June 6th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment ‘disappointing’

Park City, Utah (CNN) - As Mitt Romney begins to re-emerge into the public spotlight with a Utah conference, the former Republican presidential nominee told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger he was disappointed with President Obama's pick of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to be his next national security adviser.

"I find that a disappointing appointment on the part of the president. I think what she did was to very seriously mislead the American people about what happened in Benghazi. My greatest concern about the Benghazi events was the fact there was not a rescue effort attempted and that is very troubling to me," Romney said.

You can watch extended excerpts of CNN's interviews with Mitt and Ann Romney on “The Lead” at 4 p.m. ET and “The Situation Room” at 5 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET.

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He was speaking about Rice, who days after the U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya were attacked on September 11 of last year went on the five Sunday talk shows and blamed the incident on protests in the region instead of calling it a terrorist attack.

In the interview, Romney opened up about what it was like for him and his wife Ann to live in a security bubble during the campaign and the transition to private life which he said he mostly welcomed. Instead of living with around the clock security, he does grocery shopping and pumps his own gas.

"We lived our entire life, if you will, in privacy like most people do. And then there was this extraordinary period of a year or so when we were highly visible and the Secret Service was around you and people are getting everything you want - you’re in your hotel room, you can’t even leave your hotel room. They put exercise equipment in my hotel room so I could exercise because I couldn’t go down to the regular exercise room without being photographed," Romney told Borger. "So you are in that kind of very public bubble for a while and then when it disappears - and it disappears overnight - when you lose the election. It is just gone. Snap it is gone. It is back to where you were before. And that feels right.”

With a full day of activities beginning Thursday, Romney is hosting a multi-day conference in Park City, Utah featuring several prospective 2016 GOP contenders as well as other national leaders with some of the party's major donors also in attendance. Romney hopes this meeting, called "Experts and Enthusiasts," will allow the approximately 200 attendees to discuss the nation's problems and possible solutions in a different forum.

Among those Republicans expected to participate are Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee and Romney's running mate last year; Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has made no secret of his interest in a 2016 presidential bid; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. During the event, Ryan is scheduled to take some participants on a skeet-shooting outing while Paul will play golf with some and Christie will have breakfast with others.

Because Romney hopes to broaden the dialogue, some prominent Democrats also have been invited to participate, including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod, who was one of the men instrumental in Romney's defeat last year. Axelrod is expected to discuss his daughter's fight against epilepsy and his family's prominent efforts to combat it.

"What I want to do is bring together people, Republicans and Democrats, businesspeople, philanthropy-oriented people, political folks, and talk about where the country is and say what should we, as a nation, be talking about and working on," Romney told CNN.

Filed under: 2016 • Ann Romney • Chris Christie • David Axelrod • John Hickenlooper • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Rand Paul
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Monet

    Is his opinion even matters? His own party do believe that he is irrelevant now what more with us?

    June 6, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Bickering, bickering, bickering, idiots. Why is Rice not qualified when Dick Cheyney is qualified to be vp???? Idiots.

    June 6, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  3. Marie MD

    We care about this guy because?
    He is trolling around for pimps so that he can get his rich friends who own those "sport" teams to give the candidates money.,
    This guy just doesn't seem to get it that he lost because of who he is, his $1K tee wife, all that money in overseas accounts and those non serving sons of his just for starters.
    GET LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from one of the 47%.

    June 6, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  4. art

    Mitt Romney LOST the 2012 election in HUGE NUMBERS, it means, NO ONE CARES WHAT HE SAYS!

    June 6, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  5. thomase

    What we need to do is bring people together, like Paul Ryan, who has the most divisive budget imaginable. Gutting social programs that aren't important to most GOP voters because whelp they don't happen to be using them at this point in time.

    You see by bringing these people together we can divert our attention to more important things like preventing same sex marriage, killing medicare and medicaid, forcing all welfare recipients to undergo drug testing, tanking womens workplace rights and reproductive rights and building a big ol' wall to keep those illegals out of our country. People should be able to choose their own un-affordable healthcare of the many state by state monopolies available and those that can't should no longer be a burden on our society.

    This is my dream for america. God bless, Mitt Romney.

    June 6, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  6. Tony

    Look who is talking about disappointing, and he was a disappointment in the last election.

    June 6, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You can watch extended excerpts of CNN's interviews with Mitt and Ann Romney on “The Lead” at 4 p.m.
    I'd rather eat glass.

    June 6, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  8. Sandy

    Um, why do we care what Romney thinks? He s.u.c.k.s at foreign policy!

