Hot Air interview with Mitt Romney

posted at 2:35 pm on May 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I had an opportunity to speak with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about the campaign and the economy, as well as Romney’s official endorsement of Connie Mack in the Republican primary for the US Senate race in Florida.  Governor Romney is traveling in Florida today, and while he and Mack have often appeared together, Romney’s official endorsement came today.  I got the first opportunity to ask him about it, and Romney cited Mack’s fiscal conservatism and leadership in the Republican Party as the reasons why he makes the best candidate to go toe to toe with incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson for the Senate seat in November.

We also talked quite a bit about the economy and spending, the two big themes for Romney this week on the campaign trail, but the talk turned more to debt.  We spoke about the unfolding crisis in Europe, especially Greece, which Romney said was a warning signal to America and its political leadership.  Romney is “very concerned” about Europe, and it underscores the need for a balanced budget, which he pledged to pursue as President.

Romney also scolded the Obama campaign for its attacks on his term at Bain Capital, especially when Obama showed up that very night to a fundraising event hosted by Tony James of Blackstone, another private-equity firm.  Romney tells me that Bain and Blackstone occasionally invested in tandem, and that he has respect for their work, because it’s the same work he did at Bain.  I asked about the JP Morgan loss, and the impact of Dodd-Frank, which Romney agrees did nothing to end the Too Big To Fail problem. Be sure to watch it all.

 

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Comment pages: 1 2

Great work, Ed. Congrats.

the new aesthetic on May 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

V.G. interview, Ed. On Mitt’s part the most important soundbite imo was when he differentiated between allowing one bank to fail versus a collapse of the entire system. I have always been on the side of TARP (although it was horribly managed) and completely diverge from conservatives (like, say, Michelle Malkin) on this point.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

I have always been on the side of TARP (although it was horribly managed) and completely diverge from conservatives (like, say, Michelle Malkin) on this point.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Good for you. Perhaps you might start your own blog empire.

alwaysfiredup on May 16, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Good interview. Can’t wait for the one having no tele prompter and 90 seconds in the debates. The man never stops droning on with answers that make zero sense.

rubberneck on May 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

That’s not necessarily the case; I’ve been concerned about this same problem. I think an official RIF is accomplished by not filling open positions, encouraging retirements, and letting natural attrition reduce the size of the workforce to the desired level. It may take two years but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming and ugly.

ExpressoBold on May 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

To achieve the kind of needed cuts, he’ll need more than attrition; there’s going to have to be blood on the floor. Way worse than Reagan firing the ATCs. I’m talking about laying off 20% of all government employees and collapsing their departments, permenently.

And that’s just a good start.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:13 PM

The problem is not allowing attrition within the current structure; the current structure of large swaths of overgrown federal government needs actual controlled demolition, metaphorically speaking, a la Chicago’s Cabrini Green housing projects. Like taking a bulldozer and scraping a lot that was allowed to grow in weeds and small trash trees for 30 years.

Destroy and start over. Romney needs to have the guts to do to the federal gov’t what he did at Bain. If not, I have no use for him, because he will be just another incrementalist.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:16 PM

If Romney has the guts, what I see ahead for him is like the first half of Reagan’s first term – increased economic pain through overdue cuts, and lots of protests from public-employee unions.

If Romney perseveres through the height of his demonization, he could be a hero that sets America straight, and be re-elected in a landslide.

America is ready for a gutsy, solid president. And I mean “gutsy” in the domestic sense, unlike Bush 43.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Ed, why didn’t you ask Willy McDole if his pickup truck would be making an appearance at the convention? LOL

HondaV65 on May 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Meh…..disappointing

Basically a kiss-up interview. Sounds like something Hugh Hewitt could have conducted.

Norwegian on May 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Whadda you talkin’ ’bout??? It got me fired up!!!! YEAH, BABAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! LOL

So far so good. The curious thing about Romney is he seemed to be running a general election campaign in the primary and now seems to be running a more aggressive primary style campaign moving on to the general. He says the right things (mostly). Let’s hope he delivers so we don’t have to primary him in ’16.

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

For the most part, it seems that Romney is following the turtle strategy. When was his last MSM appearance? Romney’s not a strong candidate, is afraid of possible 20-point-swing gaffes and his team knows that the more the public see of him the less he’s liked. Team R won’t be able to maintain that sort of strategy though for the duration.

By the way, if he does win in November, it’ll be about as easy to primary him in 2016 as it is to express doubts about the guy now.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

If Romney has the guts …

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM

LMFAO!

HondaV65 on May 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I see the current state of the federal government as a lot with some beautiful hardwood trees that has become so overgrown with trash trees and brambles and trash from trespassers and bums and rats living in the middle of it and backed up drainage that it is a choked, impenetrable bog.

