• With: Gov. Mitt Romney, presidential candidate

    Look, he is doing almost everything he can to make it harder to develop energy resources in here, and we are going to be paying for this in the years ahead.

    And, the reality is, we have more oil production in this country today, by virtue of decisions that were made long ago, including by his predecessor. He has cut back the number of licenses and permits on federal lands by over half. And so he deserves no bow for the fact that energy prices now and then come down. I sure hope they come down, but it's not because of his policies.

    CAVUTO: Well, you know, they have been jumping ugly on you, that it's Democrats as well, Governor, over your comments that you should take part of the credit for the auto industry comeback and the auto bailout's success.

    The president termed in an Etch-A-Sketch moment for you. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said that "You knifed us in the back for taking the auto rescue credit."

    What were you really saying there? Because if my memory serves me right, you were dead-set against that rescue.


    ROMNEY: No, here is what I said. And it's written down in an op-ed, where you can take a good look at it.

    This was when the auto executives went to Detroit -- excuse me, went to Washington, flew down there in their company planes and said they needed a bailout.

    CAVUTO: Right.

    ROMNEY: And I wrote an op-ed. This was back when George Bush was president.

    And I said, don't write them a check. They need to go through a managed bankruptcy. They have to get rid of the excess costs of the UAW and other excess costs, and then the government can help support. But don't write them a check.

    And the head of the UAW, he said, that's absolutely wrong. These companies can't go through bankruptcy, it would never work.

    But you know what? That's finally what happened. The president finally came around, and they went through a managed bankruptcy and now they are back on their feet.


    CAVUTO: Yes, but they went through a managed bankruptcy with a lot of taxpayer dollars. That's where -- were you trying to draw the distinction there?

    Because Mark Zandi of Moody's said without all those taxpayer dollars backing up the bailout, bankruptcy filing that was pretty much, as you said, the case, would have never been possible. In other words, a bankruptcy filing alone, these guys still would have been in deep doo-doo.

    Do you agree with that?

    ROMNEY: Well, what I said at the time was -- in that op-ed, I said, as they go into bankruptcy, if government support is needed -- if the government, for instance, has to provide guarantees, then that's something I would be open to.

    Obviously we do not want the auto industry liquidated, go out of business. And I was on Fox and also on "Meet the Press," and other places, talking about this. We're not going to have the industry go out of business, but it needed to go through bankruptcy to get rid of those excessive costs before the government support would kick in, and, frankly, we spent, I don't know, a couple -- I think $20 billion before the president finally decided to let the companies go into bankruptcy. That's what he should have done from the very beginning.

    CAVUTO: If you do not mind my getting a little personal, Governor, you know, it wasn't that long ago -- your wife, Ann Romney, was under attack by many Democratic strategists, famously Hilary Rosen, who said she never worked a day in her life. And I know she has spoken to -- I have spoken to her, of course, and she will be speaking to my colleague Martha MacCallum on this subject.

    You were incensed, but reservedly so, in your response to this. Why?

    ROMNEY: You know, I guess I save my energy and anger, and try and be a bit more measured.

    CAVUTO: Yes, but this is your wife they were talking about. You know, this was -- they were saying some really outlandish things. And did you, as just a husband say, wait a minute?

    ROMNEY: Yes, of course.

    I mean, you know, look, Ann is not only the person I love, she's my hero. She's my life hero. She's an extraordinary fighter.

    She did one of the most difficult things you can do in America, which is; she raised five boys, and raised them well. And they are good husbands and fathers themselves. That's an extraordinary thing. And she gets the credit for that. And she did that, by the way, shortly thereafter, with the disease MS affecting her, and ultimately, breast cancer. She's helping raise grandkids. Actually, just yesterday, she spent seven hours holding our two new grandchildren, twins.

    She's an amazing woman.

    CAVUTO: Congratulations. Congratulations, by the way.

    ROMNEY: Yes, yes. Thank you.

    But I know that there are some people who do not understand the kind of role she's had, and I try and not worry too much about what other people say.

    CAVUTO: Does it bug you, though, on the campaign trail itself, that you're portrayed as just not hip. You can't sing, you've said yourself you're not cool. The president's cool. He can sing. It almost makes me wonder whether you need a hip or cool running-mate.


    ROMNEY: I think I can sing. Come on, Neil.


    CAVUTO: Well, you're better than me, but, then again, everyone is. But, you know, that comes again, and that's what you're up against --

    ROMNEY: I'll do a sing-off, you know. And, you know, I don't think I'll play the president in a round of golf, but I'll be happy to take him to a water-ski course.

    I mean, we have different skills, and different interests, and different hobbies. I must admit that my kids and grandkids are my hobby, and consume a lot of my interest and attention. But people are going to get to know me better. And, you know, Ann says there's a wild and crazy guy locked up inside of me...


    CAVUTO: She has said that, right?

    ROMNEY: ... and now and then I let him out.