TRANSCRIPT: PETER ALEXANDER INTERVIEWS MITT ROMNEY

NBC News

September 24, 2012 — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke with NBC’s Peter Alexander in Denver, CO today before traveling to a campaign event in Pueblo, CO. A full transcript is below; video will be available online at www.NBCPolitics.com.

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MANDATORY CREDIT: NBC NEWS

PETER ALEXANDER:
First, Governor thanks for your time; we appreciate it. We will be back here in Denver nine days from now just six weeks until this election. Polls show you are trailing in pretty much every battleground state, are you feeling some pressure going up against a popular incumbent?

MITT ROMNEY:
I think this is an election about a choice between two different paths. We watched 60 Minutes last night as a nation, people saw the President’s path forward, they saw the things I would do and we have very different views on foreign policy and a domestic policy. The president characterized as bumps in the road — the developments of the Middle East, we just had an ambassador assassinated. Egypt has elected a Muslim brotherhood or person as president. Iran is on the cusp of having nuclear capability. We have Tumult in Syria and also Pakistan and I don’t consider these bumps in the road, I think this is a time for American leadership domestically; the president’s policies are a continuation of the past four years. We can’t afford four more years like the last four years.

PETER ALEXANDER:
Governor, in your heart of hearts do you genuinely believe that President Obama, when he referred to bumps in the road and was not deeply — perhaps a better way to put it, is do you genuinely believe in your heart of hearts that President Obama wasn’t deeply saddened by the loss of four American lives in Libya – that he was speaking more widely about policy in that region not about the loss of lives that took place there at the consulate and embassy.

MITT ROMNEY:
When the president was speaking about bumps in the road he was talking about the developments in the Middle East and that includes an assassination, it includes a Muslim brotherhood individual becoming President of Egypt, it includes Syria being in tumult, it includes Iran being on the cusp of having nuclear capability, it includes Pakistan being in commotion. There are extraordinary events going on in the Middle East and considering those events either one of them or all of them collectively as bumps in the road shows a person who has a very different perspective about world affairs and the perspective I have. I think this is a time for American to exert leadership and this is not something that we are doing in the Middle East and frankly the course we are on also domestically has left so many people behind, I think we have to take a very different course than the course that has been followed over the last four years.

PETER ALEXANDER:
Governor, your campaign has gone after the president for saying that he was disappointed in his inability to change the tone in Washington. Across America, Americans have heard candidates from the outside say that they can change Washington. George W. Bush couldn’t effectively do it, you say President Obama hasn’t effectively done it, is it realistic and how are you going to be able to do it, is that a fair promise to make?

MITT ROMNEY:
Well, what I can tell you is I have had the experience of being in a state where my legislature was overwhelmingly in the opposition party and I was able to work with them. We found a way to find mutual respect even though we didn’t always agree, often times far from it, we were able to work together and if I am president, and when I am president I will work with Democratic leaders as well as Republican leaders on the extraordinary challenges we have. We have to take this economy in a different direction then it has been going over the last four years and that must be done with a leader who is willing to exert leadership in Congress with Republicans and Democrats and I will.

PETER ALEXANDER:
So our final question is in this country right now, you spent the last of your campaigning, unemployment is above 8%, the debt continues to grow, members of your own party say this should be a no-brainer for Republicans to beat the President right now. The polls consistently show you trailing and you’re not popular in every state almost, and every poll that’s shown more folks view you as unfavorable than favorable. Why have you failed to connect with average Americans?

MITT ROMNEY:
This is a campaign about a choice as people watch the debates, as they look at our ads, as they hear our speeches, they focus more and more on the path forward. I’m convinced they are going to conclude, as I have, that we can’t afford 4 more years like the last 4 years.

PETER ALEXANDER:
But how have you failed to make that connection?

MITT ROMNEY:
I’m very pleased with the fact that we have a campaign that is taking our message to the people across America and look, we’re going to win. There is no question in my mind. We’re going to win. The polls go up, polls go down, there’ve been some weeks I am ahead, some weeks I am behind. You know, all these states that voted for Barack Obama the last time, right now the majority of people in those states are saying that they don’t want to vote for Barack Obama. My job is to make sure they understand what I stand for, they understand the path forward I would take if I do that well, I’ll be elected President and I expect to do it well.

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TRANSCRIPT: PETER ALEXANDER INTERVIEWS MITT ROMNEY