• With: Mitt Romney

    China right now has everything they want. They have full access to the U.S. markets, and yet they have no consequence of violating the trade rules that should exist between us, of standing next to Iran and allowing them to pursue their nuclear weaponry without tough sanctions. They're getting the best of both worlds.

    And at some point, you have to have someone that's willing to stand up to China and other people in the world that are not acting in the interests, I think, of a global community.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Housing market here in the United States -- people can't sell their houses. People who are unemployed may find a job in another community, but they can't sell their house in order to that other community.

    ROMNEY: Yes.

    VAN SUSTEREN: A President Romney would do what for the housing community? And how fast would anyone see any relief from it?

    ROMNEY: You know, in my first four years, if I'm lucky enough to become president, I will go to work to get the economy working again. And there are a whole series of things that have to be done to make our economy the powerhouse that we need to be for this 21st century and the powerhouse we need to put people back to work.

    And I've laid out those steps. They relate to taxes, regulation, energy policy. They relate to trade policies, the rule of law, our education system and workforce training, immigration, and finally, balancing our federal budget. You do those things, this economy starts to grow again.

    We add about 11.5 million jobs over my four-year term, first term. if I'm lucky. And that allows people see folks having higher incomes, more people employed, more homes are being purchased and trading hands. That helps lift up the housing market.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, that...

    ROMNEY: But I'm not going to go out and say, Let's bail everybody out and have the government buy homes, or something of that nature. This bailout approach that this president's taken has been an abject failure. He tried to say, We'll pay you cash for your old cars, cash for clunkers. That was a total waste of money. It was not effective. And trying to stop the market from foreclosing and allowing the market to reboot and start over again and see housing prices rise has also been unsuccessful.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Every single thing that you laid out is dependent on getting Congress to work with you. Unless you have you 60 Republican senators and Republicans keep the House, you're in a situation where you have a divided Congress, and all those things you want to do, you're going to run right into a wall.

    What makes you different as a president you can work with a divided Congress than every other president who's come along who said he could?

    ROMNEY: Well, you know, I had the misfortune and also the good fortune of being elected in a state where my legislature was 85 percent Democrat. And so I knew from the beginning that I had to have the speaker of the house and the senate president understand me, know me, respect me, and I them. We came together every week for an hour or longer, talked about the issues of the state behind closed doors. I rotated in different offices to meet with them, show respect to them.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Is President Obama not doing that? I'm sorry to interrupt you.

    ROMNEY: Absolutely. He is absolutely not doing that. He has not made the effort to open himself to the input of the Republicans. I remember at the very beginning, when the stimulus was being fashioned, he said he wanted Republican input. On the first day of the Republican hearings on their plan, Nancy Pelosi introduced the Democrat plan.

    He didn't even want to listen to what Republicans had to say. He had good rhetoric, but the actions showed he, by virtue of having all the House and Senate votes he needed of his own party, didn't listen to Republicans, created a one-party atmosphere in Washington, D.C. And now that there are two parties, he doesn't know what to do.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Would you listen to Democrats?

    ROMNEY: Of course you listen to Democrats. You have to...

    VAN SUSTEREN: How would you be different -- how would you be different listening to Democrats than President Obama is listening to Republicans? I mean, how deep would you be willing to listen to Democrats?

    ROMNEY: Well, he doesn't listen. I mean, he doesn't listen. And he doesn't lead. He doesn't sit down and say, OK, what do you need? And what does this group need? And then look for ways to say, Is there some common ground here? Can we find something that works for both of you? And then use his leadership to encourage, particularly, his own party, to make necessary adjustments, to come to a meeting point, without violating their principles, and the same thing with Republicans, use his influence to try and pull them towards issues that don't violate their principles.

    And that's the nature of leadership. Ronald Reagan did that with Tip O'Neill. Dwight Eisenhower did that. You look over the experience of great presidents, they found ways to work with people in both parties because they had to.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You have said, and so have all the other Republican candidates, you want to repeal health care, the national health care that President Obama has enacted with the help of Congress, of course. Explain how you're going to do this. Because unless you get a Republican Senate, you're not going to get -- you're not -- you need 60 senators in the Senate to do it.

    So you're going to come to Washington, if you're elected president, and you're going to run right into that wall. You're not going to convince those Democrats to back down on it. So how do you intend to repeal health care?

    ROMNEY: Well, there are a couple of ways. First, I can take some actions initially. The original legislation left an opening which allows the president to provide waivers from "Obamacare." I will direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to provide waivers to every state in America from "Obamacare."

    VAN SUSTEREN: So you do it through the back door.

    ROMNEY: That's a bit of a back door. Then I take the front door, which is look for actual repeal and replacement. And I do intend to replace "Obamacare" and to -- to allow states to be the home where we're able to care for those that don't have insurance or that are poor.

    And in that setting, I will take Medicaid dollars and return them to the states. These solutions -- I believe I will be able to find good Democrats, like good Republicans, that will say, OK, I can along with this. This meets my principles, and will work for the American people.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, negative ads work. You -- your Super-PAC has done them. I don't know if you directly have done it. But do you feel comfortable with the negative ads? And I realize everybody does it. All the candidates do it. But do you feel comfortable doing that?

    ROMNEY: You know, our campaign hasn't put up negative ads at this stage...

    VAN SUSTEREN: But your Super-PAC has. Your Super-PAC has.

    ROMNEY: And as you know, by virtue of the law, I can have no involvement whatsoever with our Super-PAC.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You can tell them not to. I think...

    ROMNEY: No, actually...


    ROMNEY: Actually, I can't. That's the funny thing.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You could disavow them.

    ROMNEY: Oh, you know what? The idea that somehow negative ads are this new phenomenon...

    VAN SUSTEREN: They aren't. I know they aren't. They are not new.

    ROMNEY: Then let's not make a big media deal out of it. I'm a big boy. There are attacks against me. There'll be attacks against all the candidates. When the Democrats come in with billion dollars, they'll be attacking all of us. If I can't handle a few attacks coming my way and the other guys can't, well, then, we're not going to get ready for Barack Obama. I've got broad shoulders. I'm able to handle it and...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what about the others? I mean, I'm just saying is that, like -- I mean, the citizens complain about that, and of course, citizens pay attention to them. I mean, that's the terrible thing about negative ads. Everyone says, Oh, I don't like negative ads, but everybody has -- but they have an impact on everybody and everybody watches them. But they never seem to stop. Should they stop?