Romney: I'm planning on winning Arizona, Michigan

2012 candidate on primaries, President Obama's policies


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 28, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": In the meantime, Michigan, five hours to go before the polls close, turnout so far said to be low. Thirty delegates are up for grabs there.

By the way, this is also Mitt Romney's home state, a state many say he needs to win tonight if he wants to clinch the GOP nomination any time soon.

Romney telling me moments ago he will win Michigan and Arizona as well.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm planning on winning in Arizona soundly, a lot of delegates there.

And I'll pick up a lot of delegates in Michigan, whether I win or not. I would like to win in Michigan. Obviously, I think I will. But I'll probably end up tonight with two or three times as many delegates coming out of tonight as anybody else in the race. So that’s a victory. We’ve got to get delegates. I'll keep on battling ahead.

CAVUTO: All right, so are referring to the fact that in Arizona, you win there, you take all the delegates. Even if you were to split Michigan, you would take half the delegates; it's a big night for you.

I understand. But you know the storyline. It goes, if you can't win the state that his father governed for three consecutive terms, he's from here, the roots are here, you're in deep trouble.

You don't buy that?

ROMNEY: You know, people try and write a narrative of that nature.

I'm understanding of that, that’s what they are going to try and do. But, frankly I’m planning on winning in Michigan. And if for some reason I don't, I have got by far the most delegates. I got a lot of states ahead. Weve got some states we’re going to win down the road. Super Tuesday, we got some good states that are going to be in our column. And I expect to get the delegates I need to win.

Now, if I were turned down by Massachusetts, where I’ve lived for the last 40 years, where I served as governor that might be a little harder to explain.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, you have noted -- and the Rick Santorum campaign has not denied -- these robo-calls to rally Democratic voters to cast their votes against you, saying that your opposition to the auto bailouts were not good.

Now, of course, Rick Santorum was also against those auto bailouts. But what do you think of the whole tactic and the fact that it could tip the state his way tonight?

ROMNEY: Well, the Obama people, the UAW and Rick Santorum are all running ads focused on Democrats, calling, rather, Democrat homes, saying please go out and vote against Mitt Romney and vote for Rick Santorum.

You’ve got Michael Moore saying he’s telling people to vote for Rick Santorum. This is obviously an effort to try and intervene in our party, to kidnap our primary process. Republicans ought to be able to select the nominee we want.

And, clearly, Democrats have concluded that Rick Santorum is the easiest guy to run against Barack Obama. That’s why they are telling Democrats to vote for him.

CAVUTO: So you think that they are working in concert with Obama folks?

ROMNEY: Well, there’s no question but that they’re in league.

They probably haven’t communicated with one another, but you don’t need to. They’re all running the same robo-calls, trying to get Democrats to go and sign up in the Republican primary, and telling them all to vote for Rick Santorum. That obviously tells Republicans who the Democrats are most afraid of. And it’s not Rick Santorum. It’s me, or they wouldn’t be doing that.

CAVUTO: Still, the president even today, Governor, speaking to the UAW in Washington, said that your anti-union stance, more to the point, your anti-rescue stance is already coming back to bite you.

I want you to hear what the president said a couple hours ago.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: You’ve got folks saying, well, the real problem is -- what we really disagreed with was the workers, they all made out like bandits -- that saving the auto industry was just about paying back the unions.



OBAMA: I mean, even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you know what.


CAVUTO: What do you think of that?

ROMNEY: Well, he sure has quite some rhetoric going there.

And, frankly, what should’ve happened in the auto industry is, it should’ve gone through a managed bankruptcy process. And if government was helped -- was needed to help to get them out of that bankruptcy process that was something I said in my op-ed I was open to.

But the idea of writing checks to the companies, that was something I opposed. And the idea of putting his hand on the scale of justice and saying we’re going to give a disproportionate share of the companies to the UAW, look, we’ve got to follow law in this country.

We either believe in the rule of law or we believe in the rule of cronies. And crony capitalism is bad here, as it is around the world. The president was just simply wrong in the way he managed this process.

CAVUTO: Maybe conservatives in the party, Governor, want you to either shout or get angry more. You addressed it earlier today in a press conference, where you say -- where you said, "I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to win over conservative voters." What did you mean by that?

ROMNEY: Well, there have been some candidates in this race who have said some things that are I think over the top. I have used that phrase before.

I’m not going to pull them out one by one, because it just adds my voice to their voices. But I think you have to show some degree of reason as you are dealing with the issues that we face today.