    June 6, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |

    Enough of this guy already.

    June 6, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  10. Wake up People!

    And we care about his opinion why?? Dude you lost. At least Gore and Kerry lost with class and went about their business. But not Mr. Entitled. He really thinks his opinion is relevant. It must be a beautiful feeling to feel that you are superior to others..... Too bad for you the people showed you last November that you're not.

    June 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. Mark

    Romney – wrong on so much, yet he is right on Rice.

    June 6, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    and since when does ANYONE care what you think Flip Flopney??? Go back to LaJolla and ride your car elevator up and down for a while. It may calm you down

    June 6, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Duncan McGinnis

    Does ole Mitt not realize that he lost the election and that his opinions about what the President does, or does not do are not more important than mine?

    June 6, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  14. Yanni

    Oh! Mitt is back again. The poster child of the out of touch GOP/tea party. This is a gift keep on giving. Thanks Mitt for the reminder.

    June 6, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  15. Maosef

    Susan Rice makes that old monolith of mental prowess Rummy( the unknown unknowns guy) look like a damn Quaker.

    A quick run down of Susan the psychos hit jobs:

    -Testified before congress against Sudan, used the hype to arm groups
    such as the SPLA(Sudan Peoples' Liberation army) a group that prior to
    receiving Rice's war chest received hate mail from the UN's human rights
    watch. 'Apparently they were drugging up 12 year old boys, giving them a
    gun and sending them into battle.

    – Susan was instrumental in bombing the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant, a factory that made medicine.The German ambassador estimated that as a result of the bombing 10,000s
    were killed.

    – In the 1990s the AIDS epidemic was having its
    exponential explosion. South Africa proposed the South Africa medicine act.
    Section 15c would have allowed for parallel importing, essentially
    ignoring the pharmaceutical companies intellectual property. This would
    have had the effect of massively reducing the cost of medicine. Susan
    Rice sent a trade delegation to South Africa to blackmail them into
    removing 15c or else facing ruinous trade

    June 6, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. GI Joe

    He just can't stand a strong intelligent woman. ha ha aha ha ha ha ha ha

    June 6, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    The rebranding of the Republican Party must have run into a roadblock because it is recycling washed up losers like Romney, Palin, and West. Romney is a hypocrite for talking about uniting people when he wrote off 47 percent of Americans during the campaign.

    June 6, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |

    Who cares!?

    June 6, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. Jinx9to88

    Who cares what you think loser!!!

    June 6, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. Laverne

    The president found a way to go around the senate and promote Susan Rice even though the republicans tried to crucify her! Good job Mr. President!

    June 6, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  21. donna

    Romney, you lost. Now that's enough out of you.

    June 6, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. jillib

    " I think what she did was to very seriously mislead the American people about what happened in Benghazi."

    Funny, I don't recall Mr. Romneys outrage or upset over the Bush admin lies that lead us into a disaster in Iraq. That's seriously misleading the American people, yet, not a peep. I'll file Mr. Romneys multi-time loser opinion where it belongs.

    June 6, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitt and Ann Romney, CNN? Not interested.

    June 6, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. Norma Vessels

    Can anyone remember any .. just one person .. that our President has chosen for an office of any kind, that the Republicans actually liked?! Just one. No, you can't, because there hasn't been a single one. And there won't be. The Republicans took an oath to their leaders that they wouldn't okay anyone while President Obama is in the Oval office. That's awfully close to treason, if you ask me.

    June 6, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Pete

    Isn't this the Mormon moron Romney that stepped ahead of Ms.Rice publicly about Benghazi then having to respond to his fellow republicans because as usual he was wrong again!!And now Holder is asked by republicans,especially Issa to resign even after DOJ said his moves were within the law!!Hey republicans where's the data on the supposid behind closed door interviews between Issa and Am.Pickering,Mullens ,nothing go Issa,republicans way and Issa probibly left with egg on his face as usual..Republicans know nothings gone right for Issa ,republicans in any of these political witch hunts,hearings going after Holder in Fast,Furious ,Hillary,Pres.Obama in Benghazi and now again Holder in the IRS 501(c)(4) scandal republicans especially the special interest political groups known as the tea party and patriot groups fighting a losing battle for tax exemption even when its known they're not benefitting communities in any way and republicans,tea party groups know it!!Issas ,republicans are just too arrogent,stubborn and ignorent to get away from something as radioactive as Pres.Obama and his administration and they'll find out how damaged a political group they're when they all go down in Novembers midterms

    June 6, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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