POLITICS

New Hampshire Primary Results: After Win, Mitt Romney Concedes 'Uphill Climb' In South Carolina

01/11/2012 07:57 am ET | Updated Jan 11, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. Mitt Romney is conceding he's got "an uphill climb" in South Carolina, where he finished fourth in 2008, despite season-opening victories in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But Romney tells CBS's "This Morning" he's confident about South Carolina, saying "I know we're going to push forward."

Romney voiced regret that his fellow Republicans have made his record as a venture capitalist an issue, but said it isn't gaining any traction. He said, "They tried the same line here in New Hampshire and it fell extremely flat."

"We expected President Obama to put free enterprise on trial," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "We're a little surprised to see it from Newt Gingrich and others."

Romney said he has a record of starting businesses and creating tens of thousands of jobs. And he said that if elected, he wouldn't hesitate to apply his business experience in an all-out campaign to shrink the size of the federal government.''

Matt Lauer on NBC's "The Today Show" mentioned Romney's charge that President Barack Obama is promulgating the "politics of envy." Lauer asked whether anyone who has questions about Wall Street and financial institutions is envious.

"I think it's about envy. I think it's about class warfare. I think when you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing america based on 99 percent versus one percent...you've opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with 'one nation under god.'"

Lauer pressed Romney on whether there are fair questions on the distribution of wealth.

"I think it's fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms in discussions about tax policy," he said. "The president has made this part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street, and it's a very envy-oriented attack-oriented approach, and I think it'll fail."

In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," he said, ""I don't know if we can win South Carolina,"

With respect to Bain Capital, Romney told ABC he feels that people want someone with business experience in the Oval Office. "It's working for my benefit," he said.

Asked about comments Vice President Joe Biden made suggesting that venture capitalists care more about making money than employees left behind in business reorganizations, he noted that Biden and President Barack Obama oversaw the federal rescue of General Motors and Chrysler and that plants were closed down in the process, as well as automobile dealerships.

Speaking about his own company, Romney said, "Every time we had a reduction in employment it was designed to make the business more successful and to grow it."

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