• With: Mitt Romney

    CAVUTO: Do you think that, as others look back at that incident, that Hurricane Sandy, for whatever severity it had, clearly, it did arrest what had been the president's slide in the polls?

    There are others who look back at your post-first-debate performance, when you knocked it out of the park, and they felt that you or your campaign had sort of sat on that and then just dropped the ball yourself, that, in other words, you didn't stay on offense and you just didn't keep going for the jugular.

    What do you think?

    ROMNEY: Well, we went after that first debate as hard and heavy as we could, and kept on promoting that as well as we thought we could.

    I'm sure people come up with ideas of things we might have done differently. That's always the nature of Monday-morning quarterbacking. But when you're in the middle of the game fighting hard yard by yard, you're doing your very best.

    And I believe that my team was a superb team. I spoke with a leading Democrat. I won't mention his name, but one of the top leaders of the Democratic Party. He said, look, I thought you had won one week out.


    ROMNEY: This was a very close race. But, you know, events occurred. The unemployment rate dropped below eight percent for the first time just weeks before the election. That changed the national mood. The media celebrated that. Had it stayed above eight percent, why, that would have made a difference.

    But, all told, you're not going to spend your time going back and saying, what kind of events could have happened differently? I made plenty of mistakes in the campaign. The president made mistakes in his campaign. No one runs a perfect campaign.

    The net result of all of it was, he won, I lost. You get over that. You learn from the experience, and you move on, and you say, how do we fight for what's right?

    CAVUTO: But, nevertheless, with all the scandals that have ensued in the last few weeks, Governor, between Benghazi, and the Justice Department, and overreach on reporters, and the IRS, and the large number of groups and individuals who are roped in, and now the Verizon files and the Internet files, and all of this stuff occurring as the Health and Human Services Department is hitting up companies to donate to push for health care, if all of this has come up last fall, different results?

    ROMNEY: You know, there's no way I can make that calculation.

    But I could tell you, it would have made a difference, of course. And that's, again, one of the advantages of incumbency...

    CAVUTO: Yes. Yes.


    ROMNEY: ... is you have some control about when things come out.

    But, for me, I know a lot of people are really focused on these scandals. And they are. This IRS thing is really troubling, and Benghazi.


    ROMNEY: For me, the big issue on Benghazi is, why was there not a rescue mission?

    CAVUTO: All right.

    ROMNEY: And you might say, well, it wouldn't have succeeded. Why wasn't it tried? I mean, these are -- these are real, real issues and real concerns.

    CAVUTO: All right.

    ROMNEY: But, at the same time, one of my biggest concerns is, what is the president's agenda? Content and Programming Copyright 2013 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.