March 28, 2012

Romney Talks VP Selection and Other Things with Leno *Updated Video Added*

  7:40 am

Mitt Romney was on Jay Leno last night. In one sequence Leno tried to probe his thoughts on potential VP candidates by a simple word game. From ABCNews:

BURBANK, Calif. — A friendly game of word association with Mitt Romney got big laughs on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” when the presidential hopeful described his chief GOP rival Sen. Rick Santorum as “press secretary.”

Romney was seemingly referencing Santorum’s heated confrontation with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, during which Santorum cursed at the reporter. Leno had mentioned the incident during his opening monologue, which Romney was able to watch backstage, the host joking that he had tried to book Santorum for the show but the censors wouldn’t allow it because of his bad language.

As for the other candidates and words Romney used to describe them, Romney said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is “energetic,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is an “American leader,” U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is “creative” and Donald Trump “huge.”

Asked about New Jersey Governor and backer Chris Christie, Romney said he is “indomitable.”

Santorum was asked about this on the rope line in Janesville. At first he shook his head several times before eventually saying, ”Someone needs to work on his jokes.”

You might be right, Rick, but then again I might say that someone else needs to work on the fine art of laughing at himself and using humor to deal with life’s little stumbles .

Speaking of Santorum’s stumbles, this is what Mitt had to say when queried about Rick declaring Mitt was the worst Republican to face Obama and later the same day declaring he would serve as Romney’s VP if asked:

“Well, you know, you’re on all the time when you’re running for office,” Romney said. “Everything you say is being followed by, you know, a small camera of some kind that someone has. You don’t always get every word just right. And so you have to give people a little bit of slack I think. In this case Rick Santorum is a good guy, he’s running a good campaign. We have some differences in background and differences on some issues, but basically a good guy and, you know, I’m happy with him saying he’d like to be part of an administration with me, nothing wrong with that, if he’s the VP that’s better. I’d rather be the president let him be the vice president.”

Romney gave a surprisingly serious interview on the late night comedy hour. When asked about the difficulty this year in wrapping up the nomination, Mitt said:

“Well, they allocate the delegates on a proportional basis this time, so we knew it was going to take awhile, and I actually sent my son Matt to go to the northern Mariana Islands, we got nine delegates there, to go to Guam — nine delegates there. Ann and I went to Puerto Rico, got 20 delegates there. So we keep adding them up and plan on becoming the nominee.”

There is a lot more where that came from. Check out both of the above linked articles.

*** Update ***

Here’s the video. NBC provides it in three parts:



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Sketchy Willard

There was news out of this appearance. Willard backed off his "repeal Obamacare" spiel, saying there are parts of the law he would keep. We'll wait for his latest etch a sketch/flip-flop explanation, but that was significant.



Yea, things like not being able to turn people away for pre-existing conditions which is wildly popular across the board.

Try again.



You wish


Think bigger than that #1. Yes, there may be parts they all agree with; however, the idea of a 'complete' package needs to be repealed. One can't take one sentence to get full meaning, thinking no further...unless, of course, that is all one is able to do.


Mitt has said REPEAL Obamacare. Period.

Does there need to be healthcare reform and change? YES. Sensibly. States, not Federal.

Romney TAKES THE HIGHER road. Santorum........AGAIN........sarcastic, petty, immature. (Santorum was asked about this on the rope line in Janesville. At first he shook his head several times before eventually saying, ”Someone needs to work on his jokes.”)

Presidential candidate Romney vs Petty candidate Santorum.

Proud of Mitt!


It should be noted that when Leno said "Marco Rubio" some in the crowd started cheering and clapping.


1. with so many not able to afford a decent plan, there are some things that SHOULD stay in place, until the states get their acts together and come up with their own plans. Which, btw, had they done like Mass did in putting in place their own unique plan, we would NOT have Obama Care today. It's easy to stand on the sidelines and scream, it's harder to be on the field and playing.



You are a jackass. In the interview he plainly stated, "On day 1, I will grant a waiver to all 50 states, and then introduce legislation to repeal it entirely."


#7...High Five! LOL


Isn't it sorta ironic that it's the higher educated ones that vote for Mitt and the less so that vote for Santorum (and Obama). Has to make you chuckle a bit though.


Not ironic. Fitting.

The educated and successful who have obviously prioritized their lives well, pick a candidate who prioritizes the issues well.

The uneducated and unsuccessful, and also far more religious, haven't managed their lives as well, and pick a candidate who does the same with the issues.


1. Haha...

Your just got OWNED.


And MANY/NOT ALL of the less educated don't take the time to analyze or to dig deeper to find the full meaning behind anothers words, actions, or thoughts. They just sadly either jump to conclusions or listen to 'hear say', taking it to heart.


And back to the subject matter...I thought Romney did great last night. He looked so presidential and professional. Using the word, 'indomitable' made him look super smart too! AND...he showed he does have the ability to be light heated and humorous. 2 Thumbs Up!


Congrats to Mitt for not engaging in bashing Santo at this point. Punching down looks bad, even if it thrills the dozens of Rombots known to inhabit the planet.

