June 6th, 2013
12:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney regrets 47% comments

(CNN) - Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he was "very upset" for making the "47%" comments that became a big roadblock in his campaign last year in the final months before Election Day.

"There were a number of times that I said things that - that didn't come out right," he said in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

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.

Romney faced soaring criticism for saying at a private fundraiser that nearly half of Americans were victims "dependent" on the government and would vote for President Obama "no matter what."

"There are 47% of people who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you-name-it," Romney said on the tape.

Adding to his argument about entitlement, Romney said his "job is not to worry about those people."

His comments were secretly recorded at the May 2012 fundraiser and released in September to the left-leaning news outlet, Mother Jones.

Read more: Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment ‘disappointing’

Romney told Borger that the political climate today is unlike the campaign days of 25 or 30 years ago in the sense that "everything you say is being record."

"And, you know, now and then, things don't come out exactly the way you want them to come out. They don't sound the way you thought they sounded," he said. "And now, with a good opposition campaign, they grab it, they blow it up, maybe they take it a bit out of context, maybe they don't, but, it obviously, is paraded in a way that you hadn't intended."

Conceding "that's just the nature of politics today," Romney added: "You have to get over it and live with it."

Asked how he handled the transition from his highly-public, grueling campaign to a more private life, Romney said his days are a lot more simple now.

"It's easy to live life with family, with, uh, household chores you have, with the privacy you enjoy," he said. "What's difficult is going into a campaign and becoming extraordinarily focused, day after day, speaking to large groups of people, getting to know individuals one-on-one, learning their experiences, dealing with the media. That's what's difficult."

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.

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. ja

    move on man, pull your head from the sand, you lost despite

    June 6, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    just sayin
    welcome to leftist america where telling the truth means you have to apologize. reality is just too harsh.
    And righty America is telling the people there are WMDs and not apologizing when they're not found.

    June 6, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. YUCK

    He's part of the GOP party,so it's the parties fault

    June 6, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    A two-time loser that wants to hang on forever (like Palin).

    Thank God in Heaven people wised up to him before he got into the White House.

    June 6, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Come on 2014

    Republicans will be at an all time low in 2014

    June 6, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Yep – just like he took "you didn't build that" out of a 1/2 hour speech that was telling folks to thank their parents and other people that helped them get where they are. What a loser. It was fine for him and the repubs but not for the dems. GAG.

    June 6, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    @ just sayin'

    The election results would have been the same. Just because YOU believe all the bs Fox News tells you night and day (and you seem to report here daily on it) doesn't mean everybody else does. Romney still loses.

    June 6, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    What is most remarkable about the 47% comments he made in private is that he was saying publicly that he only needed 51% of the vote in order to win.

    June 6, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. freedom

    And this president cares about 0% of the American people – it's all about his agenda – which doesn't even include helping his own race. Disgraceful. And then..... there are the scandals and deceit – which will surely lead to a grand jury. The sooner, the better.

    June 6, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Mr. Moderate

    So Mitt, why didn't you tell us what you HAD intended to say. And when the press did ask for clarification, why did you double down and say you stood by those words. Face it, you just regret being caught, you meant every word of it.

    June 6, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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