Romney Talks to ABC News About Health Care, Jobs, Ties and Red Sox

Jun 2, 2011 3:03pm

ABC News' Emily Friedman (@EmilyABC) reports:

In a one-on-one interview with ABC News’ John Berman, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discussed his controversial health care plan, what he would do to improve the struggling economy, his tie collection and of course, his beloved Red Sox.

In the dining room of the Bittersweet farmhouse in Stratham, New Hampshire, Romney said that this time around he’s “in the right spot at a time where what I’ve done in my life is most needed."

"The first thing I will do as President of the United States, if I’m lucky enough to get that job, is to make sure we return America to being the number one place for creating jobs," said Romney. "I know how to do that it’s what I’ve spent my life doing. And that’s what I want to bring to the White House."

Asked how his campaign will differ this time from his failed attempt at the presidency in 2008, Romney said that it will be a “little wiser and a little leaner."

"We won’t be doing all the fancy stuff we did last time around," he said. “I want to make sure people understand why it is I’m running for president. This is about creating jobs, fixing our economy, cutting back on the scale of our government – it’s not about flashy sets and events."

On health care, Romney responded "yes" when asked if he would sign the plan written by Rep. Paul Ryan that would restructure Medicare if it reached his desk as President, but quickly added that he would be offering his own plan.

"His plan is not the plan I’ll put forward, I have my own plan," said Romney. “I’ll be putting that out before I debate President Obama."

Romney indicated he’s not concerned about the apparent lack of enthusiasm many Republicans have in the blossoming GOP field, saying voters will get to know him better as the months go on.

"There is no question that on Election Day all the votes will be cast for one of us or the other, they won’t put down none of the above," he said, adding, "The campaign hasn’t begun yet."

Speaking of his potential rivals in the GOP field, Romney chalked Sarah Palin’s appearance in New Hampshire – just five minutes down the road from the farm where he held his event – to coincidence.

"She’s a person of great energy and passion she does a great job for our party in creating greater interest and conviction that we can change the current president and put someone in that can get this country growing," said Romney.

The presidential hopeful also joked around, assuring ABC News that despite his less formal appearance as of late, he hasn’t retired his tie collection.

"My favorite item of apparel for a man is to be able to have a nice necktie, it’s the only thing with color and interest and I have," he said. “But you know I don’t wear neckties all the time, I do when I go to church I do at fundraisers or formal events but if I’m with the family or a t a farm like I am today, you know, you dress like I’m at a farm."

And how about those Red Sox?

Romney doesn’t seem worried about offending the New York delegates who might be Yankee fans.

"I hope this is one more year we can embarrass the Yankees and take the World Series," he said. "There is a big primary in New York, a lot of delegates there, but I’m afraid I’m a Red Sox fan."

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