tv Mitt Romney Talks to Reporters After Utah County Lincoln Day Dinner Speech CSPAN February 17, 2018 7:50pm-8:01pm EST
listen on the free c-span radio at. order a copy of the companion book, available for $8.95 plus shipping and handling at rkcases.rg/landma there is a link on our website to the interactive constitution. >> southern massachusetts governor and republican presidential candidate mitt romney announced he is running for u.s. senate to replace senator orin hatch, who is retiring. last night after speaking at a utah republican fundraiser, he spoke with reporters for about 10 minutes. [chanting] mr. romney: these are my children here. [laughter] >> given the indictments today
and the evidence of meddling in our 2016 election from russia, do you think the president has taken that issue seriously enough? to note that want i pointed out in the 2012 election that russia was a geopolitical adversary. they poke a stick in our i every chance they get. they tried to influence elections. i agree with the president that they did not determine the outcome in our nation in any way. but what they have done is unacceptable and i am glad they are being held accountable. i believe without question that russians are trying to interfere with the principles of democracy and that has to end. >> how would you deal with that legislatively? >> specifically, what are you talking about? mr. romney: over the last year, when there have been things that i disagreed with, i pointed them out and i would continue doing that. people know where i stand and that i have been critical when there is something that i disagree with. for example, i felt his comments
about charlottesville were of that nature and that is why i said what i did. interestingly, i expected us to be further apart on policy but he is not doing the 45% tariff on foreign goods and did not pull out of nafta day one. he has adopted many things i think make a lot of sense for the country and i will support him and work with him on those policies. but where we disagree, i will point that out also. restrict ak-47s and assault weapons? mr. romney: i will let the states make that decision for what is best with their own state. i think that's the best way to deal with this. >> what about utah? mr. romney: i think each state including our state ought to consider the widest array of options. find out where there is common ground. do what they need to to protect their students. i have grandkids the go to school here in utah. i want to make sure schools are safe. i will not tell people what actions would be the most
effective. i have not seen proposed legislation with regard to guns that would have prevented the attacks that have occurred. passing legislation that might make you feel better but does not do anything is not something i favor. i am not in favor of new federal legislation on the gun front. but let us have states look at protective measures, securing building signs, potentially police patrols or volunteer patrols or intervention teams to step in where there has been a setting where a student may have said or done something frightening. >> what about enhanced background checks? >> [indiscernible] he says the process with you is a coronation, what are your thoughts? mr. romney: i'm going to go to every county. today i was in ogden, lehigh, marriott, and utah county. tomorrow, i am going to 10 or so different towns and cities across the state.
i will work it hard. the convention route with the caucus process as well as gathering signatures. i doubt anyone will work harder to get this nomination and to win the election than i will. >> someone said today that you are not really from utah. how would you respond? mr. romney: that is a fair question. i remind people that i had the occasion of attending college here for three years and i also came back for the olympics, which was a marvelous experience. after our campaign and my private sector work was finished, we decided to make this our home. we moved here full-time in 2014. it is about 10 years that utah has been our home. our first son was born in this town. we love it here, we love the people here and have had great experiences here. i think the people of utah know that i am a utah person at heart.
i love the state i got to live in and serving as governor, that it is really funny. when i go to other parts of the country, and when i ran for president, people all assumed i was from utah. out here, some people wonder. >> do you support daca? mr. romney: the president has indicated he is looking for a path to citizenship for the dreamers. i was more conservative than that when i ran for president, i opposed the dream act. president obama put in place his provisions. i think once that happens and dreamers rely on those provisions, we have to recognize that we as a nation will honor the commitment made by a prior president. i agree with the president, let's find a way to have these people stay in our country. the question now is, what will the bill look white? -- look like? i also agree we should secure
our border and stop chain migration and i think the lottery program is ill-conceived. >> you mentioned the possibility of enhanced background checks. what did you mean by that, what would you favor? mr. romney: there is legislation that senator hatch is promoting. i have not seen the legislation but it calls for enhanced ground checks. i think there has been circumstances with psychological issues and the like. that is something, it is one piece of legislation at the federal level that may well have had an impact on prior attacks. it is one i will study. i could potentially support it, but i have not studied it in depth to make that commitment. >> what was it that made the decision for you to reenter public life and run? mr. romney: i had not intended to do this again. and senator hatch called me in january, 2017 and asked if i would endorse him and i said yes.
and then he said, when i was coming to washington a couple of months later for a board meeting, he asked me to get together. i thought he was going to ask me to raise money for him. that's what politicians usually do. we met in my hotel room and he handed me a memo suggesting that i should run for senate if he decided not to. it was a three page memo. it was the first i had given it any thought whatsoever. i thought he was running. i had told him i would endorse him. my wife and i began to think about it. some weeks we said no way and other weeks we said yes. i just happened to think that i could do more for utah and i could fight for the people of utah. in times like this with the challenges in the world, the more people of sober judgment we can have in washington, the better. >> can you expand on that a little? that i made that final decision? it was either february or march
of 2017. i have the date on my calendar but i don't know precisely when it was. >> governor, you talk about bringing utah values to washington. what will you personally bring? outside of what you are bringing from this state? mr. romney: one, i believe by virtue of the relationships i have with senators and the administration as well as my life experiences that i can be more effective in helping to promote good legislation than the average, if you will, junior senator. at the same time, there are things i care very deeply about. low taxes, low regulation, less government. and i am more of a budget hawk than some of my republican colleagues. those are things i will promote. >> how do you think mitch mcconnell has done as a majority leader? mr. romney: he has had a tough job. and now that he has a republican president, i think you have to say, well done in getting the
pieces of legislation through that the president promoted. the tax rewrite is quite an accomplishment. and then he was able to bring in there as well the repeal on the individual mandate of obamacare , which was a death blow to that approach. and he has been able to keep our government operating. we have had very short shutdowns and then back to work. i do not know how he is running it, day to day. that is something that insiders will know. but this has been a year of accomplishment for the senate and senator mcconnell deserves credit for that. >> would you consider your own leadership role? mr. romney: a junior senator does not play a leadership role. i am not in line for a leadership posted -- post. [chanting -- we want mitch!] >> tonight on c-span, former