Transcript: Mitt and Ann Romney's Interview With Diane Sawyer


I believe that there is a sanctity to human life which should be considered and would like to see the states be the place where these decisions are made from a governmental standpoint as opposed to having the federal government-- read that into the federal constitution.

DIANE SAWYER: A quick question if I can about Afghanistan because--

DIANE SAWYER: The Taliban has apparently begun a spring offensive. Do you still believe we should not negotiate with the Taliban?

MITT ROMNEY: You know, I believe in negotiating from a position of strength. We had one negotiation with the Taliban. It turned out not to be the Taliban. Do you want to talk with other people? I have-- I have no difficulty in sending message back and forth. We-- I'm sure we-- we communicate to the media-- to one another. But w-- we're in a position where we've told the Taliban when we're pulling out our combat troops, which is coming up very soon. We told the Taliban we were bringing out all of our troops. What possible reason would they have to negotiate with us other than to say, "Give us a sign of good faith, release some people from prison". This is the kind of thing the Taliban asks for. My own view is th-- that we should do exactly what we set out to do which is to provide to the Afghan people a military that can defend themselves and preserve their sovereignty from the Taliban--

MITT ROMNEY: And they-- and they will then have the responsibility of securing their own-- freedom and independence from the Taliban.

DIANE SAWYER: But if you can establish they are indeed-- the leadership of the Taliban, you think--

MITT ROMNEY: I'm sorry?

DIANE SAWYER: I wanted to make sure I heard you right, that if they are indeed confirmed the leadership of the Taliban you have no problem with sitting down and talking to them?

MITT ROMNEY: No, that's not what I said. What-- what I said was that there was an effort to meet with the Taliban, it turned out not to be the Taliban. So I was pointing out that that prior effort was failed. I would not negotiate with the Taliban. I don't think we're in a position-- to advance our interests or the interests of the Karzai government or for that matter for the people of-- of Afghanistan. I think the time-- for negotiation with-- with-- a part-- a foe as in the case of the Taliban is now when they're attacking and feel that they're succeeding. And when they see us leaving the country what-- what possible reason would they say, "Oh fine, we're-- we're willing to give you the things that you, America, would like. But you're leaving anyway, America."

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