Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential nominee, provided insight into the pain of losing the presidency during his first interview since election night.
Romney, who spoke with Chris Wallace on Fox News, explained how receiving the voting results on election night.
“My heart said we were going to win,” Romney said. “It’s hard, it’s emotional. I mean there was such passion in the people who were helping us, I just felt, you know, we’ve really let them down.”
Ann Romney — who spoke to Wallace as well — credited false portrayals of her husband produced by U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign as the cause of her husband’s defeat.
“I believe it was the media’s fault as well,” she said. “He wasn’t being given a fair shake, people were not allowed to see him for who he really was.”
Mitt used the interview to voice his objections with Obama’s handling of the sequester — a series of budget cuts within the federal government that went into effect Friday.
“It kills me not to be there in the White House doing what needs to be done,” he said. “The hardest thing about losing is watching this critical moment, this golden moment, slip away with politics.”
Romney has removed himself from politics since his defeat, but said he would like to work with Republicans in the future.
“Well I recognized that I lost, so I’m not going to be the leader of the Republican Party … but I want to have influence on getting our party to a position where we can be successful in solving the problems that our country has,” he said.
Douglas Kriner, an associate professor of political science at Boston University, said Americans are now ambivalent toward Romney, and even some Republicans no longer support him.
“My hunch is that most of the public continues to have lukewarm feelings toward him,” he said. “But many Republicans blame Romney and his alleged gaffes for their failure to regain the White House.”
Kriner said Romney’s decision to do his first interview on Fox — a right-leaning news station — was a good choice.
“Fox is a nice venue choice,” Kriner said. “This is as good a place as any for Romney to put himself back on the public stage.”
Bruce Schulman, chair of the history department at BU, said he believes Romney will not run for office in the future.
“As a two-time loser, I think it’s fair to say that Romney’s career in electoral politics is over,” Schulman said in an email. “The real question is how he hopes to shape his post-candidate career. Although there are some exceptions, [such as President Ronald] Reagan, [or President Geroge H.W.] Bush, it’s rare these days for an ex-president or ex-presidential challenger to simply fade into the woodwork or into a quiet, dignified obscurity.”
Romney said although his presidential bid was unsuccessful, life has changed for his family since his defeat.
“We were on a rollercoaster, exciting and thrilling, ups and downs,” he said. “But the ride ends, and then you get off.”