Romney weighs in on Washington controversies
May 18th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
9 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. Fuzzy Thinker

    I am looking at all the hateful comments. Shouting people down is Not the Liberal Philosophy. These people spitting venom are acting like FASCISTS.

    May 18, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. Donkey Party

    Drinks on me if anyone can interpret what "name willard" is trying to say (and I don't mean Willard Romney, we already know all about his hot garbage).

    May 18, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. MiBigAl

    You mean Mitt theTwit has spoken. If he had been elected, it would just be a different set of scandals.

    May 18, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. IvotedforObama

    Maybe somebody at the IRS can help him release his tax returns if he decides to waste his time and money to run again?

    May 18, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. grace lee

    Romney is yesterday's loser; Obama is tomorrow's loser. With Benghazi cover-up, IRS scandal, AP news tap scandal, the American people are losing every day.

    May 18, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. futurodellanazione

    America's in a sad state when the mulatto in chief looks incompetent next to a guy who lost an election.

    May 18, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  7. Big_D

    I'm over it. Sure you are Mitt. You just are bitter enough to show a total lack of class. Did you just get off a Bain plane from Bangladesh or something? Why don't you stick to what you know which is not paying taxes while making millions without working and helping enough house memebers get elected there is no way to change it.

    May 18, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  8. David Ibrera

    the people who posted here are Romney's haters. most of you guys are free loaders, get off your ^ss and get a job.
    stop worshiping the kenyan man and his apes.

    May 18, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  9. Big_D

    Mitt has been working on H1B visa abuse. They want to maximize as many profits as possible.

    May 18, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  10. bill Fitzgerald

    So let me ask John the Historian, how do you feel, its difficult to tell from your words other than your complete hatred, about the extermination order of Mormons in 1838 by Governor Boggs. Men were whipped and some killed, women were ravished, some to death, houses and crops burned thousands forced from Missouri. Heres a little FYI. Joseph the Prophet of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ prophesied that Jackson county would one day be in total ruins other than chimneys visible. Jackson county was the most devastated place of the civil war. Read the history for yourself. Now, get a copy of The Fate of the Persecutors of the Joseph Smith. Pages and pages of members of the mob who killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith who were in turmoil the rest of their lives and how they wished they would have never been involved and that they had come to know that he was a Prophet of God. Joseph said they would die unnatural deaths and they did. Do yourself a favor and not follow a path of destruction you are on.

    May 18, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  11. SirBo

    Obama must really walk on water if the only controversies political foes can muster are whether or not our diplomatic post in Libya was attacked by rioting thugs or militant thugs; and IRS employees overwhelmed to the tune of hundred of thousands of tax dodging applications, coming up with an unwise triage scheme based on key words like "tea party" to keep up with the mountain of paperwork. Come on, how'z about a real controversy? There's gotta be a Monica somewhere.

    May 18, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. denny

    People , need to understand , that the armed forces just don"t send in their men without first having a plan to operate in a dangerous area

    May 18, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Barrack Obama is just a guilty of the lies that he and his regime consistently on a daily basic feed the American people. The scandals, cover-ups the fact that barrack takes no accountability for what his political left wing puppets do! Less of two evils ? Maybe?

    May 18, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  14. dc

    I see the kool-aid drinkers are still here..... A little discussion mixed with a lot of name calling....

    May 18, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  15. LP

    from I read all the above comments where not one of you blame obama for anything I know all you are african american
    just as i am. What i found strange is if it were a republican in office you all would be down his throat but oh "he is first black president" what has he done for black people? nada! nada! apart from the dumb obamacare. YES I voted for Romney because he was the better man.Obama is only smart with books but has no clue of governing, oh by the way
    how many black with high positions in hi soffice.

    May 18, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  16. TK

    well who really care about romney's opinion

    May 19, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. Jewels

    Romney and his little lady are phony - and he's simply playing to his base....yawn. I wonder if he felt his shady actions with taxes, and reason for not showing them, makes him seem credible to anyone...

    May 19, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  18. brooke

    Romney who?

    May 19, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  19. Thomas

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

    Better you then me Rand !
    I felt the same way when Mark Sanford won last week .

    Isn't it interesting how on weekends , the right wing nut job paid posters who work for political non profits are gone ? ,
    you know the guy's who post the same message under several names .

    May 19, 2013 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  20. JM

    I am friends with a nurse who has been friends with his daughter and spent time with the Romneys for years. Mitt is a good man per her interactions.

    I find many of the comments here shameful and unbecoming - I hope you all can grow up some day.

    May 19, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  21. stillafan

    Barack has class? Now that's funny. He doesn't have a sincere bone in his body. The guy creeps me out. How so many are taken in by his act is really unbelievable. Of course so many people watch trash tv and spend too much time caring about what their favorite celebrity is wearing or saying. Very sad.

    May 19, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  22. Lizard Lance

    I doubt Romney would have made a good president but I know for sure that Obama is turning out to be the most disappointing president ever. He's a good speaker with no substance. I think we call those "snake oil salesmen."

    May 19, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  23. albie

    who cares what this guy says – sit back down Romney

    May 19, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  24. Christopher Riess

    LOL... Shouldn't he be at work? The American people have spoken. We really don't like yo,u or care what you think, Mitt!

    May 19, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  25. It's simple, really

    This guy's still around? We all thought he was in a home somewhere.

    May 19, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
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