WASHINGTON – One hundred seventeen days later, Mitt Romney still isn’t over it.
Making his first public comments since losing last November’s presidential election, Romney appeared mystified still that the country didn’t see things his way. He went on the attack against President Obama during a wide-ranging interview on Fox News Sunday, as if the Republican hadn’t lost a beat since giving his last stump speech.
Explaining the defeat, Romney and his wife spread around the blame – Mitt to Obama winning over so many blacks and Hispanics by enacting universal health care, Ann to a news media she believed unfairly caricatured her husband. Yet although Romney said you rehearse all the mistakes that you made, Romney mostly did not dwell on his own failings as a candidate.
Romney insisted he is getting on with his life, but he revealed flashes of pain. For him, the White House remains an unfulfilled destiny.
I look at what’s happening right now, I wish I were there, Romney said. It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done.
Up until Election Day, Mitt and Ann said, they thought they would win. We were a little blindsided, Ann told Fox anchor Chris Wallace. She seemed more heartbroken than her husband, saying she has cried since he lost on Nov. 6.
You know the great Princess Bride’ line, Mostly dead’? she said. I’m mostly over it. But not completely. And you have moments where you, you know, go back and feel the sorrow of the loss.
She added, I know he would have been a fabulous president, and I mourn the fact that he’s not there.
Romney began easing back onto the public stage with Sunday’s interview. He will give his first speech since the election at the Conservative Political Action Conference next week.
In the Fox interview, Romney was not shy about critiquing Obama’s handling of the nation’s fiscal crises – continuing the fights that shaped the 2012 campaign.
The hardest part, Romney said, has been watching this golden moment just slip away with politics. He accused Obama of using automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester to score political points.
No one can think that that’s been a success for the president, Romney said. He didn’t think the sequester would happen. It is happening. To date, what we’ve seen is the president out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country and berating Republicans and blaming and pointing.