Mitt Romney has drawn praise for a seemingly magnanimous gesture Thursday night. During his speech to the Republican National Convention, Romney said, “I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want America to succeed.”
Only, that wasn’t how Romney felt in March 2009, just weeks after President Obama was inaugurated. Video aired on Up w/ Chris Hayes on Saturday shows Romney saying quite the opposite – that he wanted President Obama’s”liberal policies” to fail:
During an interview with CNN’s Larry King on March 19, 2009, Romney said:
I want liberal policies to fail. I want him to fail in trying to put in place a health care plan that takes away the private sector from health care. I want him to fail in this cap and trade program as long as China and Brazil and Indonesia are not going to play in it. But I want him to succeed as a president, meaning, I want him to succeed in strengthening our economy, keeping us free, bringing our troops home in success from Iraq and Afghanistan. But I don’t want his liberal policies to succeed.
Those remarks are especially revealing given the Romney campaign’s avowed strategy of appealing to swing state voters who may have supported President Obama four years ago and who, despite their disappointment, remain reluctant to abandon the president altogether.
Romney’s convention speech was crafted, in many respects, as an exhortation to those voters. “Americans have been patient,” Romney said. “Americans have supported this president in good faith.”
The Republican nominee’s 2009 remarks, however, would seem to undercut that.
Sal Gentile (@salgentile) is a segment & digital producer for Up w/ Chris Hayes.