Failed Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's first official interview since losing aired on Sunday. Guess what? He totally thought he was going to win, until, y'know, he lost. "By 8 or 9 o'clock, it was clear that we were not going to win," Romney told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. Sitting with Wallace and his wife, Ann, Romney gave his best assessment of everything that helped and hurt him over the last year. Romney was forced to address the 47 percent video that severely damaged his campaign, something he acknowledged. "That hurt, there is no question that hurt and did some real damage to my campaign," he said. "It was a very unfortunate statement that I made," he told Wallace. "It's not what I meant... What I said is not what I believe." He also rebuffed any potential blame placed on Chris Christie and the New Jersey Governor's praise for the President in the wake of Hurricane Sandy for his loss. "I lost my election because of my campaign, not because of what anyone else did," he said. "I see my mistakes and I see my flaws, and I did better this time than I did the time before." He did, however, say the long, drawn out Republican primary was "unhelpful," Romney said. "The idea that somehow the primary made me become more conservative than I was just isn't accurate,” Romney said. "On the other hand, a long and blistering primary, where people are attacking one another and where the attacks sometimes are not on the mark but are creating an un -- you know, unfavorable impression, those things are not helpful." Romney will surely win points for stopping the buck for his loss with the campaign, and not trying to place blame anywhere else. A classy handling of a loss, as they'd say in sports. But, ultimately, the unemployed Republican wishes he was spending his days doing other things. "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."
This is a video that will likely be taken down soon, so watch it quickly. Fox doesn't post any video from FNS on the day of the show:
House Speaker John Boehner is still pretty disappointed the President got to raise taxes on the wealthy with the fiscal cliff deal. He said so five times during his interview with David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press. But he also thinks spending is still the real problem in Washington, despite the sequester cutting $85 billion in spending across the board yesterday. "I'm going to say it one more time," Boehner said. "The president got his tax hikes on January the first. The issue here is spending. Spending is out of control." He thinks there are better ways to go about cutting spending than the sequester, though he didn't elaborate on what they are. "There are smarter ways to cut spending than this silly sequester that the president demanded," Boehner added. "And so we need to address the long-term spending problem. But we can't cut our way to prosperity." He also said he doesn't "know whether it's going to hurt the economy or not," adding that he doesn't think "anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work." At one point, Boehner said the President and Senate Democrats have not put forward plans to stop the sequester, and David Gregory called him out for lying. Two bills that would have averted the sequester cuts have died at the feet of House Republicans. He also addressed his "ass" comment from earlier this week. Gregory asked if it was appropriate language for a the Speaker of the House. "Listen, I speak English," he told Gregory. "The fact is, the House has done its work. We have this sequester because the president demanded it and because Senate Democrats have refused to act."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Candy Crawley that Republicans were determined to trim a total of $1.2 trillion from the country's spending over the next ten years on CNN's State of the Union. The sequester was just the beginning, then. "I'm absolutely confident we're going to reduce spending the amount of money we promised the American people we would in a law the president signed a year and a half ago," McConnell said. "We said we're open to discussing how to reconfigure those spending reductions without raising taxes." McConnell also placed himself firmly in the same camp as Boehner. Neither are going to raise taxes in a possible sequester deal. "So far I haven't heard a single Senate Republican say they would be willing to raise a dime in taxes to turn off the sequester," he said. He also briefly and indirectly addressed the rumors of Ashley Judd running against him as the Democratic candidate in Kentucky, and the group that made racially charged attacks against his wife. "We'll see who they nominate, and we'll be happy to run against whoever is chosen," McConnell said. "I will say it has started early. There's a group that's already issued racial slurs against my wife and questioned my patriotism. So the left is fully engaged down here in Kentucky. They would love to take out the Republican leader of the Senate."
On CBS' Face the Nation, Senate majority whip Dick Durbin pointed to the current bipartisan Senate negotiations on immigration reform as a sign things might not be as awful as everyone thinks they are in Washington. Or that those talks are a sign things will get better, at least. "I think people who have given up on Congress would be encouraged to know there's a real dialogue, bipartisan dialogue, and perhaps, just perhaps we can set the stage for a more positive dialogue when it comes to the budget," Durbin said. Durbin is one of eight Senators from both sides of the aisle working daily on an immigration bill. They "have really buckled down," Durbin said. "We meet virtually every day in a bipartisan effort to write an immigration bill. The president supports this."
White House adviser Gene Sperling and Bob Woodward both appeared on the Sunday shows to talk some more about their
fleeting relevance infamous email exchange, but it was Tom Brokaw who had the best take on the matter. "We’ve got to move on, the country doesn’t care about this," Brokaw said after a lengthy roundtable discussion about the exchange on Meet the Press. "This is about an intramural fight in a high school cafeteria. It should be over, now." Brokaw also offered the best take on Washington reporters we've ever heard, apparently handed down from a "wise old bird" of Beltway reporting: Washington reporters "have glass jaws – we throw punches, but when somebody swings back we go down with the first punch." Getting yelled at by flaks comes with the territory, Brokaw explained. "Any reporter who has worked in this town has been yelled at by somebody at the White House or somebody on the Hill, it just comes with the territory," he said. "This is a speck that turned into a sandstorm."
At one point, George Stephanopolous was a well-respected political commentator. Today, he scored the first interview with Dennis Rodman after the former basketball player returned from North Korea. Wearing big sunglasses, a purple Ralph Lauren baseball hat, and a blazer with falling dollar bill fabric, Rodman told Stephanopolous all about his time spent in Pyongyang, North Korea with Kim Jung-Un on ABC's This Week. "He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him," Rodman said. "He said, 'If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.' He said that to me." Rodman thinks he could be the common link between the two countries who for so long have been at odds. Dennis Rodman thinks Dennis Rodman could bring North Korea and America together. "He loves basketball. And I said the same thing, I said, 'Obama loves basketball.' Let’s start there," Rodman said. Rodman also explained that he doesn't condone some of the things his new pal does as a leader, but because he was such a gracious host he'll always be friends with Kim Jong-Un.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.