In an interview with Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney opens up about losing last November’s election and going back to private life.
In his first post-election interview, Mitt and Ann Romney talk about the 2012 presidential election loss. The former presidential hopeful said, "It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done."
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joins CNN this morning to discuss how President Barack Obama defeated opponent Mitt Romney in the presidential election on Tuesday. Blackburn argues that the president’s success lay in his campaign’s ability to convince voters that the economy is improving.
“I think the Obama campaign convinced people that jobs and the economy were getting better,” the Romney campaign surrogate argues, adding that she disagrees with the direction Obama has taken the economy. “But with voters all across the country, what we saw was jobs and the economy was the number one issue.”
Blackburn also argues that she is unsure of where “things kind of ran off the rails” for opponent Mitt Romney, but claims that Hurricane Sandy halted the former governor’s momentum.
“The point is President Obama won this race,” Blackburn adds. “Those of us in the House need to help him be a better president in the second term than he was the first term.”
President Obama will engage a crowd of Latino students in a town hall style event at the University of Miami tonight. He follows Mitt Romney’s appearance at the “Meet the Candidates” forum on Hispanic and educational issues co-sponsored by Univision and Facebook. CNN Contributor and Republican Strategist Ana Navarro attended last night’s event. She joins John Berman on “Early Start” this morning with her take on the GOP candidate’s performance.
“It was a very good event,” Navarro says of the forum. She calls Romney’s series of Hispanic events this week “Latino-palooza,” which Navarro feels Romney has waited to do until being formally nominated at the Republican National Convention. The Romney campaign has also spent a lot of money on Hispanic ads, she says. “We are seeing a sprint-to-the-finish, all out effort by Mitt Romney in these last 40 some days.”
Navarro says the crowd had strong Romney supporters at the forum last night. They also had some tough questions for the candidate at the beginning, “a real grilling on the immigration issue, but then they moved to the economic and education issues. You could see this was a Mitt Romney at ease,” Navarro says. “I could tell that he’s been preparing and briefing for debates,” even though this wasn’t exactly a debate format, “he did well.”
Berman asks Navarro if she was satisfied with how Romney received questions at the forum about his somewhat controversial stance on immigration. Navarro says Romney still hasn’t provided specifics but that “there is a change of tone.”
“There is a change on some of the words he’s using,” Navarro says. “We’ve gone from talking about self-deportation to now him saying, ‘Were not going to have massive roundups and deportations.’ We’ve gone from him talking about a veto threat for a DREAM Act if it were to pass under his administration to him addressing some ways where he could pick up and give legal resources to some those students that would be covered under a potential DREAM Act.” Navarro says, “he’s made progress.”
The Romney camp is still repairing the damage from the hidden camera comments Mitt Romney made at a recent fundraiser. He said that nearly half of all Americans consider themselves victims who believe they are entitled to government assistance, and he is not going to worry about “those people.” President Obama responded to the comments in an appearance with David Letterman.
Romney isn’t apologizing for the comments but he clarifies them in an Op-Ed in this morning’s edition of USA Today. His campaign is on the defensive now and CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby reports live from our Washington Bureau with the latest analysis and poll numbers.
Mitt Romney is firing back with an argument against comments President Obama made in 1998 supporting redistribution of wealth. Romney is “basically trying to reframe this controversy as a fight between two fundamentally different views of government,” Hamby says.
His explanation has still defined the divisions in the Republican Party. “It’s the same split that the GOP’s been dealing with since 1964, to be honest,” Hamby says, “You’ve got the sort of beltway elites who have been very critical of Mitt Romney versus the sort of grassroots who actually kind of like Romney’s blunt language.”
On Monday, secretly recorded videos of Mitt Romney speaking at private fundraising event were released on the website of the left-leaning magazine Mother Jones. The clips show the candidate characterizing 47% of people as Obama supporters who are dependent on government support systems. In the same clip, Romney adds to his "entitlement" argument, saying "my job is not to worry about those people.”
In an interview Tuesday, the GOP presidential candidate said he was making a political analysis in the remarks, not a broader assessment of Americans who rely on government-funded programs.
This morning, Obama campaign surrogate, Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE) stops by “Early Start” to discuss Romney's leaked comments and whether or not people have become too dependent on government.
The Governor says that he was “surprised” by Mitt Romney’s comments but “was not surprised that this is what he thinks because this is entirely consistent with his policy positions.” Markell lists these policy positions as Romney’s “embrace of the Ryan budget, kicking hundreds of thousands of kids out of Head Start, kicking students out of Pell grants.”
On the topic of reducing government dependency, Markell says Obama has been focused on energizing the private sector. “We’d all like to see as many people employed as possible in the private sector,” says Markell. “But we also have to understand there’s a role for government to play. We have to make sure that the kids are being educated, to make sure we’re investing in infrastructure, to make sure we’re helping people with job skills.”
Some conservatives like Rush Limbaugh are embracing the leaked videos as an opportunity for Romney inform members of the “47%” about how his policies would help them. Markell says the 47% Romney is referring to are senior citizens, students and veterans who “feel like you’re entitled…you don’t want to be working. That’s not the world that I live in. That’s not the world most Americans live in.”
The election is heating up with just 49 days before voters hit the polls. But the Romney campaign is facing heat today for critical comments Mitt Romney caught making at a fundraiser recently regarding the percentage of Americans who pay no income tax. Christine Romans fact checks those comments on “Early Start” this morning.
The race for the White House continues this morning and a new CNN/ORC poll shows that 49% of likely voters are behind the president, while 46% support Mitt Romney.
New figures are also coming out of key battleground states, with a NBC/WSJ poll showing bumps for Obama among likely voters in Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
CNN's political editor Paul Steinhauser joins Early Start this morning to break down the numbers.
Despite some nasty weather here this morning from tropical storm Isaac, the Republican National Convention is set to kick off its first full day on Tuesday.
Mitt Romney will be making his official debut this week as the party's presidential nominee. The candidate was at church in New Hampshire yesterday with his wife, Ann, who will join a long list of Republican leaders taking the stage this week.
This morning on "Early Start," Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ana Navarro says that though polls are more in Romney's favor, it's still a 'neck-and-neck race' with President Obama.
"This is an important week for Mitt Romney," Navarro says. "It is really his party here, his coming out party. He needs to show himself. He needs to open himself up. He needs to make the sale with the American people and see if he can bump up those numbers."
Navarro adds, "The economy was going to be the issue, but it's turned out to not be the only issue, but it's very important that Romney has got that lead that he has currently and he needs to grow that. He needs to sell himself as what he's been calling himself, the comeback artist."
Poppy Harlow on Mitt Romney's claim he never paid no less than 13% in taxes and how it compares to average American.
"Early Start with John Berman and Christine Romans" airs weekdays from 5-6am ET on CNN. Check in regularly for news, show updates and a little bit of fun.