Mitt will need to fire up the Caterpillar, leave the hardwoods and restore the lot to let the sun reach the ground again,

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I do have what might be an uncomfortable question, though. Why was this site nowhere near as pro-McCain in 2008 as it is pro-Romney in 2012? Looking through the archives from, say, March-August 2008, I didn’t see positive McCain story after positive McCain story.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Mitt will need to fire up the Caterpillar, leave the hardwoods and restore the lot to let the sun reach the ground again,

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Yeah, he was so very bold as governor of Massachusetts. Such a reformer. Give me a break. Even if he’s elected Romney would do only what the GOPe tells him to do.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I do have what might be an uncomfortable question, though. Why was this site nowhere near as pro-McCain in 2008 as it is pro-Romney in 2012? Looking through the archives from, say, March-August 2008, I didn’t see positive McCain story after positive McCain story.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Because McCain was a worse flip-flopper than Romney, and a worse politician. He was an easy target.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM

If not, I have no use for him, because he will be just another incrementalist.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:16 PM

He’d be just another incrementalist, and you’d vote for him again in 2016 and love it. You don’t want to be a filty commie bastard, do ya? ‘Course not.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

By the way, if he does win in November, it’ll be about as easy to primary him in 2016 as it is to express doubts about the guy now.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

You think so? I’m not convinced. My feeling is that the lion’s share of conservatives have grudgingly moved into his corner because we want Obama out and Romney is the last man standing. I foresee a big groundswell to give him the Bennett/Luger treatment should he come down with a bad case of rinoitis once in office.

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Yeah, he was so very bold as governor of Massachusetts. Such a reformer. Give me a break. Even if he’s elected Romney would do only what the GOPe tells him to do.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I hope that Romney will see the collapsing state of America and take bold economic moves to arrest the free-fall. This is the stuff he did at Bain. Despite what he did in such a stuffy, ossified state, Romney has a chance to really apply his corporate chops.

He has such a better financial education then McCain.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Because McCain was a worse flip-flopper than Romney,

Uh, no he wasn’t.

and a worse politician. He was an easy target.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Who’s won more elections?

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:31 PM

He’d be just another incrementalist, and you’d vote for him again in 2016 and love it. You don’t want to be a filty commie bastard, do ya? ‘Course not.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

If he were an egregious incrementalist in a time that calls for bold action, you bet I would help primary him in ’16.

We will have to hold his feet to the fire.

But I have hopes that he will rise to the occasion. I can’t always be pessimistic.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

He has such a better financial education then McCain.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Really? So why is Romney for indexing the minimum wage to inflation? Weren’t you one the guys who said I’m a lefty?

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Who’s won more elections?

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I don’t care. McCain got into the Senate on his POW status and then rode the incumbency bus, while hardly having to lift a finger. What counts is what a pathetic presidential candidate McCain was. I don’t think Romney could turn in a performance that pathetic if he tried.

Romney’s smoother than McCain and is faster on his feet. Pulling for McCain was like pulling for an old, broken-down mare.

Romney in much better shape. He can win.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM

We will have to hold his feet to the fire.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Yeah, by holding your breath and primising not to vote for him again in 2016 and really really mean it this time! Well, until a few goons start calling you a lefty for refusing to vote for him. Then you’ll get in line.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I’m sorry, I was in the middle of something and just sat down to make a few comments. I’d like to argue it with you but don’t have the time.

Not running away – just have work to do while the sun shines.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Great interview, Ed! Thanks for posting it.

dogsoldier on May 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Romney’s smoother than McCain and is faster on his feet. Pulling for McCain was like pulling for an old, broken-down mare.

Romney in much better shape. He can win.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM

So why did the old broken-down mare trample Mr Smooth in 2008?

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Not running away – just have work to do while the sun shines.

cane_loader on May 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

LOL, OK.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:39 PM

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

HondaV65 on May 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Two trolls in search of some credibility. They’re like the Barack and Michelle of Hot Air.

cicerone on May 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I do have what might be an uncomfortable question, though. Why was this site nowhere near as pro-McCain in 2008 as it is pro-Romney in 2012? Looking through the archives from, say, March-August 2008, I didn’t see positive McCain story after positive McCain story.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Change in ownership may have something to do with it, though I doubt it. More likely people are collectively more frightened of an Obama 2nd term than we were of his first term. Even though we all suspected he would be a radical, now we know for sure. This may be causing everyone to ralley around this flawed candidate more than we did the last one. My best guess.

Do you have a theory?

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Do you have a theory?

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Has he even said who he supported in the primaries? The great thing about being a troll is never having to take a stand on anything except the compulsive need to repeatedly hijack threads.

cicerone on May 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

To: cicerone
Are you a fascist . . .must be because you don’t seem to handle dissent very well at all. . . . what a shame!

