‘It kills me’ not to be president: Mitt Romney gives first interview since losing presidency

The former presidential candidate said ‘it kills me’ not to be president and has likened experience of running for president to a roller coaster ride

  • Wife Ann compared it to serving the Mormon Church
  • Also talked about thinking he would win election until hearing early results from Florida
  • Romney has kept a low profile since losing the election last November

By Beth Stebner

The Daily Mail

Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed today that he believed in his heart he was going to win the election and go on to the White House, and that ‘it kills me’ not to be president.

The former GOP candidate, 65, said today in his first interview since losing the election that while he believed he was going to become commander-in-chief, early polling numbers spelled out trouble, and he began to have a ‘slow recognition’ that Barack Obama would win once seeing that Florida was a close race.

In the interview with ‘Fox News Sunday,’ his wife Ann, 64, also confirmed during the show that she was approached by ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but turned it down, saying: ‘I would have loved to have done it…(but) I’m not really as flexible as I should be.’

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Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney and wife Ann have given their first post-election interview to Fox News..
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Painful: Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney and wife Ann have given their first post-election interview to Fox News, both saying that losing hit them hard
 
Ann Romney said that running for president was like their experience of serving the Mormon church.
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Comparison: Ann Romney has said that running for president was like their experience of serving in the Mormon church
 Daily Mail

The wide-ranging interview, led by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, was taped earlier this week and aired Sunday morning. It brushed upon Obama’s second term, current events, as well as the Romney’s newest grandchildren, among other things.

The former Massachusetts governor reflected over his campaign, saying that he did not do a satisfactory job connecting with minority voters, and said that Republicans in general must strive to do better in appealing to black and Hispanic voters.

‘That was a real mistake,’ he said. He added: ‘It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done.’

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Romney later joked that he did better in his second run for the White House than he did the first time around – when he lost the 2008 nomination to Arizona Sen. John McCain. Regardless of his success making it as the GOP nomination, he said he won’t run for a third time.

He compared the experience of running for the presidency to riding a roller coaster and told Wallace: ‘We were on a roller coaster, exciting and thrilling, ups and downs. But the ride ends, and then you get off.

‘And it’s not like, “Oh, can’t we be on a roller coaster the rest of our life?” It’s like, no, that ride’s over.’

FOX News Sunday's Chris Wallace sits down exclusively with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney at their son's home in San Diego, CA for their first post-election interview to be presented on Sunday, March 3rd.
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FOX News Sunday’s Chris Wallace sits down exclusively with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney at their son’s home in San Diego, CA for their first post-election interview to be presented on Sunday, March 3rd
 
 
 
FOX News sits down exclusively with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney at their son's home for their first post-election interview to be presented on Sunday, March 3rd.
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Growing family: Seen cradling their two new grandchildren, the Romneys talked about their plans post-election

Ann compared the experience to the service that the Romneys have carried out within the Mormon church.

‘In our church, we’re used to serving and you know, you can be in a very high position, but you recognize you’re serving. And now all of a sudden, you’re released and you’re nobody. And we’re used to that. It’s like we came and stepped forward to serve.

‘And you know, the other part of it was an amazing thing, and it was really quite a lot of energy and a lot of passion and a lot of – a lot of people around us and all of a sudden, it was nothing,’ she said.

‘But the good news is we like each other,’ she joked.

Romney's '47 percent' comments, made a a private fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida four months earlier, was one of the pivotal moments of the 2012 campaign.
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Watershed moment: Romney’s ’47 percent’ comments, made at a private fundraiser in Florida was one of the pivotal moments of the 2012 campaign

In a one-on-one portion of the interview, Wallace touched upon more sensitive issues, including what faults he believed Romney and his staff made on the campaign trail, including the leak of the now-infamous ’47 percent’ video where he said ‘my job is not to worry about these people.’

The video, which was leaked last September, represented a pivotal point in the 2012 campaign, and a watershed moment in Romney’s campaign.

‘There’s no question that hurt, and did real damage to my campaign.’-Mitt Romney on infamous ’47 percent’ video

‘It was a very unfortunate statement,’ Romney told Wallace.

‘It’s not what I meant. When you speak in private, you don’t think about how much things can be twisted and distorted. It was very harmful. My whole life has been devoted to helping people. There’s no question that hurt, and did real damage to my campaign.’

But Romney was defiant in saying that his career in politics is not over. ‘I’m not going to disappear… I care about America. I care about the fact that we’re racking up larger deficits and putting the peril of the future generation very much in play.’

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Concession: Romney conceded to Obama on Election Day from his campaign headquarters in Boston with Ann by his side
 
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Signed, sealed, delivered: The Obamas and the Bidens celebrated onstage in Chicago after learning that they had won a second term in office

Sharing the next phase of their lives in their home in La Jolla, California, the couple additionally took a moment to present their family’s latest additions after becoming grandparents to 20 children on Valentine’s Day.

The couple cradled their son Craig’s newborn twins before the cameras, one seen in a pink blanket and the other in blue.

The family has kept a low profile since Romney’s concession to President Obama last November.

The couple has been spotted doing ordinary things, such as going to see ‘Twilight’ and, most recently, shopping for cereal at Target.

Romney lost to Obama by a margin of 332 to 206 electoral college votes, with around 62.6million Americans voting for Obama over Romney’s 59.1million votes.

He spent the month after the failed White House bid in solitude at his beachfront mansion in La Jolla, near San Diego, reflecting upon the campaign.

The former Republican nominee is due to address the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington next month.

 
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Stumping: Romney talks with his wife during a commercial break at the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach last January (file photo)
 
Mitt Romney post-Election: You can’t stay on the roller-coaster…
 
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