Mitt Romney: Hillary Clinton — Not Bill — Is the Issue in 2016

Sunday, 16 Feb 2014 01:35 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former President Bill Clinton "breached his responsibility" and embarrassed the United States while having an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky while in office, former candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday, but he doesn't think his issues are relevant to a potential campaign for Hillary Clinton.

"She has her own record and her own vision," Romney told NBC' "Meet the Press" host David Gregory Sunday.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who is a likely candidate for the Republican nomination in 2016, is leading a charge against the Clinton campaign by calling the former president a "sexual predator," saying the affair shows hypocrisy in the Democrats' accusations that Republicans are spearheading a "war on women."

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But Romney said it is not Hillary Clinton's job to explain her husband's actions, and the Republican Party and its presidential candidates would be better off focusing on her history as a New York senator and as secretary of state.

"I think Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee will have plenty to discuss about her own record," said Romney. "I don't imagine that Bill Clinton will be a big part of it."

He also acknowledged that while Bill Clinton was in office, the nation enjoyed economic prosperity, but the former president's private life and mistakes embarrassed the nation.

Romney insisted again on Sunday that while he'll support the GOP candidate who is matched up against Clinton or whomever the Democratic nominee turns out to be, he won't be the one seeking the nomination.

The former Massachusetts governor has sought the presidency twice, but now thinks "by and large people who lose a presidential race, well, they step aside."

But even though he isn't planning another presidential run, Romney said, that doesn't mean "I'm going to quit fighting for the American people."

In other discussions on the show, Romney said he does not believe security concerns about the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, were overblown, but the games have proven so far to be safe.

"I think Russia has shown not only through the application of their security forces, but also through their intelligence work, that they have the capacity to keep the games reasonably safe," said Romney, who is credited with bringing the 2002 winter games to Salt Lake City in 2002.

Meanwhile, the former governor continued his complaints about Russia's more-than $50 billion budget for the games, saying the Olympics can be held for as little as $2 billion. Countries hosting the games should instead spend their billions on efforts to fight poverty and disease, he said.

"That’s what we really ought to be using those resources for, as opposed to wasting them, in many cases, to show off a country or, I think more cynically, to show off the politicians in a country,” he said.

Romney, who wrote an opinion piece for USA Today this past week about curtailing the Olympic costs, said Sunday that the International Olympics Committee should step in to curb the costs.

Despite his concerns about the costs, Romney still calls hosting the games "a great experience." He is an adviser to a possible bid from Boston to host the 2024 Olympics, and limits on spending could help that city, or cities in other parts of the world compete with countries such as Russia, where billions of government dollars can be promised.

But in the United States, the Olympics are funded, for the most part, by private donors. sponsorships, broadcast revenue and tickets, Romney said in his opinion piece.

Politicians such as Russian President Vladimir Putin think it's worth it to spend extravagant amounts of money to promote themselves on a world stage, said Romney, and "the politicians who take this money and spend $50 billion to host the world for TV appearances, they think it's worth it or they wouldn't do it."

Romney also discussed the issue of same-sex rights in Russia and the United States, reiterating that he believes marriage is "a relationship between a man and a woman" and the "ideal" for raising a child is with a father and mother.

"If gay couples want to live together, that's fine," said Romney, while acknowledging it's too soon to determine if same-sex marriages are having a negative impact on the country.

In addition, he doesn't think Republicans or other should worry about who has won or lost the fight on gay marriage.

"You have to stand behind your principles," said Romney. It continues to be an issue that people find relevant and important … I do think it's best decided by the people than by the courts."

Editor’s Note: Secret ‘250% Calendar’ Exposed — Free Video

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