Romney weighs in on Washington controversies
May 18th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney weighs in on Washington controversies

(CNN) – Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno on Friday and weighed in on the barrage of controversies plaguing the White House in recent weeks.

The former Massachusetts governor said he's “over” the election but is "not a fan of the president." He said a special counsel should be appointed to investigate the Obama administration and the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

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"There are really two concerns with regards to the IRS story. One is they have admitted now that they did target conservative groups for extra scrutiny as those groups were looking to find a tax-except status,” Romney said. “That obviously is a violation of the very fundamental trust that we have that the IRS does not pursue a political agenda.

“The buck stops at the president's desk," he said, and he questioned whether individuals who donated to Republicans or his campaign during the election were targeted specifically by the IRS.

Regarding the Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records, Romney said it was premature to draw conclusions.

"I think a lot of people are concerned that the First Amendment is being challenged in some way when the Justice Department subpoenas phone records of some 20 different reporters over some period of time. And they're looking for leaks of classified information. And clearly that's something which is alarming to some folks."

Romney repeated attack lines he used on the campaign trail last year over the administration's handling of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

"American people were misled as to what happened," Romney said, referring to discredited talking points UN Ambassador Susan Rice conveyed on television news programs saying that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam film rather than a premeditated assault.

"That's a real concern,” Romney said, “and the fact is that it's been very difficult to pull out over the ensuing months."

Romney said another concern was that no effort was made to rescue the Americans caught in the attack last year.

Asked if this would hurt a hypothetical presidential campaign in 2016 for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Romney said there would be "careful" scrutiny into her record working for the Obama administration.

Pivoting to the White House, Romney said Obama's "largest legacy of concern or failure" is the ongoing issues in places like North Korea and Iran.

Losing the election was tough, Romney said, but it’s nothing compared to other challenges in life. He pointed to the benefits of spending time with his sons, 22 grandchildren, and his wife Ann, who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

"This is something you get over pretty quickly," he said of losing the election.

As far as advice for future Republican presidential candidates, Romney said "get used to eating Iowa corndogs" and later added, "sell the horse."

Filed under: 2013 • IRS • Jay Leno • Libya • Mitt Romney • Obama administration • Washington D.C.
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Yanni

    Pathetic, he just admit he faked enjoying the Iowa corndogs. Regards to selling his horse, he has sold his houses before running, that didn't help it would have been pointless if he had sold his horse. Mitt has been discredited by all sides of the political spectrum because of his conduct of ethics; wining by any cost and for his contempt for less fortunate people what he called the 47% moochers. This man or his clan will never have a chance of leadership in American politics again because of his conduct.

    May 18, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    I guess no one will ever get elected with out showing their tax returns ,maybe that's why the irs targeted these goofball right wing fools .

    May 18, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. nintex

    Yeah, right, he's over losing the election. Uh huh.

    May 18, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Sour grapes much twit?
    If the IRS needs to investigate anyone it should be you. I am pretty sure that after canceling your silly servants credit cards right after you lost the election your second card was to your accountant to redo your taxes so you could go back to,saying 9% instead of 14% while most d us pay 48%.
    Younjust cant win can you? You are a loser and look who has you on their show. Leno??? Didn't you already do his show and it didn't help one bit?
    Thankfully you will NEVER had to sorry about any buck stopping at your desk as most of your money goes to the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Lexumbourg.
    Get lost. You are a tiny little man with very little of anything left except for millions of money ill gotten while firing merican workers, that fish wife of yours and your car elevator mansion. We didn't care before November and we could care less now.

    May 18, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Joan

    Well, there are a few things Romney should answer. He was heard during his 47% speech saying that he hoped for an international incident to attack the President about. Shortly after that a right wing nut job put out a vicious, bigoted anti- Muslim video that stirred up unrest in dozens of countries and spurred protests, fires, destruction and death in hundreds of cities around the world including Libya. Then, before the Benghazi attack was an issue, Romney put out a statement condemning the President's handling of the situation there. Are Mormons psychic too. There should have been an investigation into the guy who did the video, who backed and supported him and he should have been held accountable for all of the destruction and death he caused. The MSM just dropped that ball and followed the Republican's attack job. Why? Regarding the IRS, they would not have had to put so much extra time and effort into the Tea Party organizations requests had there not been tens of thousands of new requests thanks to Citizens United. If the Congress hadn't cut government funding for workers, there would have been more people to work on these requests. Remember, political organizations should NOT get exemptions. The AP would not have been an issue if the press could be responsible and not publish sensitive, classified information. Isn't that close to treason? With the Republicans and media all tied up with these "scandals" and investigations, it is good to see the President is still working hard for the people.

