Romney took a moment in his speech to the NRA recently to comment on the California Supreme Court’s decision to go crazy and make up a new right despite California’s clear democratic statements on the matter.
Romney also took a moment to be interviewed by Wolf in the Situation Room (which I haven’t found anywhere else) to defend McCain once again:
BLITZER: And joining us now from Louisville, Kentucky, at the convention of the National Rifle Association, the former governor of Massachusetts, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Governor, thanks very much for joining us.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Wolf. Good to be with you.
BLITZER: Barack Obama really came out swinging today against President Bush and against John McCain for comments they made yesterday suggesting his policy of dealing with Iran could be similar to appeasement, the appeasement policy that was practiced by some European leaders against the Nazis leading up to World War II.
Listen to what Obama said just a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: They’re trying to fool you and trying to scare you. And they’re not telling the truth. And the reason is, is because they can’t win a foreign policy debate on the merits. But it’s not going to work. And it’s not going to work this time and it’s not going to work this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. He’s obviously pretty upset, especially at the forum in which the president spoke yesterday, the Knesset in Jerusalem, on Israel’s 60th anniversary.
I want to give you a chance as a major supporter of John McCain to respond.
ROMNEY: Well, first of all, with regards to the president’s comments, the president said that we should not negotiate with terrorists. That’s nothing unusual. I was frankly surprised to have Barack Obama say that that was leveled at him.
I guess I’m kind of speechless at him saying that that was something that was directed towards him. The president is saying what presidents have said time and time again. And of course in a place like Israel, saying we’re not going to negotiate with terrorists, is exactly what the policy is of that government as well. Although there are other people who take a different course.
And then with regards to Senator McCain, look, you have a very big difference between Barack Obama and John McCain with regards to how you’re going to deal with the state sponsors of terror. John McCain, like President Bush and others, recognize that we’re going to talk with these other nations, but we’re not going to have the dignity of the office of the president of the United States bestowed upon Ahmadinejad or Assad so they can have a propaganda bonanza.
That’s just not going to happen. And that’s the difference.
Does the president of the United States personally meet with the presidents of these rogue nations, if you will, these sponsors of state terror? Is he going to meet with them personally? And John McCain says no and Barack Obama says yes.
BLITZER: The reason the president’s comments at the Knesset yesterday were seen as being directed at Senator Obama and other Democrats is because White House officials traveling with the president told that to reporters after they spotted that paragraph in the speech. So it wasn’t as if, Governor, this was something that just the Barack Obama campaign came up with. The news media traveling with the president, they were specifically making that connection.
ROMNEY: Well, I wasn’t with the White House press corps there, so I can’t comment on that. I can tell you that the comment by the president that we should not have direct discussions — we should not have negotiations, rather, with terrorists, that’s something which has been said time and time again. I think it’s entirely spun (ph) up. And the real difference between John McCain and Barack Obama, both of them want to make sure that we have discussions and we talk with the bad actors in the world, but John McCain says no way would he sit down on his first year in office on an unconditional basis with people like Ahmadinejad and Assad.
And that’s a big difference. And Barack Obama is going to talk about this a great deal, but, you know, he’s the one that said he’ll meet with them unconditionally. That’s a wrong way to go, and I think it shows a level of naivete that Americans recognize is not right in a commander in chief.
BLITZER: There is a videotape that came out today by Jamie Rubin, who’s a Clinton adviser. He used to work for Sky Television in London. He interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, John McCain a few years ago, right after — a couple of years after Hamas won the Palestinian elections, and in that interview McCain said, “They’re the government” — referring to Hamas — “sooner or later we’re going to have to deal with them.”
It seemed, at least the excerpt that was released today, it seemed to suggest that John McCain himself is ready to deal with “terrorists.”
ROMNEY: Well, actually, when I was growing up, and my dad said to me, “Mitt, I’m going to have to deal with you one way or the other,” that did not mean he was planning on sitting down with me at an official state dinner and having a nice chat. It meant he was planning on some kind of punishment. And my guess is, when John McCain says that he was going to deal with Hamas one way or the other, it’s pretty clear what the intent was of his comment, which is that he feels that we just can’t stand by and watch Hamas or Hezbollah continue to fight against the well-being of our own citizens, as well as the well-being of our allies around the world.
I think it’s a pretty clear statement that he’s planning on being tough. Not that he’s planning on bestowing the dignity of the office of the president on someone like Ahmadinejad.
BLITZER: You’re over at the National Rifle Association convention, the NRA. In their most recent rating of John McCain as a senator, they gave him a C plus in terms of issues, Second Amendment issues, issues very dear to the NRA in terms of gun control, access to guns. He’s got his work cut out for him where you are right now, doesn’t he?
ROMNEY: Well, I think, actually, as people compare John McCain here with Barack Obama, that they’re very squarely going to be standing behind John McCain. Now, John McCain, everybody knows, is his own man. He’s been known as a maverick for a long time.
He doesn’t stand 100 percent behind any one group, but he does believe in protecting the constitutional rights of Americans, and that includes the Second Amendment. And while I think the folks here are not going to line up with him 100 percent as well, they’re recognizing that this is a man who is a lot closer to where they are than Barack Obama is. And I think that’s why he’ll get the kind of support that I expect that you’re going to see here from Republicans, Democrats and Independents who want to protect Second Amendment rights.
BLITZER: Governor Romney, I know you’ve got a lot of work over there. Thanks very much for taking a few moments and joining us.
ROMNEY: Thanks, Wolf. Good to be with you.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a guy with his head screwed on this tight be leading the country. SIGH*
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