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. 2memeornot

    Mitt who?

    May 19, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. BobWhiite

    Sore Loser. Sour grapes. Have some class and shut up.

    May 19, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. Chris

    President Obama Should Know All Bout Tax Cheats He Hired One In Tim Gietner

    May 19, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. tbirdszz

    Sweerwilli..really Barack Class try CRASS

    May 19, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. derekkelly

    Too bad we didn't see more of the real Mitt during the campaign. In the words of Pink Floyd, Mitt, how I wish you were here.

    May 19, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. turtletipr

    In the 90s people weren't interested to hear Bob doles views on everything. Why would anybody want Romney's views. He lost pretty badly

    May 19, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney would serve his Republican/Tea Party better by keeping a low profile and avoiding further verbal gaffes.

    May 19, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. liberal disease

    Mitt has business experience and executive political experience, he has everything Obama doesn't . And we are now suffering the effects of electing a neophyte.

    May 19, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. ru serious

    Too bad, he would have been a great president.

    May 19, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Teller

    Who cares what this lying loser has to say. Jeep's are still made in the USA, Romnuts.

    May 19, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Christy Yamaguci

    Mitt says... Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ... how do you like it bottom 47%.

    May 19, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Rememberwhatbushdid

    Incredibly laughable that Mitt Romney, of all people in the country, would take about the IRS and tax cheats. Same old GOP misleading information. Act like you are not violating the spirit and the letter of taxes and people will believe it if they hear it enough. I am not comparing Romney to Hitler, but Hitler was the one who said lie to the people over and over and over and they will believe you. So much for the constant vigil and obligations of the American citizenry. Thank God they got it right in the 2012 elections...but just barely.

    May 19, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. D

    Romny's only butting his nose in this because he is worried about his off shore accounts in tax haven countries and maybe fraud tax exempts he might be claiming. If Romney wants to talk about taxes then be a real man an bring back all his money to the U.S.

    May 19, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Sean

    Republicans can whine about the president and create all the phony, manufactured scandals they want. Nothing will ever make me regret that Mitt the Twit lost. This country dodged a serious bullet.

    May 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    @chris, the Zpresident is not a tax cheat. You must be thinking about the twit who didn't win in 2012.
    As far as Geitner he worked for the shrub's administration from 2001 to 2003.
    Stop parroting what you hear from limberger or faux news and get an education or at least read before you blog.

    May 19, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. RomneyWho

    My point exactly . . . Romney Who? And soon to be Jay Leno who? 🙁

    May 19, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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