We were on a rollercoaster — exciting and thrilling, ups and downs — but the ride ends and then you get off. It's not like, 'Oh, can't we be on a rollercoaster the rest of our life?' It's like, 'No, the ride's over.' —Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney is edging back into the limelight, discussing issues like the presidential campaign and sequestration in his first post-election interview and planning for a March 15 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.
In a preview of his Sunday interview with Chris Wallace for Fox News, Romney said life on the campaign trail was like a rollercoaster with highs and lows, but it wasn't one they could ride forever.
"We were on a rollercoaster — exciting and thrilling, ups and downs — but the ride ends and then you get off," Romney said. "It's not like, 'Oh, can't we be on a rollercoaster the rest of our life?' It's like, 'No, the ride's over.' "
Ann Romney, who joined her husband in the interview, said they fortunately like each other enough to be OK with the change, and that their service as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped prepare them for the abrupt end to things like political rallies, the national spotlight and the passion surrounding the campaign.
"It's an adjustment, but it's one that I think we did well," Ann said. "In our church, we're used to serving and, you know, you can be in a very high position but you recognize that you're serving, and then all of a sudden you're released and you're nobody, and we're used to that. It's like, we came and stepped forward to serve."
In another clip released prior to the Sunday appearance, Romney answered a question regarding the automatic budget cuts that were due to kick in on March 1, saying that nobody can consider the process as a success for the president.
"He didn't think the sequester would happen. It's happening," Romney said. "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 to put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."
In an Oct. 2012 presidential debate with Romney, President Barack Obama said sequestration was something he did not propose, and that it "will not happen."
Ownership of sequestration has been a topic of debate, with President Obama and White House chief of staff Jack Lew blaming Republicans in Congress, and others, like journalist Bob Woodward and The Washington Post, saying sequestration "was a White House gambit" brought up by White House national economic council director Gene Sperling and agreed to after Lew sold the idea to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
On issues like sequestration, the president has the opportunity to bring the country together — Republicans and Democrats — and it's a job only the president can do, Romney told Wallace.
Wallace's interview with Romney will air on "Fox News Sunday."
Romney's Sunday interview comes a little more than a week after he was announced as a March 15 speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. His speech is likely to focus on economic and fiscal issues, and his message will be optimistic, National Review reported.
"The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the election," American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said. "We look forward to hearing Gov. Romney's comments on the current state of affairs in America and the world, and his perspective on the future of the conservative movement."
Although Romney's political future is unclear, the day before Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared the city of Detroit to be in a state of financial emergency and announced plans to appoint an emergency financial manager, Slate's David Weigel came up with a plan to solve both problems: Give Detroit to Romney.
"Why not?" Weigel wrote. "Romney's got a mixed record as a politician, but nobody's ever question[ed] his skill as a brutal operator and turnaround artist. He's got a good relationship with Republicans in the state — they even scrapped an electoral vote split plan in 2012 because they wanted him to win! He's got a larger Rolodex of possible investors than anyone else who might be reasonably expected to take this job."
Weigel later followed up his "tossed-off idea," saying it's not a joke, and that "Romney's ties to the city are tighter than most city emergency managers, roving technocrats who do a few years at a time in troubled metro governments."