I believe the people should have the right to bear arms, but I don't believe that we have to have assault weapons as part of our personal arsenal.
HALPIN: So you're...
ROMNEY: In my state I just signed a piece of legislation extending the ban on certain assault weapons in our state.
HALPIN: Governor, would you like to see that extended again on the federal level, as well?
ROMNEY: It very well may be. In our state what we did is we got both sides of this issue to come together, because we relaxed a number of things, allowing people who hadn't been able to get weapons in the past to be able to purchase those.
HALPIN: But aren't you concerned about weapons coming in from other states if we don't abolish them nationwide?
ROMNEY: Not in Massachusetts. Yes, Massachusetts has very tough laws. But it's a good balance.
HALPIN: We've got tough laws here in New York, too.
ROMNEY: There are hunters in the NRA and the gun owners' action league backed the legislation that said, "Look, let's protect our citizens from dangerous assault weapons, but let's also make — makes regular weapons more available to our citizens." And we made a compromise that works.
But homeland security is bombs. It's trucks with bombs. It's the kind of thing that, it keeps me awake at night.
HALPIN: I understand that. And you're right. It is about intelligence.
Let's talk about some of the issues that are coming up. There was a recent poll that said that 57 percent of Americans who say that domestic issues — the economy, Iraq — they're voting for John Kerry and not the incumbent president. They just don't think the economy and Iraq and the war in Iraq is going well.
ROMNEY: Well, our nation divides Republican and Democrat. Some people agree with one. Some people agree with the other.
It's ultimately going to be decided by a small number at the end that swing one way or another and I think they're going to swing for President Bush. Because they're going to see that the economy is coming back, that his tax cuts did stimulate our economy and are getting it back on track.
And they're also going to be convinced that the person who is the commander in chief for the war on terror should stay there.
HALPIN: Should stay there, even though we're diverting a lot of assets and resources for this war of choice in Iraq and not for things like intelligence, like you just brought up.
ROMNEY: Oh, part of an effective homeland security presence is draining the swamp, is going where they are, where they are training and where their homeland is and doing our very best to root them out there.
HALPIN: I want to ask you...
ROMNEY: The fact that we're doing that I think improves our safety as a nation.
HALPIN: You know, in your book "Turn Around ", which was really interesting, you ran in the first Olympics after 9/11, in Utah. And when you talk about security, you say it really came down to what needed to be done locally.