Romney Draws Fire for ‘Irritable’ Interview

Nov 30, 2011 6:52pm

A one-on-one national news  interview with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a rare commodity these days, and perhaps this ad released today by the Democratic National Committee is why.

The two-and-a-half minute web video is a montage of news commentators criticizing Romney’s performance in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier that aired Tuesday.

First, bold white words zoom out of a black background calling Romney “tense,” “irritable,” and “flustered.” Then clips from various news broadcasts show pundits calling the interview “disastrous” and “uncomfortable,” and saying Romney was “overly testy,” “snippy” and that “he clearly didn’t like being challenged on some of the simplest questions.”

The Baier interview did get heated at times, with Romney telling Baier “You’re wrong, Bret”  when he mentioned that Romney had said the Massachusetts health care law was a model for the nation. And when Baier asked about the law’s individual mandate, Romney criticized him for conducting “an unusual interview” as he shifted his weight uncomfortably.

Romney grew irritated when he fielded a question from Baier on the accusations that he has flip-flopped on ”climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights.”

“How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?” Baier asked.

Romney responded: “Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate. So, one, we’re going to have to be better informed about my views on issues.”

Romney saved some of his criticism for the newest addition to the top of the GOP polls, Newt Gingrich, whom he called a “life-long politician.”

“Speaker Gingrich is a good man. He and I have very different backgrounds,” Romney said. “He spent his last 30 or 40 years in Washington. I spent my career in the private sector.”

And when asked about the big endorsement Gingirch picked up this week from New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Union Leader, Romney played off  the paper’s obvious snub to his campaign with a joke.

“You know, the union leaders have not always been happy with me,” he told Baier.

Romney has dedicated ample resources to campaigning in New Hampshire and even launched his campaign from the Granite State.

Before the Baier interview this week, Romney’s last national network appearance was Nov. 21 on the Sean Hannity show, also on Fox News.

On the Sean Hannity Radio Show, Romney said today he was “kind of invigorated” by the DNC’s decision to attack him.

“The DNC is doing its best to try and jump into our primary,” Romney said. “They are going to do everything they can to make this election about our nominee. They will try everything they can to divert attention away from [Obama's] record.”

After a campaign event in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday  Romney was asked by one reporter why he “only talks to Fox News,” to which Romney only laughed and did not respond.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Emily Friedman contributed to this report.

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