    May 18, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Rand

    It kills me that this great business leader and Christian\morman was rejected by America in 2012! Not to mention 2008.

    May 18, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Donkey Party

    Romney is just as big a fool now as he was before the elections. And if anyone needs investigating regarding their association with the IRS, it's Romney.

    May 18, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. ST

    This is becoming tiresome already. Does Romney think he could have won with Benghazi and IRS issues put in the limelight? What about the tape of 47%? Did it carry less weight than these two issues? Can he go away and let the country move forward. He lost the election on his negligence and he should let the person who is in power now, carry along.

    May 18, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. B.

    Please, just go away Mr. Romney, no one cares..

    May 18, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Norma jean.

    Considering what a political failure Romney has been over the years ....does anyone take seriously his opinion on the current administration???....If theydo.. shouldn't they rethink their position!!!!!He proved his misguided thinking with the 47% which probably lost him the presidency... I'd take him with"a grain of salt"!!!!

    May 18, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Michigan Voter

    Rmoney, is the only guy who makes Sergio Garcia look like a non-whiner

    May 18, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. PJ

    Ah yes, he carried the banner of the obstructionists very well.
    And this story is a lot more important than the letter that the Heritage Foundation sent to Boehner telling them-
    "don't legislate, just scandalize Obama".
    In other words, impede the progress of America's recovery at every turn. Waste more time and money on
    "hearings" in hopes that they will destroy the President.
    They have done more to hurt America in the last 12 years, and have accomplished nothing.
    I saw Romney and Annie, and the bitterness was oozing out of their pores big time. They were there
    to try some "payback", but he lost again. Pathetic.

    May 18, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Getoverit

    Ok, so nothing he said wasn't true, but watch all the Libs here attack like rabid dogs anyway.

    May 18, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. w l jones

    That is about like a General is reponser for a private gun misfire durning an attack far from home on any battle field!

    May 18, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Larry L

    I suppose Romney can work towards his most important goals had he been elected President. He can now help his fellow fat-cats milk the shrinking middle class bone dry. He can be the poster child for "almost legal" tax evasion. He'll try to give Social Security monies to Wall Street and let insurance companies rape Medicare. He can strike back at the useless "47%".

    May 18, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Jay Leno is no Johnny Carson !

    May 18, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Just a thought

    ha ha..... NOW we hear from another LOSER Flag bearer for the party of Clownage....We love all this GOP / Tea Potty just shows the continued ignorance of these folks

    May 18, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Just a thought

    So the GOP / Tea turd clown party thinks people should go to jail, impeach another Dem President. This group of knuckle draggers never fail to amaze

    May 18, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Gary

    Tax Cheats of a feather, stick together.

    May 18, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Just a thought

    Tight fruity of looms wearin' , girly walkin' Mitty the Twitty weighs in from the trash heep of loser-dom. Here's your flag bearer GOP / Tea Potty's LOL

    May 18, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The gop and the tax cheat romney the clown are probably the reason the irs took a second look at these tax cheat political groups . All these gop groups are gop tax avoidence scams, just like romneys son of boss tax scam with Marriott, remember????? Gop at its worst .

    May 18, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Name willard

    I am belived that roomney are great than presdient obama cause obama is liar talk story his word so obama should be impeach

    May 18, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Thomas

    22 grandchildren ,
    the world would be a better place if everybody had 22 grandchildren .

    At least we would deal with immigration , sustainability , health care , gun control .

    Or wish we had sooner !

    Jay is no Johnny Carson , no class

    May 18, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. g

    republicans really want to shut down the IRS from doing their job -wonder why

    May 18, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. rs

    Sorry, the guy who himself got caught trying to spin Benghazi, and got caught with the whopper lie of Obama "selling Jeep to China" has no credibility here. Where are those tax returns Mr. Romney?

    May 18, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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