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CBS "Early Show" Interview - Transcript


Location: Charleston, WV

CBS "Early Show" Interview

MR. SMITH: With us now from Charleston, West Virginia is Governor Mitt Romney.

Good morning, sir.

MR. ROMNEY: Good morning.

MR. SMITH: (Laughs.) Here we are. That's a happy, optimistic John McCain, and still on the attack. Do you want to respond to that?

MR. ROMNEY: (Laughs.) Oh, my goodness. You know, I just heard the very last of it, but he's so inaccurate. He's so making up facts that it's really quite extraordinary -- $10 million of attack ads in California; actually, only positive ads in California. And I think the number was one and a half million. So he's off on both fronts.

Here I am responding to all the attacks of Senator McCain. It's funny how he says that I'm attacking him, but frankly, if you listen carefully, it's the other way around, isn't it? (Laughs.)

MR. SMITH: Well, here's the question of the morning. Super Tuesday, nothing like it ever before -- is there one state you feel like you need or you want more than any other?

MR. ROMNEY: The answer is no. I'd like as many delegates as I can get. You know, I think what began to happen in California over the weekend was really encouraging. I think you had a lot of conservative voices on talk radio and print voices say, "Look, we just can't have the party led by John McCain, who took us in such a sharp left turn. We've got to have a conservative, and Mitt Romney's the guy."

And Californians have warmed to that. And the polls, if they're accurate, said that I'm getting a lot of support there. So I made another trip out to California last night. We had a big rally, over a thousand people there. And, you know, I'm pleased that we're seeing a gathering momentum, particularly in conservative states, saying, "We're not going to have John McCain, who voted against the Bush tax cuts, who voted for McCain-Feingold, who voted for amnesty for illegals, who now wants to put a 50-cents-a-gallon charge on gasoline."

MR. SMITH: So your word of the day is McCain is not inevitable.

MR. ROMNEY: Oh, McCain is definitely not inevitable. If he were inevitable, he wouldn't be saying the things about me he's saying. (Laughs.) This would be a time for graciousness. But, no, he's obviously very concerned. And clearly if I were to win a state like California or do really well there, that would say that the conservatives in our party are not at all comfortable with Senator McCain leading us.

MR. SMITH: Governor Mitt Romney, thanks very much. Good luck today.

MR. ROMNEY: Thank you.

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