Mitt Romney's first post-election interview has aired, and it's a doozy. The former candidate and wife Ann sat down with Fox News' Chris Wallace and tackled a wide range of issues, from his unexpected loss to his grading of the man who beat him. A rundown of the highlights, as per Politico:
- On the sequester: "I’ll look at what’s happening right now, I wish I were there. It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done. 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."
- On when he knew he'd lost: "We were convinced that we would win. It was a slow recognition until ultimately when the Ohio numbers began coming in and they were disappointing. I said, look, this looks like we’ve lost—wasn’t certain. Some people said, oh, look, if this number here comes in, why, you could win. But you know, by 8 or 9 o’clock, it was pretty clear that we were not going to win.”
- On the GOP primary: “The idea that somehow the primary made me become more conservative than I was just isn't accurate. On the other hand, a long and blistering primary, where people are attacking one another and where the attacks sometimes are not on the mark but are creating an unfavorable impression, those things are not helpful.”
- On the 47% video: "When you speak in private, uh, you don’t spend as much time thinking about how something could be twisted and distorted. But, you know, I did. And it was very harmful. What I said is not what I believe. But, uh, but that hurt. There’s no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign.”
- Ann Romney on the media: “But it was not just the campaign’s fault. I believe it was the media’s fault as well, is that he was ... being given a fair shake, that people weren’t allowed to really see him for who he was." Asked why, she said, “I’m happy to blame the media.”