Allahpundit highlighted a significant portion of Chris Wallace’s interview with Mitt Romney in last night’s QOTD, but the interview with both Mitt and Ann Romney is also worth a watch and its own post. Some of this came out ahead of its air date yesterday, such as Ann Romney’s joking aside that she was “happy to blame the media” for the loss. She also expresses frustration with the Romney campaign, which she and her son Tagg felt was too constrictive for the candidate. Ann also attacked the Obama campaign for its “unfair” depiction of her husband.
Ann also scotches the rumors that the Massachusetts GOP approached her to run for John Kerry’s open Senate seat. No one approached her, Ann says, although she also heard the speculation about the supposedly “fun” idea. No one asked her if she thought it would be fun, and said there was no way she’d have ever agreed to run.
The Corner picks up on another part of the Mitt-only interview dealing with the primary fight. Unlike most commentators, Romney doesn’t feel that the “long and blistering primary” made him any more conservative:
“The idea that somehow . . . the primary made me become more conservative than I was just isn’t accurate,” Romney said on Fox News Sunday. Instead, the “long and blistering primary” led to a series of attacks that he believed created an “unfavorable impression” of him.
Romney also criticized the debates, saying that sometimes there were “questions that are kind of silly, that end up hurting you in the general” election. He specifically highlighted the instance when GOP candidates were asked if they would accept a deal that had a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases.
Two thoughts on that topic. First, many supporters of other candidates in the primary will argue that the “blistering” aspect of the primary had its source in Team Romney, which laid on the negative campaigning rather thickly in the months leading up to the actual primaries and caucus events. No one will forget the heavy-handed attacks on Newt Gingrich, at least, as soon as his star began to rise after a debate in North Carolina. That doesn’t mean that Romney’s wrong about the problem, but just seems to suggest that he didn’t contribute to it.
Romney’s right about the debates, too, but only to a certain point. The questions in the debates were intended to tear down the candidates, but Republicans will have to expect that as long as they continue to insist on pairing with media outlets for the debates. They can stage these debates themselves and narrowcast them on the Internet and invite C-SPAN to televise them, and then choose moderators that will focus on real issues rather than contraception and the latest TV ads. Until the GOP makes up its mind to do that, Republican candidates will have to endure the freak-show moderation and game-show formats imposed on them by the mainstream media.