But I recognize this president has made some enormous mistakes. I happen to think that he is taking America in a country -- in a direction that makes us a great deal weaker, that he imperils our future, that he has made it harder for the recovery to occur, and that if he’s reelected that America will suffer.

And those I think are the kinds of words that need to be heard, rather than personal attacks, which I think are less effective.

CAVUTO: I notice behind you a picture of your dad, George Romney, of course, who governed the fine state, was presidential timber for a while.

But he was considered, in retrospect, Governor, as I’m sure you heard once or twice, almost too middle, too moderate, too mainstream, a criticism that comes up now and again with you.

Rush Limbaugh, even though he has not come out to support a candidate, his name is behind a pro-Santorum mailer that’s come out in the state saying that -- of Santorum, that he’s the last conservative standing.

What did you think of that?

ROMNEY: You know, I haven’t seen that mailer, but I can tell you this.

I have a hard time seeing someone as an economic conservative who voted against right-to-work, as Santorum did, who voted to protect Davis-Bacon, as Rick Santorum did, who voted to raise the debt ceiling five times without compensating cuts, as Rick Santorum did, who voted in favor of funding Planned Parenthood, as Rick Santorum did.

This is a guy who is a far, far cry from a fiscal conservative. And if people want to have somebody who’s a real conservative, they’re going to vote for me.

CAVUTO: Let’s talk a little bit about – there’s always some subterfuge in a primary contest.

The latest that gets tongues wagging is the relationship you with Congressman Ron Paul. Many make a big deal of the fact that you two don’t throw too many darts at one another. They remember Ron Paul ripping Rick Santorum, calling him a fake, Ron Paul going after Newt Gingrich, calling him a serial hypocrite.

He rarely has done that with you. You have rarely come out, if ever, against him, which leads many to believe that you have guys have some sort of a quiet understanding or deal. Do you?

ROMNEY: No, of course not. No one’s going tell Ron Paul what to say. This is a guy who says whatever he wants to say.


CAVUTO: Not against you, for some reason, Governor, not against you.

ROMNEY: Well, you know, we like each other.

Now, we don’t know each other extensively, but we’ve seen each other on the trail a couple of times. We’ve introduced our wives to one another. And we get along just fine.

I think, in the case of Senator Santorum, he and I see him in the same light, which is, he portrays himself in one way, but his voting record is very different. And each of us in our campaigns is going to do what we think is best to become the nominee.

Ron Paul and I battled each other aggressively in Maine. We ended up splitting I think by maybe 150 votes between the two of us in the Maine caucuses.

CAVUTO: Right.

ROMNEY: We’re doing the same thing in North Dakota soon. We’re out there campaigning for the things we think are most likely to get us the nomination.

CAVUTO: So, if you’ll indulge me, sir, the one talk is that you might be offering or considering his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, as a possible running mate. Is that true?

ROMNEY: I haven’t got any thoughts about a possible running mate at this point.

It would be presumptuous and premature. I haven’t got the nomination. I hoping to get it, but I’ve got a long way to go, and no thoughts on candidates at this point.

CAVUTO: If you indulge me yet again on all crass things politics, Chris Christie was here at Fox a couple of days ago, and the issue came up of a brokered convention.

He didn’t envision it, though he did say that, if you were to lose Michigan that might become a more realistic possibility. What did you think of those remarks?

ROMNEY: You know I didn’t hear Chris’ comments in that regard.

But I can tell you this. I don’t think there’s any prospect of a brokered convention. I can’t imagine the four candidates saying, after a long process of fund-raising and campaigning for one to two years, that we’re all going to step aside and give the nomination to someone else. We will surely find a way...

CAVUTO: Would that bug you, if someone walked in like King Henry VIII and grabbed the prize?


ROMNEY: That’s just not going to happen.


CAVUTO: But if it did, could you support -- could you support that person if it did?

ROMNEY: Well, the nominee is going to be among the four of us.

It’s not going to go -- let me just put it this way. It’s not going to go to a convention with all four of us wondering what might happen at the convention. The four of us would have to find a way to make things work amongst ourselves, because we’re just not going to hand this off to somebody else, not after all the work we’ve done, after the vetting we’ve gone through, after the process that we’ve pursued to get ourselves ready to take on Barack Obama.


CAVUTO: All right, Governor Romney.

We did invite, by the way, as we always do whenever we talk to the presidential candidates, everyone else, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, to appear on today’s show. All declined.

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