Romney: Clinton did ‘elevate’ Democratic convention

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

Mitt Romney says Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention "really did elevate" that gathering and that the former two-term president might even be able to win another four years in the White House "if the Constitution weren't in his way." Romney's comments, in an excerpt of an interview with Meet the Press, came as Clinton prepared to campaign for President Barack Obama in key swing states.

So could Clinton win another term?

"If the Constitution weren't in his way, perhaps. I don't know the answer to that," Romney says in the snippet of the exchange, to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

"But he did stand out in contrast with the other speakers. I think he really did elevate the Democrat convention in a lot of ways," the Republican presidential hopeful says. "And frankly the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who'd go before him and who'd go after."

If Obama had any second thoughts about Clinton's speech, one of the best-received addresses at the convention, he hasn't shown them during a three-day tour through New Hampshire, Iowa and Florida — quite the opposite. Obama has peppered his stump speech with Clinton quotes and joked that he might name the former president "secretary of explaining stuff."

Clinton is also scheduled to campaign for Obama in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Romney also knocked Republican congressional leaders for making "a big mistake" by agreeing to the so-called "sequester" -- automatic spending cuts to social programs and the military set to kick in at year's end, the price of failure to reach a sweeping deficit-cutting deal.

"The American people need to understand how it is that our defense is going to be so badly cut," he said. (Romney's running mate, Republican Representative Paul Ryan, voted for the legislation that created the sequester).