Transcript: ABC News' David Muir Interviews Mitt Romney


Romney: It's the same time frame the president is speaking of with regards to the transition of the afghan forces, I also indicated that I want to make sure that we have had consultation with the commanders on the ground. The place where the president and I have had a difference with regards to time table is with withdrawal of our surge troops. Commanders were looking at December 2012 withdrawal point the president moves that up to September 2012 which is still during fighting season I sided with the commanders and felt the 2012 decision, the September 2012 decision was premature.

Muir: 2012

Romney: We're talking about the search troops.

Muir: Ok, wanted to confirm for the audience. If those commanders on the ground in Afghanistan tell you that we need US troops to stay longer would you keep them there beyond that 2014?

Romney: I don't want to go into hypothetical's but we recognize the circumstances may change on the ground either for the better or for the worse. I don't think you set hard and fast deadlines without recognizing that there is the potential for conditions to change.

Muir: You are open to it depending on what the commanders might tell you?

Romney: I will consider the council if I'm president I would consider the input of the commanders on the ground as an important element in the plans for our military.

Muir: You are here on what some have termed your world audition and democrats, not surprisingly, continue to hammer you back home on taxes, you remain firm two years and two years only. So from what you have released and from what we have seen we know that there was one year when you paid about 13.9% tax rate. Can we clear this up by asking a simple yes or no question? Was there ever any year when you paid lower than 13.9%?

Romney: I haven't calculated that. I'm happy to go back and look but my view is I've paid all the taxes required by law. From time to time I've been audited as happens I think to other citizens as well and the accounting firm which prepares y taxes has done a very thorough and complete job pay taxes as legally due. I don't pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don't think I'd be qualified to become president. I'd think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.

Muir: You said you would go back and look, would you look for us?

Romney: I haven't looked at the tax rate paid year by year. I know that I pay a very substantial amount of taxes and every year since the beginning of my career so far as I can recall.

Muir: Let's talk about London for a moment, we saw the photo ops with you and Ann at the Olympics, it must have been amazing to return to the Olympics as you often do. On your barrage of negative headlines there in London I wanted to read you something that Karl Rove said, he said: "you have to shake your head, it was a great opportunity instead he got stuck making comments the Brits took as an insult". I'm curious, did you know when you sent that that the British people might be a little offended given how excited they were about their own games?

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