President Barack Obama has himself to blame for the sequester stalemate, Mitt Romney told Fox News in his first major interview since losing the 2012 presidential race.
Obama, said Romney, has been traveling around the country "berating Republicans and blaming and pointing" over the sequester. The former Massachusetts governor, who along with his wife, Ann Romney, was interviewed by "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, said Obama's tactic "causes Republicans to retrench and they put up a wall and fight back—it's a very natural, human emotion."
It doesn't appear as if Congress will pass a budget before the March 1 midnight deadline. The White House claims the across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect will be devastating, and that its negative impact is already rippling through the country.
Romney also criticized the government for deciding this week to release select noncriminal immigration detainees for budget reasons ahead of sequester cuts, and cast the decision as a political ploy.
"I think if there are people who are incarcerated, [Obama] should make sure that we're able to keep them in jail. Look, again, it's politics. It's, OK, how do we do something that will get a headline that will make it look like those terrible Republicans aren't willing to come together?” Romney said.
Romney has avoided the press since his loss to Obama. In his interview with Fox, he likened the election and its aftermath to an amusement park ride.
"We were on a roller coaster, exciting and thrilling, ups and downs. But the ride ends," Romney said. "And then you get off. And it's not like, oh, can't we be on a roller coaster the rest of our life? It's like, no, the ride's over."
Ann Romney said they were suddenly "nobody." She noted: "In our church, we're used to serving, and you know, you can be in a very high position, but you recognize you're serving. And now all of a sudden, you're released and you're nobody. And we're used to that. It's like we came and stepped forward to serve. And you know, the other part of it was an amazing thing, and it was really quite a lot of energy and a lot of passion and a lot of—a lot of people around us and all of a sudden, it was nothing."
The complete interview is set to air March 3 on "Fox News Sunday."