This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right. Well, here is how bad this VA mess is getting. Now the FBI is getting involved. Holy cow.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
The agency launching a criminal investigation of the VA, as the scandal over these wait times and worse gets worse.
To former presidential candidate Mitt Romney on what we need to know right now and what he wants to see right now, former presidential candidate holding one of his big summit events in Utah.
And he gets a who's-who crowd at that one, including, Governor -- I'm looking at this -- Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Rand Paul, Rob Portman.
I mean, did you guys have food tasters there or what?
MITT ROMNEY, R-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it's a good group of people that are coming to talk about where the country is and where America's going to be throughout this century.
The people of the country, I think, deserve to understand how we're going to lead the world. And we're going to hear different viewpoints, including some Democrats. Former Governor Brian Schweitzer, a liberal Democrat, is coming to offer his views as well.
CAVUTO: And, by the way, he's among those mentioned as a possible candidate for president himself, regardless of how Hillary Clinton is doing in the polls.
On -- back to this VA mess, Governor, now the FBI involved -- how bad do you think this is going to get?
ROMNEY: Well, I think it's pretty bad, because you recognize that someone had to have directed people to falsify medical records.
So it's not just the people who actually did the fudging. There's been some direction to do that, because it's such a widespread problem. And I think the people who have served our country deserve better than this. As a matter of fact, as you may recall, during the campaign, I suggested we ought to give veterans vouchers.
If they want to go to a regular public hospital, regular private hospital, they ought to have that opportunity. Some people just aren't able to get the care they need from our VA system, and that's got to change.
CAVUTO: Did any of the participants, particularly the Democratic ones at your forum today, Governor, say we should go a little slow on that sort of talk because it does get in the way of public union workers and this notion that it's -- you can't willy-nilly fire them?
ROMNEY: Well, you can't go slow. You can't slow-roll an issue like this.
We're talking about America's veterans. They deserve the very best. And if people have directed individuals to falsify medical records, that's problem. It has to be investigated. And people have to pay some consequence. Look, we have watched this administration deal with everything from the IRS scandal to reporting irregularities in terms of providing information to the press, as well as this VA scandal.
This is going on and on. It's time to finally get to the bottom of who's responsible for the kinds of failings -- failings we have seen and expect people to take accountability.
CAVUTO: Two things, Governor. Your name had popped up among a number of people, but Democrats and Republicans, to take over the VA, given your administrative experience, your Bain Capital experience, your overseeing the Olympics here in the U.S., that you would be the perfect guy for it, and that your name came up.
Did it? And did anyone offer you the job?
ROMNEY: I haven't been offered that job, but I think I made it pretty clear, that's not the job I was after, that's not the job that I'm going to keep on fighting to do, which is to get America strong again and provide a better future for our families and for our kids.
But there are some good folks that have run large hospital organizations, large organizations of various kinds. We ought to tap one of them who has got a good solid record, preferably someone who has spent their life in the private sector.
CAVUTO: Well, they're all turning it down. They're all turning it down. Yes, but they're all turning it down.
And a lot of them have turned -- turned it down or expressed disinterest because they don't think that they would have the power to fire or the power to reprimand or to make the kind of changes they think they would have to make. And a lot of these changes and ideas that have come up in House and Senate versions to fix the VA do little to allay their concerns.
What do you think of that?
ROMNEY: Well, I certainly understand someone who is considering becoming a chief executive officer looking at the kind of authority and power they would have. And if they don't have the authority necessary to clean up the mess, of course they're going to turn down the job.
And, ultimately, if the people with the skills required aren't willing to take the job, you got to fix the job. You got to give them the authority to make things right. And I recognize in a lot of cases, things run by government don't run very well.
And that's one reason why you do your very best to find ways to put these kinds of services in private hands, to the extent possible. And in the case of our veterans, I think they ought to have a choice moving outside of the VA system if they want to get better care.
CAVUTO: You know, if I could switch gears, as you know, Iraq is back to being a mess. Insurgent groups are moving in on Baghdad, we're told, after taking two key cities, Mosul and Tikrit.
A lot of them are coming from Syria. Should we have really followed up on cracking down on Syria when we had the chance, or is this bigger than just Syria? Is this just an insurgent wave that we could not have controlled even if we wanted to?
ROMNEY: No, no.
America is the leader of the free world. America has the potential to shape events, to help guide history in the way that's most fortuitous for the people of the world and for America. And, unfortunately, the president has not taken the action necessary, has not had the foreign policy necessary to protect our interests overseas or in various parts of the world.
And, obviously, his red line in Syria, then walking away from it, saying that Assad must go, then three years later doing nothing really to make that happen, in Iraq failing to get a status of forces agreement so that we could have a group of 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers there, all these decisions made in the past puts us in a very difficult position now, frankly, with very poor options.
This is the consequence of a president that did not take the right actions at the time opportunity presented itself.
CAVUTO: So what do we do now? We're told, sir, that at this point, the U.S. is not considering helping Iraq with a strike at the militants, as the government had requested, although we're not sure of that, because we got different reads. All options are on the table, the president says, and then we hear out of the White House spokesman no ground troops are considered, so mixed messages. What would you do?
ROMNEY: Well, first of all, before you assess what action you take as president of the United States, you have got to have a lot of intelligence, which I haven't seen yet.
So, I'm going to -- I'm going to hold off on making that call. But, clearly, you have to keep, as the president said, all options on the table. The sad thing is, the limited options we have are the result of poor decisions made in the past. You have got to act at the right time, at the time when opportunity is presented.
And this president hasn't done that. His foreign policy is what has led to these crises all over the world. And trying to recapture the lead and keeping these kinds of things from happening is going to be a real challenge. And, gosh, I hope the president is able to do that in his last two years.