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2010 Romney interview: Has he changed in 2 years?

8:24 PM, Aug 30, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- When Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduces Mitt Romney for his acceptance speech, it might feel like Déjà vu. In April of 2010 when Rubio was running for the Republican nomination for Senate, he introduced the former Massachusetts Governor, who had come to Florida to endorse him.

After Romney's speech back in 2010, we had some time to sit down with the man who is now the GOP standard bearer and asked where he was positioning himself for this year.

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At the time, Romney said, "You know, at this stage I'm only focused on the 2010 election and making sure we get good Republicans elected like Marco Rubio here in Florida."

Romney was coy about his Presidential ambitions, although he was traveling the country and giving speeches to Republican crowds. He did have plenty to say about President Obama's stimulus plan.

We asked Romney that if he had been Governor of Florida when the stimulus money came down and knowing the dire financial state this state was in, would he have accepted the money?

He told us, "What I would not have done is welcome President Obama and say, 'The stimulus is what I support.'"

He criticized then-Governor Charlie Crist for endorsing the stimulus and taking the money. "I think it was a mistake to endorse the Obama stimulus plan," Romney told us. But when we asked if he would have taken the money, Romney tap danced and said, "It depends on which money it was. I haven't looked into each piece of it."

While Romney criticized Crist for embracing the stimulus, he wouldn't criticize him for physically embracing the president, which many in the state GOP did. Also back 2010, Romney didn't want to admit he had changed his moderate views.

We told him when we covered his campaign in 2008, he seemed like he was more toward the center and now it seemed like he had taken a step or two to the right. However Romney insisted, "You can't categorize a person in one word."

But the one word Romney will try to drive home between now and Election Day is "conservative" and it all starts with the speech Thursday night.

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