Mitt Romney has had seven months to think about why he lost the 2012 election, and now that he's coming out of his post-campaign dark period, you'd think he'd know exactly how to answer reporters' questions about what happened. But in a new interview with CNN's Gloria Borger, Romney showed he's still not a natural in dealing with the press. When asked if he had hard feelings about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praising President Obama after Hurricane Sandy, Romney said no. Instead? "I wish the hurricane hadn't happened when it did because it gave the president a chance to look presidential."
Romney, who is hosting a retreat with his wife on Thursday and Friday in Utah, appears to have convinced himself that he almost had it. "The election was close enough in the outcome with what 4 percent difference between the two campaigns that a number of things could have changed the outcome," he said. Romney implied the IRS scandal might have made a difference. He demanded to know where Obama was during the Benghazi attack. But by modern standards, the election wasn't that close. That 4 percent is 5 million votes, and Romney needed to flip four swing states.
Among the things Romney thinks might have actually changed the election appears to be his own comments. He repeatedly referenced his own "mistakes" in the CNN interview. He said he "regrets" his comment about 47 percent of Americans refusing to take responsibility for their lives. He said of Clint Eastwood's empty-chair moment, "Clint didn't hurt my campaign, I hurt my campaign a couple times." He said dealing with the press is hard. "Jokes, for instance, will get you in trouble," Romney said. "Any time you're trying to be funny."