NOMBAMA, NOMITTENS 2012

Pragmatic on May 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Has he even said who he supported in the primaries? The great thing about being a troll is never having to take a stand on anything except the compulsive need to repeatedly hijack threads.

cicerone on May 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

ddrintn and I were both Palinistas. Once she declined to run, I don’t know that he supported anyone. He has been here for a while and is a brilliant commenter in my opinion. I have never seen him support a non conservative position nor have I heard him say he absolutely won’t vote for Romney. I think he is still weighing things. I can’t blame any conservative for being discouraged that after our sweeping victory in the midterms that Romney is the best we have to offer. He has grown on me in the last month or so, but I certainly can’t begrudge anyone else from being skpetical that his performance isn’t going to match his rhetoric based on his record as governor of MA.

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2012 at 7:16 PM

If Michelle still owned ths site…..wish it were true (NO MITT, just pro-conservative)!

Pragmatic on May 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I have never seen him support a non conservative position nor have I heard him say he absolutely won’t vote for Romney. I think he is still weighing things.

Kataklysmic on May 16, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I’ll probably be voting for Romney, the only alternatives being third party or write in, both of which would be futile. It’s just a sense of resignation and knowledge that we’re screwed either way. If Romney wins, he’s likely a one-termer and the congress most likely will flip in 2014…with the resultant discrediting of conservatives for years.

As for my theory, I don’t know. While reading through the archives I was just struck by the fact that the site was anything but McCain-friendly in 2008, and there didn’t appear to be any squads of McCainiacs running around trying to bully dissenters into shape. Maybe it is change of ownership at that.

ddrintn on May 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Good for you. Perhaps you might start your own blog empire.

alwaysfiredup on May 16, 2012 at 6:07 PM

I’m interested in what’s right for this country. TARP was the right thing to do. Sue me.

Buy Danish on May 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Mitt Romney is so dreamy

GW_SS-Delta on May 16, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Im confused. What makes people think that Romney will do what new Republican President before him has done in the last 20 years? And that’s shrink the size of Government. Its like people get so carried away with these guys speeches and sound bites that they forget that they are politicians. I think the biggest joke is the public because while the Democrats and the Republicans argue with each other in public I’m sure they just laugh at us all behind doors. Keep the public divided and that way no real change will ever come about. This two party system is terrible and its sad that people dont see it.

Politricks on May 16, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Mittens Milquetoast Romney is so Stepfordish and icky!

Pragmatic on May 16, 2012 at 9:42 PM

To: Buydanish

If you’re so interested in what’s right for this country, how in the he!! can you support such a pro-democrat wimpy twerp for president (i.e., mittens milquestoast)? Inquiring minds want to know!

Pragmatic on May 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Nice job as always Ed. Thanks.

Bmore on May 16, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Ed seems kinda bald.

Kevin M on May 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

I can’t believe Barack Obama is in the White House and there are people on this site who want to bash the only human being on the planet in a position to remove him.

The ignorance and danger of this mindset is breathtaking.

Elizabetty on May 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

I’ll vote for Romney but we’ll see if government actually gets smaller on his watch.

Mojave Mark on May 17, 2012 at 4:24 AM

I’ll vote for Romney but we’ll see if government actually gets smaller on his watch.

Mojave Mark on May 17, 2012 at 4:24 AM

What you’ll get, in terms of spending, is something on the order of Ryan’s proposals. Mostly, this will be smaller increases in the rates of spending growth for most domestic programs and yes, even defense, along with reform of entitlements to mitigate the huge future obligations.

This may not be satisfactory to many, but it is the best course that can be obtained that is politically viable.

MJBrutus on May 17, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Loved it! Great interview Ed. ;)

artchick on May 17, 2012 at 9:14 AM

So RINO Romney backs RINO Connie Mack IV?
Move along. Nothing new here.

Gunslingergirl on May 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM

So we are planning on whining all the way to defeat again… So much for the USA.

V7_Sport on May 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM

….mmmmmmmmmmm…I’m impressed!…good for you Ed!
(I’m not sure I like Connie Mack all that much…reminds me of John McCan’t).

KOOLAID2 on May 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I’m a day-and-a-half late here but I agree, it was a good interview, Ed, and thanks to our next President, Mitt Romney, for participating – it’d be great if he returned for more of these interviews with HotAir as time passes.

I’m not too keen on Mack, either (I agree with Koolaid) BUT I can’t stand Democrat Bill Nelson, so, I can understand how these political changes happen in steps: better Mack than Nelson.

Good interview!

Lourdes on May 18, 2012 at 6:34 AM

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