often and sings about even more often, why doesn't he keep his money in this country to help rebuild our infrastructure instead of sending it out of the country so he doesn't have to pay taxes on it. What a total greedy hyprocrit and pour excuse for an American. I think he should go live with his money and stop taking advantage of this country, while doing nothing to maintain it.

    February 27, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  5. BeverlyNC

    That's the whole problem Mitt – you are what you are- and you are not Presidential material. No one still knows who you really are, what principles you actually have, what you plan to do about the real issues like jobs. Americans are sick to death of Republican extremist social issues. We don't want your religion or your values shoved down our throats. I'll stay with the real leader we already have with a proven success record – President Obama. Goodbye GOP!

    February 27, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  6. nolimits3333

    Could the contrast be any greater between the guy who looted American companies and shipped their jobs overseas, only pays taxes at a 13% rate, stashes his money in the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes, and President Obama who created 23 straight months of private sector job growth?

    February 27, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. Dennis

    Willard is the poster person for obnoxsiousness

    February 27, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  8. hope4change

    70% of the businesses that he invested in grew and succeeded. I would love for America to have a 70% chance of improving our economic situation. The fact that you try to classify his experience as one of bankrupting companies shows that you are either stupid or a liar. So which one is it.....

    February 27, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  9. hope4change

    Or what about our current president. He has run around being a venture capitalist with our money and had success (GM) and failures (Solyndra). The differences is that Romney collected money from willing investors, listened to their input and found companies that they thought they could help succeed. Obama takes his venture money from us with the threat of prison terms, ignores our wishes and invests in companies that contribute to his political agenda regardless of how sound the companies may be. Which model makes more sense?

    February 27, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  10. DoNotWorry

    Say no to corporate oligarchy. Destroying companies created by others is not building anything. It is fire sale liquidating, looting, and not what I choose for America.

    February 27, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  11. Shelby

    None of the candidates are perfect. Mitt Romney is the least not-perfect in the batch.

    February 27, 2012 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  12. Fair + Balanced

    Another of the frequent defensive comments by a guy who seems to have a habit of at least 1 Freudian Slip each time that he speaks in public. His "real persona" seems to have a real problem with his "political face.'

    February 27, 2012 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  13. TopKnowledge

    Romney is so out of touch with reality that he still does not understand that people do not object to his wealth but to the way he amassed his millions – by firing tens of thousands of American workers and bankrupting American companies. While Romney used this "blood" money to buy 15 multi-million-dollar homes across the country, the American workers were left without healthcare and many lost their only home to foreclosure. The fact that one of Romney's companies also defrauded the federal government by filing phony Medicare claims and pocketed millions of dollars with this scheme shows that Mitt Romney is a man without a conscience, without compassion and without love for America and its people.

    February 27, 2012 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  14. Brew Ha Ha

    He's a looker
    thats what they say

    He's got it all yeah
    he's got it made

    He's a looker
    thats what they say

    always on display.

    February 27, 2012 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  15. Marie MD

    Of course you can't be who you are. You flip flop on a daily basis. I am surprised you can recognize yourself when you shave in the morning!

    February 27, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  16. dnsdamenace

    Romney will make a grea president. He lies without blinking!

    February 27, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  17. T'sah From Virginia

    ►TRENDING: Romney: 'I can't be perfect'◄
    NO ONE is perfect and NO ONE is asking Romney to be perfect; therefore, Romney "thinks" he's perfect...... PERIOD!!

    Obama 2012!

    February 27, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  18. Keef


    Don't be so quick to canonize Jobs and Gates. They got where they are mostly by being in the right place at the right time, plus a fair amount of outright thievery and skulduggery, too (from EACH OTHER in some cases)–NOT by taking enormous risks with other folks' money. And NEITHER ONE was especially brilliant. Just incredibly lucky. Neither one ever invented *anything*. Anymore than Henry Ford "invented" the automobile OR mass production (two more popular myths)–QUITE different from someone like (say) Thomas Edison or Volta. Jobs and Gates have (had) LEGENDARY egos, and are rich almost DESPITE abrasive self-absorbed-brat personalities.

    February 27, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  19. clarke

    Well Mitt can't be perfect, and that is okay, but Mitt neither can Obama. But I thank you for telling us you are human.

    February 27, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  20. Old Salt

    "I just am who I am." ...enough said. It's obvious that you're struggling with all your might to appeal to whichever audience you're facing. You will gain more respect if you quit wearing a different mask each time.

    February 27, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Rmoney is like a serial killer running for office saying "I've been a very successful serial killer with a proven track record of killing people all over the country. And as a serial killer, I have just the right skills to lead America to success!".

    February 27, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  22. The Veteran

    I am glad people are waking up about BAIN. They are right. BAIN was in the business of making money for investors, not creating jobs. It was not their goal. That is why he thought GM should have had a managed bankruptcy and possibly downsized and broken up.

    They certainly would not be the number ONE automaker in the world right now if Mitt had his way.

    February 27, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  23. Marc Taylor

    Actually, this is the best answer I've ever heard from Romney in quite some time. It was honest and humble. He didn't flip, hide, twist, try to appear humorous, or do anything else Romney-like in this response.

    February 27, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  24. rs

    No one wants nor expects a "perfect" President. However, Romney bears a striking resemblence to GW Bush. Stupid infront of microphones (" I don't follow NASCAR, but I know some team ownwers"; "My wife has a couple of Cadillacs in different states"; "I like to fire people"; "I don't worry about the poor").
    I mean really! If this is the best and the brightest the GOP can put up, they're in trouble. Especially given that Mr. Romney's economic plan will go right back to Bush's cut taxes and spend deficit building, pandering-to-the-rich economics that nearly wrecked our country.

    February 27, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. snowdogg

    "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."

    Keen sense of the obvious.

    February 27, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
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