Mitt Romney believes he would be doing better than Barack Obama as president. In his first interview since the election, Mitt Romney spoke about the disappointment of not winning, sequestration and what went wrong with his campaign.
"When I 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," Romney said on Fox News Sunday.
Romney believes that the sequester and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, also known as the "fiscal cliff," presented a "once in a generational opportunity" to put the nation on a path to prosperity, in which "America could lead the world for the next century."
That opportunity is being squandered, Romney complained, "by people who are more interested in a political victory than doing what's right for the country. ... The hardest thing about losing is watching this critical moment, this golden moment, just slip away with politics."
Obama is campaigning, rather than demonstrating the leadership needed to solve the nation's problems, Romney added.
"The president brings people together, does the deals, does the trades, knocks the heads together, the president leads and I don't see that kind of leadership happening right now," he said.
He criticized both Obama and Republican leaders for being more concerned about political victories than problem solving: "It's going to take real leadership, and people in both parties willing to put aside political victories and start fighting for national victories."
Host Chris Wallace also asked Romney a series of questions about what may have caused his defeat. Romney agreed that the long, contentious primary campaign and his "47 percent" comment hurt his chances of winning. He also acknowledged that his campaign failed to connect with minority voters. He does not believe, though, that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's embrace of Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy had an impact on the election.
"I lost my election because of my campaign, not because of what anyone else did," Romney said.
For part of the interview, Wallace spoke with Mitt and his wife, Ann, together. Ann Romney said that the Obama campaign was not fair in how it portrayed her husband.
Mitt Romney "is an exceptional, wonderful person. ... He really is a selfless person that really truly cared about the American people. He truly cares about making a difference and helping others. For him to be portrayed in a very negative light, in another way, was very hard," Ann Romney complained.
She also said that if her husband were president, "we would not be facing sequestration right now."
The interview was taped last week. By Friday, no deal was reached between Obama and Republican leaders and the sequester, a set of automatic reductions in government spending, went into effect.
In a Friday editorial for Politico, two Democrats, Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell, echoed Romney's complaint that Obama is more interested in political victories than reaching a compromise with Republicans.
"Obama doesn't want to make a deal with Republicans. His fear-mongering is part of a concerted plan that extends far beyond the sequester crisis: to obliterate the Republican Party as a viable force in American political life," they wrote.