In his first interview since his presidential bid came to an unsuccessful end, Mitt Romney told “Fox News Sunday” that he was certain he would win on Election Day until results showed he’d lost the crucial battleground state of Ohio and that, four months later, it hurts him to not be in the White House.
“I’ll look at what’s happening right now, I wish I were there,” the onetime GOP presidential nominee said to host Chris Wallace. “It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done. The president is the leader of the nation. The president brings people together, does the deals, does the trades, knocks the heads together; the president leads. And—and I don’t see that kind of—of leadership happening right now.”
The former Massachusetts governor also reiterated remarks he had made to donors after his defeat in which he said President Obama was aided in victory by giving “gifts” like Obamacare to minority voters.
“The president had the power of incumbency. Obamacare was very attractive, particularly to those without insurance, and they came out in large numbers to vote,” Romney said. “I think the Obamacare attractiveness and feature was something we underestimated, particularly among lower incomes.”
He also acknowledged the detrimental effect his infamous “47 percent” comment, which was secretly recorded at a private fundraiser in May and leaked months later, had on his presidential campaign.
Romney also said he regretted his wording in secretly recorded remarks at a Florida fund-raiser about the “47 percent” of Americans who were dependent on government and would never vote for him.
“It’s not what I meant. I didn’t express myself as I wished I would have,” Romney said.
“When you speak in private you don’t spend as much time thinking about how something could be twisted and distorted, and it could come out wrong and be used,” he said. “That hurt. There’s no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign.”
Romney said he still planned to speak out on issues and to help Republicans going forward, although he said that “I recognize that as the guy who lost the election, I’m not in a position to tell everybody else how to win.”
Watch part of the interview here.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.