Mitt Romney said he desperately wishes he had beaten President Barack Obama so he could be working on fixing the country's problems.
In his first interview since the November election, Romney said "it kills me" not to be in the White House.
"I look at what’s happening right now, I wish I were there,” the former Republican presidential nominee told Fox News in an interview aired Sunday. “It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done. The president is the leader of the nation. The president brings people together, does the deals, does the trades, knocks the heads together, the president leads. And – and I don’t see that kind of, of leadership happening right now.”
Instead, Romney charged, Obama is out "campaigning" when he's the only one who could bring both sides together on matters including sequestration, the forced $85 billion in federal spending cuts that went into effect Friday.
"The president out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country and berating Republicans and blaming and pointing," Romney said. "Now, what does that do? That causes the Republicans to retrench and to put up a wall and to fight back. It’s a very natural human emotion.”
Repeating multiple times that "I lost" the election, Romney said he's not the leader of the Republican Party but that the GOP must do better engaging minority voters. Addressing his infamous "47 percent" comments, Romney called it an "unfortunate statement" and "what I said is not what I believe."
Joined in the interview by wife Ann, Romney said both of them were convinced they could win and that it was a "slow recognition" on election night as the numbers came in.
"Some people said, oh, look, if this number here comes in, why, you could win. But you know, by 8 or 9 o’clock, it was pretty clear that we were not going to win,” he said.