Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday that Republicans were right to feel hurt after President Barack Obama gave speeches on the looming sequester.
"Well, no one can think that's been a success for the president. He didn't think the sequester would happen. It is happening," Romney said in an interview excerpt on Fox News. "But to date, what we've seen is the president out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country, and berating Republicans. And blaming and pointing. Now what does that do? That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has echoed Romney and blasted Obama for "campaigning." The charge is strange since the president faces no more elections. The New York Times reported Thursday that GOP House members are pleased with Boehner for not negotiating over the looming automatic budget cuts that take effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
The full interview is set to air Sunday, and is Romney's first since losing the election in November. He is also speaking at CPAC later this month just outside Washington, D.C., in what appears to be part of a slow public rollout.
Fox News' Chris Wallace also asked Romney about the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement release of some detainees in response to the fiscal climate.
"I think the president has to act in the interest of the country," Romney said. "And that means if we need an aircraft carrier in the Gulf -- and I believe we do, I thought we needed one more -- he should do it," he continued, adding that people who are "incarcerated" should be kept in prison if need be.
Bob Woodward, the legendary journalist currently battling with the White House over sequestration, also raised the same point that aircraft carriers could idle due to the across-the-board spending cuts. But as Jason Linkins notes, Congress controls funding and could solve the problem of the looming defense cuts as well.
Romney, with his wife Ann, put the blame all on Obama. "Look, it's politics," he said. "It's, 'OK, How do we do something that will get a headline that will make it look like those terrible Republicans aren't coming together?'"
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