Romney regrets ‘things that didn’t come out right’

In a Thursday interview with CNN, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney lamented his remarks about the "47 percent" and other comments he made during his 2012 presidential campaign "that didn't come out right."

Romney said in the interview aired Thursday that he "was very upset" after the comments, made at a private fundraiser, became public. "There were a number of times that I said things that didn't come out right."

Modern campaign politics make such gaffes far more difficult to overcome, he added.

"And one of the interesting things about campaigns today is -- unlike 20 years ago -- is everything you say is being recorded. And, you know, now and then, things don't come out exactly the way you want them to come out," he said. "They don't sound the way you thought they sounded. And now, with a good opposition campaign, they grab it, they blow it up. Maybe they take it a bit out of context, maybe they don't, but, it obviously is paraded in a way that you hadn't intended. But that's just the nature of politics today; you have to get over it and live with it."

He also faulted himself for not performing better among non-white and low-income voters.

"The next person who is our nominee has to do a better job than I did at connecting with minority voters, getting more support from minority families and with families that are hoping to make it into the middle class," he said.

Asked later if Clint Eastwood hurt the Republican ticket with his convention speech, Romney dismissed the idea: "Clint didn't hurt my campaign. I hurt my campaign a couple times."

Romney also told interviewer Gloria Borger that going back to normal life was easy; it was campaigning that was hard.

"It's easy to live life with family, with household chores you have, with the privacy you enjoy," he said. "What's difficult is going into a campaign and becoming extraordinarily focused, day after day, speaking to large groups of people, getting to know individuals one on one, learning their experiences, dealing with the media. That's what's difficult. ... When that's over, its like, 'Oh, back to real life, isn't this great'?"

The former presidential candidate is hosting a conference in Park City, Utah, this weekend at which major Republican figures  -- and a few Democrats -- will speak.

Ann Romney recently gave her first solo interview since the election to CBS News, saying that her husband has been "extraordinary" since the election.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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