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. beevee

    Romney is agian gloating about his success for becoming a rich man. Once again this kind of talk make the middle class and poor of this country feel that the guy he is out of touch with them. What he never mentions is how many jobs were lost in his acquisitions of businesses that were going broke. He only talks about his creating jobs in setting up a new business while demolishing the one that was not doing well. He wrongfully makes the statement that running country is like running a business and is misleading.

    February 27, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  2. Brennan

    Where has Mitt been? Santorum gives interviews to everyone and Mitt is completely absent. Now he finally gives an interview, but to Fox, so I'm sure they really brought some hard hitting questions there. Not only does Mitt not "care about the poor", but he ignores anyone who doesn't watch Fox.

    February 27, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. Marie MD

    @hope4change, I worked for one of those companies that your flip flopper venture capitalist ruined and the company declared bankruptcy. The difference is that Bain capital and it's board kept the money while the emplyees lost their jobs!!! The company was doing fine until he camr in gins ablaze and took the R&D money and "reinvested"!in nothing and he closed manufacturing plants so where's this success you talk about?

    February 27, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Seattle Sue

    Maybe if Mitt brought just a couple more Cadillacs for Ann, he would be closer to, perfect.

    February 27, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. RightCoastVA

    Yeah he's a dork (as it was so eloquently put on Meet the Press yesterday), and yeah he doesn't connect, but to be honest in differing ways I connected with both Bush and Obama (voted for both) and neither have lived up to their expectations. I'll go have a drink w/ my friends and not worry about if I could sit down and have a heart to heart with the president.

    At this point I just want someone who is competent running this economy. We've already seen that Obama and his economic team are out of their league and Bush was a complete train wreck. Time to bring in a pinch hitter and get us back on the right track.

    February 27, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Romney wants us to vote for him and he doesn't have a clue as to how we live -Yes, he was successful in business but that is not how you run a country-In a country you can't fire people to get rid of them for your bottom line-you have to help them take a step so they can eventually help themselves. Romney has no concept or experience at this.He is only used to firing those who are in his way to maximise profits that he can put in off shore accounts to avoid taxes.He waffles on every position. There is no there,there.If Romney had been president there would be no American car industry and a million more people would be unemployed.

    February 27, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. rla

    To Brennan– Yea the poor are so much better off under the democrats! More of them, more food stamps, generational poverty at a new high- Way to go Obama!

    February 27, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. Geo

    The candidate Romney sounds like a bad date, "I can't be perfect." The Republican party has become the poster child of failure. They have failed the economy, the deficit, the wars, now they fail even as a political party. Like any pack of failures they end by blaming everyone else, Obama, the Democrats, the "liberal" media. Nothing is ever their fault. No. The Bush years never happened. Angry, self centered, whinning, grandiose, humorless. Yep, the date from hell, to be sure.

    February 27, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. Tim C

    @rla – I'm confused. Has Obama been president for multiple generations?

    February 27, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. Barry G.


    The Jesus Christ we Christians follow taught that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    What does your religion teach about this?


    February 27, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Tim C

    The problem with beating his drum about his successes is that his education (both prep school and college) was paid for and facilitated by his father's money. Most American's don't have access to Harvard, or the super upscale prep school Romney attended. There is a reason people with money send their kids to those schools, and most of it has very little to do with academic education.

    February 27, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. paul

    Mr. Romney, I do plan on voting for the other guy. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 27, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  13. Mindie in Indie

    None of this even matters – Obama will win in a landslide. The GOP is a circus.

    February 27, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. maff

    @rla Although I agree with you in principle, Im not sure your aware of the reality of our system. The system is built so that the poor will always exist. The rich will always exist and the middle class exist for now.
    What would you do if you were president? pull the plug on foodstamps, welfare and unemployment?
    If so, you better allocate that money towards bolstering the police force to handle the increase in crime. You think those people are poor now... pull the plug and see what happens.
    ever heard of inflation? It hurts poor people the most. It decreases the value of their money, while it increases the cost of living. Thats a tough bucket to climb out of.
    Some say the poor like poor. They should get a job, and if that isnt enough, get educated and get a better job...
    and If everyone followed your advise? who would work at walmart and mcdonalds? walmart wouldnt go out of business.
    There just are not enough Jobs for everyone; even if you are educated. There are hard working, educated poor people. We cant all be rich. We cant all be middle class either. In a capitalistic society (especially in the big city), you will always have the poor.
    So until the economy grows and the cost of living goes down, there will be alot more poor. And even though it cant backfire by giving out handouts. What would you prefer...handouts, or crime? because people are going to eat, one way or another.

    February 27, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. ill

    "i can't be perfect" is like a HUGE understatement, he cant be honest neither

    February 27, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  16. maff

    even though it can*

    February 27, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. tannim

    "I can't be perfect."

    Nobody can, but Mitt seems to go out of his way to shoot himself in the foot.

    Frankly, I don't want a corporatist raider as President. I'd rather have a small businessman who actually understands economics and how foreign policy really affects it, and who understands how to fix America's problems. I'm speaking, naturally, of Dr. Ron Paul.

    February 27, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. Samwise

    Roof Dog Romney hasn't got a prayer. Thank Gawd!

    February 27, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. John

    Multiple cars, multiple houses. I'm sorry. I cannot identify with this guy. I work for a living.

    February 27, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. mike

    Romney will not be elected. His mouth will see to that.

    February 27, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. Bart

    Romney is a phony. Guarantee – once he wins the primary, he will go liberal for the general election.

    February 27, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. HIppoCritter

    Guess he got rid of the family station wagon with the dog transport carrier on the roof.

    February 27, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. tstorm

    Romney and Santorum represent everything "wrong" with America today; obsessed with greed and selfishness wrapped around religion. The GOP has lost their way......

    February 27, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. Zenfire

    I do not want the average Joe to be president of this great nation. I don’t want my neighbor Brain or the local grocery man Hal. I want someone who has proven to be successful in many different areas of life. Some people knock Romney because he has been successful. But successful is what I want in a president. Romney has the skill, the leadership, and the experience to guide this nation to better places. Think about it.

    February 27, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Donkey Party

    Look no further than the comments from the right-wingers that post here, filled with hate, racism, and insane ignorance, to fully understand what is wrong with the country. A filthy, wretched disease called "conservatism" taints their blood and soul like a cancer.

    February 27, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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