Hardball | March 01, 2013
>>> we're back. and mitt's back. mitt romney has been laying low since the el occasional sighting of him at disnayland or costco, we haven't heard from the governor since his loss last november. that is until now. in an interview on fox with chris wallace he, sums up the experience of his presidential campaign.
>> we were on a roller coaster , exciting and thrilling, ups and downs , but the ride ends, and then you get off. and it's not like, oh, can't we be on the roller coaster the rest of our life? no, that ride is over.
>> he's making a comeback in this weekend interview and a spaech later this month at cpac . just what message he'll ring and whether republicans will listen, that remains to be seen. ruth marcus is a columnist for "the washington post ." ken vogel is a reporter for politico.
>> where do you see him going careerwise not that he needs to earn a paycheck.
>> who things, not that he needs to earn a paycheck and not that he's going to be president. so careerwise, i don't mean this to sound mean, but kind of nowhere. i think the question is can he turn himself into some kind of elder statesman of the republican party snf statesman without actually ever having been head of state. he's got a hard -- like al gore , right, before i'm and others who have never gotten quite to the top. it's a very delicate thing and this is a hard loss for everybody to recover from.
>> he's a relatively young guy and yet i buy that assessment for him in saying he's over for him. why is it over for him?
>> he personifies some of the things that republicans have identified as their greatest weaknesses and the things that they're trying to move away from this this current rebranding. the inability to appeal to hispanics. the inability to appeal to women. this idea that republicans are the party of the rich. they want the rich to get richer and the poor can kind of go fend for themselves. so that's the discussion right now among republicans , how to move away interest that and if you're the guy who personifies it, you don't really have much of a role.
>> he still has a taste for politics. mitt romney weighed in on today's automatic spending cuts and what they mean for the president.
>> no one can think that that's been a success for the president. he didn't think the sequester would happen. it is happening, but 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. what does that do? that causes the republicans to retrench and put up a wall and to fight back. it's a very natural human emotion .
>>> the president has the opportunity to lead the nation and to bring republicans and democrats together. it's a job he's got to do and a job only the president can do.
>> it sounds like an argument not to use the bully pulpit , if we wanted to use the substance of it. how dare he try to go out and sell his policy?
>> i think it's a little bit of an argument not to use the bully pulpit obama's way. if you're mitt romney , you woke up on election day believing you were going to be president of the united states . and you had in your mind, and i talked about this this week, you had a hundred day and a two hundred day governing plan. you knew that the sequester was coming and you knew what you wanted to do with the sequester. paul ryan told me that ryan would be on the charm offensive with several democrats. both of them, i'm convinced, believed they were winning. they planned to be on this charm offensive with senate democrats , not as the president is now with the country. and it is very difficult, like i said, for anybody to recover from having woken up one morning thinking you're going to be president and vice president and going to bed that night knowing it ain't going to happen.
>> do republicans want to hear from mitt romney ?
>> you know, i don't think they do. i think most republicans would rather see him go away. and at cpac , in particular, where he has managed to -- this is sort of the scene of the crime --
>> the severe crime?
>> seriously. as far as his attempt to sort of rebrand himself as a conservative who is going to really play to the conservative base and win votes and win the primary, which he did. but it was where he sort of veered off from this image of him, this framing of him as a moderate to become this conservative who is unable -- who was able to win the primary. but in so doing, sort of put off swing voters and independent voters, the folks who conservatives need to appeal to. in many ways, if mitt romney sort of personifies the problem, cpac is the epitome of the problem. someone like chris christie shows the voters who they need to win. it's part of the problem.
>> christie should be delivering the keynote. he should be explaining to them how it's done. i have to ask a female perspective of one other question.
>>> the wife, ann romney , i don't mean to refer to her as the wife, that sounds disrespectful. this has got to be brutal.
>> absolutely. i'm going to give this from the female perspective. the spouse. spouse always takes it harder than the principle does. my exhibit a is bill clinton . if you're the principle, you can suck it up and go on and pick yourself up as hard as it is. if you're the spouse, you're filling the wound for your husband or wife and you're holding the grudge. you see a little bit of a glimpse of that from ann romney in this interview.
>> it will give us a little bit of attention with cpac .
>> yes, in some ways, this is like the base of the republican party is at cpac . but it's not the base of the sort of republican party of the future, necessary.
>> correct. thank you both for being here.
>>> when we return, let me finish with my argument for cameras in the supreme court . you're watching "hardball," the place