Mitt's lead was actually strong enough to allow him the luxury of the high road back when he was still describing Santo as an "economic lightweight." He's now applying a more rational strategery.


People who insinuate MA healthcare is the reason we have Obamacare (Which, btw, had they done like Mass did in putting in place their own unique plan, we would NOT have Obama Care today.)..........are just taking their thinking from the DNC.

Anyone who thinks the Dems.......started by the Clintons.......weren't going to push through their own health care whose intent is SINGLE PAYER with control of both houses AND the WH........are naive (or stupid).

Blaming it on a STATE (constitutional BTW), free market based attempt at healthcare is dishonest.


The words used to describe Rubio were "American dream", not "American leader."


Opps...just noticed I typed indominable wrong. Feels like a goofball <<<<<<<<<<


#15........Mitt is a great example of civility!! We NEED this in the WH after a president (and this GOP primary which has had constant mud slinging in every TV appearance by some candidates) who has been very divisive.


Why not a judge for veep? outside of the box! after all they come from 1/3 of the govt but never seem to gain political traction with the other 2/3. Given, obamacare will be a huge issue, could bringing in a judge be a good chess move? The problem for the judge is they would need to quit the bench to run for political office but at least they would be $ after such a run and could go teach at a law school....being a lifer judge would be pretty dam boring in my book. Thus, maybe somebody like:

could be a possible veep pick.


#1, Is Sketchy Willard, really Rickie Santorum???? I would guess so.


Or might it be Adam Graham????



The word is got it right the first time. You're right about the Leno appearance.

Willard Mittens Rombot

22. Yea, I was thinking Adamary too. Maybe Jackough?


#11. I'm educated and religious (and I own guns :) ). When you start grouping and labeling people (a dangerous game), one should take special care not to mix groupings... This is something the Obama machine and the DNC do well (aka Alinsky), but we have to STOP letting them work this narrative. They are trying to divide us and pit us against each other, as an opposition party and as a nation, in order to win victory.

Time to unite.

Sketchy Willard

You guys make my point. Romney says "repeal" and out of the otherside of his mouth he says "keep x." I am only asking for a bit of consistency.

The rest of the interview was fine, except (and we all do this) when Romney first spoke about VP he said, "I want a man who . . ." You can't shrink the gender gap that way.

Tennessean for Mitt

I thought Mitt did a great job on Leno. I particularly liked when he said he would try to use smaller words after Leno's reaction to "indomitable". I was also pleasantly surprised at the reaction he got from the crowd. They sounded like Romney supporters.

My Man Mitt 4 President

27. A couple things I noticed.. Jay Leno seemed respectful to Romney, as if he was in the presence of the next president, there was a great crowd in the audience, and the segment seemed longer and more substance than normal.



He's talking about how in his new plan (which you can go see on his site) people who have been continuously insured would not be denied coverage. Do you think it's reasonable for an insurance company to deny someone coverage who has paid their insurance bills for years? Is that "free market Capitalism?" No.

No reasonable conservative believes it's fine and dandy for companies to charge for a service and then refuse to provide it. That's not big government and statism, that's common sense.

Romney's health bill for the nation (which by the way, is basically the same thing he had 4 years ago when running for president) is excellent on all points. It is basically this: Offer individuals tax credits the same way companies are offered tax credits to buy insurance for their employees. That way, people could buy their own insurance and take it with them no matter what job they hold. They would also care about the price, so they would shop around for the best deal possible, which would lower costs because of free market principles. It's the solution to the problem - more people would have insurance because costs would go down. That's killing 2 birds with 1 stone.


7. and 9.

Obamacare does not grant free health insurance to all. Those of you who can't afford health coverage now, think you're problems will be over. Wait until you MUST pay the Government for health care, AND, you're FORCED to buy it.


28 - I agree. More than any candidate Romney benefits from a relaxed setting with someone like Leno.

Tennessean for Mitt

28. Yes, I noticed that too about the length of the interview. It was long enough that it didn't seem rushed. Leno was respectful. He tried to ask some important questions but not in a confrontational way.


Romney is not being two faced here. Obama care is a HUGE bill on the American tax payer that we cannot afford that will eventually convince companies to stop carrying insurance themselves and put everyone on the government plan. Then the bureaucracy in Washington gets to decide what is paid for.

Romney is for common sense changes that keep the market open and help everyone and doesn't burden the national budget.


At least he didn't call Christie "huge."


My Man,

Jay Leno is pretty respectful to all his hosts. He's a professional.



"Yea, things like not being able to turn people away for pre-existing conditions which is wildly popular across the board."

Of course it's popular, but it drives insurance rates through the roof everywhere it's implemented because people can game the system, waiting to get sick before they start paying premiums.


I have a feeling that Romney will not only get the majority of moderate and independent voters, but an unexpected portion of democrats. I think the Supreme Court Justices were able to show some their discontent yesterday with the current administrations policies. And we all know there are a lot more loyal blooded Americans, no matter of party, who are tired of the current circus show in Washington.


Mitt did well in the interview but he needs to look at the audience once in awhile and acknowledge their applause. It's a great and easy place to connect with people, but he misses the opportunity to more fully engage with them. I have noticed this tendency with him on other talk shows.



