Mitt Romney worries that if he doesn’t make it to the White House, the United States will become “like Europe with higher deficits,” the Republican candidate said in an interview on CSPAN, set to air this evening.
“If I were not to … get elected, we would instead in my view become more like Europe with higher deficits, with a debt that could put us in a Greece or Spain or Italy-like circumstance, with chronic high unemployment, with low wage growth and with a military that gets slowly but surely hollowed out so it could pay for the various programs that government would try to keep in place,” Romney told Steve Scully. “I mean, I see America in a declining position under this president.”
Romney also revealed his decision making process saying although there are rare circumstances when he needs to “make decisions immediately” with “no time for deliberation or input from others,” he said his “normal process is much more deliberative and data-driven.”
“I ask a number of people close to the area of subject to come in and present their views,” Romney said. “I like having debate. I like having two sides … I didn’t practice law, but I like the idea of arguing points back and forth and sorting through them, and being able to probe, in some cases you need to go back and get more information.”
The presumptive GOP nominee said he likes “gathering data and information so that you don’t have people just expressing their opinions, but you actually have numbers and facts and figures and people to look to and to find out what’s really happening.”
“And then with the information you have, you make the decision,” Romney said. “I don’t mind whether I’m all alone or whether the people in the room agree with me or not, you make the decision based upon what you feel is best.”
The candidate says he would consult people he disagrees with and if he does become president he will work with members of both parties.
“Former members of Republican and Democratic administrations, I would certainly seek their opinions,” Romney said. “I’d (like) them to be in a room where we debate different alternatives. You really want to understand all the possible downsides, and that is again if you have the time to make that kind of a deliberative process.”
He said as president he would be “actively engaged in the legislative process, putting forward his or her views, fighting for them, finding coalitions that support those views, working with people on both sides of the aisle and trying to build coalitions.”
Implying that President Obama is not engaged, he again referenced how while governor of Massachusetts he worked with a legislature that was heavily Democratic.
“I couldn’t have gotten anything done had I not been willing to work with the leaders of the Democratic Party on a collaborative basis and find some common ground here and there — not everywhere,” Romney said. “We couldn’t agree everywhere. But a number of important areas. That has to happen in Washington. But it will not happen unless you have someone who has the experience and the capability of really being a leader.”
In the interview he drove home the point he has been sticking to on the campaign trail, saying “President Obama is a very nice fellow,” but he “hasn’t run a state or a city, or a business and so he’s kinda learning this leadership thing on the job.”
When asked directly if this means Romney would work with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, he wouldn’t specifically answer the question, instead saying he would “find” members of both parties in the House and Senate “who feel that this is a critical time, that the nation is close to a precipice and that we have to work together to find some common solutions.”
In the interview, which was taped on Romney’s current bus tour at a stop in Cornwall, Pa., and is airing on Father’s Day, Scully asked Romney what his parents, George and Lenore Romney would think of the race. Romney answered that they would “be absolutely overjoyed and delighted,” but “it just breaks my heart that they can’t be here.”
Romney’s father George was the governor of Michigan and ran unsuccessfully for the 1968 GOP presidential nomination. His mother Lenore was the 1970 GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Michigan, but lost. Mitt Romney worked closely on that race with his mother.
“When I ran for Senate a long time ago, my dad came back, moved into our house for almost six months. He’d write speeches and ideas and go out in the campaign trail with us,” Romney said. “He went to parades, he was I think 86-87-88 years old and loved the process then. I know he’d love it now. But I think both he and mom would be over 100 this year, they didn’t quite make that.”
This story has been updated since it was originally posted.