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Romney creates distance with Bush administration

August 22, 2007 |  5:58 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney put some more distance between himself and the Bush administration last night.

Making one of the required stops for any politician visiting Las Vegas, Romney appeared on the cable show "Face to Face" with Jon Ralston, noted state political expert and columnist, and provided some revealing insights into his thinking. On President Bush Romney said:

"I think a number of errors were made by his administration the last three years, last three or four years. I think knocking down Saddam Hussein and his military was done brilliantly. But in the years that followed there was not sufficient planning in place, preparation in place, not sufficient management and oversight. Rules of engagement were not ideal. It was really a far less than superb execution following the collapse of Saddam Hussein."

However, he added, "Now that we're into this four years and making progress, we would be unwise to pull out in a precipitous manner, because doing so has the risk of causing not just massive civil war there, but in the entire region."

On healthcare, the former Massachusetts governor said...

"I'm not going to put in place a federal government, one size fits all plan."

On abortion: "My view is that the Supreme Court has made an error in saying at the national level one size fits all for the whole nation. Instead, I would let states make their choice."

Ralston asked, "So it's OK that we're a pro-choice state?"

Romney: "I'd let states make their own decision in this regard. My view, of course, is I'm a pro-life individual. That's the position I support. But I'd let states have this choice rather than let the federal government have it."

On Mormonism and politics: "I'm not going to distance myself in any way from my faith. But my church doesn't tell me what I should do on political issues or what's right for government action. That's something I take from my own study, from my own review, from my experience of lifetime.

"We have a sense of service and want to care for others. We have a sense in this ethic of valuing freedom and liberty, believing it's a God-given gift. Those principles certainly inform my view of politics. But the specific doctrines and practices of my church, they don't have anything to do with secular leadership."

--Andrew Malcolm