I think you meant to say Jay is respectful to all his "guests", didn't you? :-)


Here was my tweet of the event: #FoxNews, #CNN, #MSNBC, should ALL be EMBARRASSED! #JayLeno did a far better, substantive, and policy driven interview than the rest. #Romney.

Jay Leno actually gave one of the best interviews of Mitt Romney Romney has ever had. Why? Because it covered policy and issues.



He also needs to learn how to be a bit more animated and not look so stiff.

You can overdo that. A good example of this was when Sarah Palin was being interviewed on her trip to India a year or two ago. She was too animated. She was constantly bobbing and weaving. She couldn't sit still!

So somewhere in the middle there has to be a happy medium.



Good comment. Mitt's problem here is that he's an intrinsically humble man....he's not a grand stander. He doesn't like to call attention to himself. I remember the Scott Brown victory celebration....Scott was singing Mitt's praises....talking about how Mitt talked him into it and backed him all the way, and with the nation watching, called Mitt to the Microphone, and he was behind a lot of people, out of sight, and it took him awhile to get there.

Then, after a brief wave and a very few words, he headed back to obscurity....instead of being up front, milking it and taking credit.


37 - You don't know much about the supreme court, do you? Stick to baking muffins.


Press Secretary....oh that was so funny....after Santo's run-in with NYT. Mitt is subtle, but truly funny.



"I think you meant to say Jay is respectful to all his “guests”, didn’t you?"

No, I was referring to a time Jay came over for a barbecue last Summer. We drank Old Milwaukee, played lawn darts, and I helped him revise some show material. All day it was "please," "thank you," "yes sir," "no ma'am."

But yes, he is respectful to his guests as well.



Be nice!


43 - Don't be an ass.


26 -

He said "replace it with..." So, to review, it's repeal and replace--not repeal but keep.


38 and 41 -

I thought his tone and demeanor were fine, and the audience (and Jay) seemed to approve of his performance. I thought he knocked it out of the park. I especially thought the "I didn't know we were talking about porn" quip was stellar...even had Jay cracking up. Very loose and spontaneous on a brightly lit stage...


42, Dave

you're right, Mitt is a humble guy. Another reason he may not look at the audience is that he tends to consentrate and give his full attention to the one he is speaking to. I just wish, in these types of situatuons, he would give a thought to showing the audience that he appreciates their response by looking at them/acknowledging them.



Mitt's "tone and demeanor" WERE fine and he did a great job in answering the questions. However, occasional eye contact with the audience would have been even more engaging - frosting on the cake.


51 - I'm with Louise on this one; just watched it on my DVR just now. . . and his responses were wonderful. Loved his quip about using 'smaller words' for Jay. That was funny. Loved how he got some standing O's from the audience. . . ... However, it was disheartening to see him pretty much ignore the audience - even their applause. I wish Anne was out there with him; I think he would've played off of her "relaxing" vibes and had more audience interaction. It was almost like he was having a private convo with Jay alone. . . . . I LOVED his response about the Russians. This guy is definitely my choice.


This was actually a very thoughtful interview. One of the best I've seen.

#36 Were you watching the same interview? Did you catch the part where he specifically and repeatedly talked about NOT letting people play this game? If you have insurance, you can't be dropped. If you wait until you are sick, you are going to have problems, and they are of your own creation. Personal responsibility. Unfortunately, too many are irresponsible, and they expect the rest of us to cover them for their gamble.

#38. Yep, I've noticed that too. Someone teach Mitt to look at the camera. He's so polite that he always looks at who he is talking to (especially in debates). Play the camera more. Connect with the viewers.


#53 And regarding my last comment, we should avoid comparing Mitt to Trump or any other camera whore. It's just not in his DNA. I'll take substance over flash any day. Let him hire a good press secretary that fills that role (uh, but not Santorum. I miss Tony Snow).


36. "Of course it’s popular, but it drives insurance rates through the roof everywhere it’s implemented because people can game the system, waiting to get sick before they start paying premiums."

Exactly. If you retain pre-existing condition coverage without individual mandates, insurance rates will be far too high for anyone to afford.



What if you currently have insurance, but are laid off by your employer. After 6 or 12 months, you find a new job (or start your own small business). If you had and paid insurance, but stopped for 6 months, should insurers be mandated to provide you coverage, even if you have a pre-existing condition?

Conservative Independent

Everyone needs to write to Mitt's campaign with their suggestions to look at the audience. Mitt was very entertaining. I thought he did a fantastic job with Leno



If you have insurance, but laid off or quit your job and lose that insurance, you can request a certificate of prior coverage from your health insurance provider. If within a year you obtain new insurance, you can show this certificate to your new provider and they will waive the pre-existing condition waiting period. At least that's how it's worked for me.


Mitt looked presidential. Leno looked emotionally uneducated. Mitt did GREAT! 😀


Some of these comments show that people are attention deficit. It seems to me that they cannot listen to the whole story but pick only an excerpt or take the media and other blogs for their guide, then spit out their misguided opinions. Very sad indeed!

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