Mitt Romney gave a blockbuster interview to Fox News Sunday's host Chris Wallace, and in it he said he's "very proud" of his Massachusetts health care policy that served as a partial inspiration for the Affordable Care Act. "I’m the guy who was able to get all the health care for all the women and men for my state," Romney said. "They were talking about it at the federal level. We actually did something and we did it without cutting Medicare and without raising taxes." Health care came up after Wallace asked about women's health issues, and Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape" from last weekend. "Oh, I think it was a terrible statement on his part," he said. "I think it was uninformed. I think it was outrageous and offensive... I think I have distanced myself from the kind of thing he said as far as I possibly can," Romney added. "He was wrong. And it’s obviously being used by Democrats to try to cast a shadow on our entire party and it’s not. Leaders of our party have pretty much unanimously said, 'Mr. Akin get out of the race. You’ve said something which is highly offensive.'"
He also defended his oft-cited-by-Dems-in-attacks bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. "Well, first of all, there was no reduction, not one dollar reduction in taxes by virtue of having an account in Switzerland or a Cayman Islands investment," he said. "The dollars of taxes remained exactly the same. There was no tax savings at all." He said his blind trustee made decisions "entirely consistent with U.S. law and all the taxes paid were those legally owed and there was no tax savings by virtue of these entities." When asked why didn't defend his foreign investments sooner, Romney said it was because he doesn't have anything to hide. "I could have said don’t make any investments in any foreign companies, in any foreign bonds, in any foreign currencies, only U.S. entities, and by the way don’t buy foreign products, don’t have any Japanese TVs or foreign cars, yeah, I could have done that," he said. "But I did live my life. And I expect by virtue of disclosing all these things, people can take a look at that and see whether that’s something their comfortable with. I’m not going to try to hide who I am and try to manipulate my life to try to avoid the truth," Romney said.
Reince Priebus promised Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that Hurricane Isaac won't stop the GOP from nominating Mitt for President, or from having a good time. Wallace asked if there was a chance the storm could shut down the convention. "No, I doubt that Chris, I think that the show is going to go on," Priebus said. "We’re going to get the business done at the RNC. We’re going to nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. We’re going to have a great time in Tampa." Priebus said the decision to delay the start of the convention "was done out of an abundance of cautious for our delegates and guests here in Tampa," and he assured people's safety would be considered over the rest of the week. "Obviously we’ve got to take it as it comes. We’re going to be nimble. We’re going to make sure we do the right thing. Safety first. And obviously we want to make sure that everyone, no matter where you are, is safe in this storm."
Pulling double duty on CNN's State of the Union, Priebus tried to downplay Romney's controversial birther joke. "I think it's a nothing," he said. "Have we really gotten to the point where we can't have any levity at all in politics?" Priebus asked. "We have gotten to a place in politics that is just ridiculous. No one can say anything that's remotely humorous. The president makes jokes about this all the time." Priebus failed to mention how worked up the Romney camp got when Obama joked about Seamus the dog.
Retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison advised the rest of the GOP to steer clear of a hard stance on abortion on State of the Union. "Mothers and daughters can disagree on abortion, and we shouldn't put a party around an issue that is so personal and also, religious-based," Hutchinson said. "I think we need to say, 'Here are our principals, and we welcome you as a Republican. We can disagree on any number of issues, but if you want to be a Republican, we welcome you."
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said the Republican party has operating on a not-so-subtly white focused agenda lately in an interview on State of the Union. "When you have a party that says coded things, that makes totally false ads up, falsely saying the president is trying to undo welfare reform, I think you're going to see a lot of heavily and not-so-subtly coded messages from the Romney-Ryan campaign," O'Malley said when asked about the GOP appealing to white voters. "What people are going to see very clearly, simply in the pictures that come in to their living rooms of these two conventions, is a party of exclusion, and a party of inclusion," he said. "The Republicans have painted themselves into a demographic corner, if you will. You hear people, like even Jeb Bush, saying that they have to change for the long-term because this view of white, Anglo-Saxon America, 'I'm a true American, no one questions where I was born' sort of thing is very offputting to us who believe that our diversity is our strength." O'Malley said that the tone of the Romney campaign for a while has been very white-centric. "I think the birther comment, when you combine it with Mitt Romney's other comments, the comments he made abroad, about the president not truly appreciating, when he was in England, the Anglo-Saxon perspective on the world, when you put it together with some of his anti-immigrant policies and the things that he has said, I think what it reveals is a sort of perspective on America that would take us back to the days of 'Ozzie and Harriet' rather than recognizing that we in fact a strong people because we are a diverse people."
O'Malley was directly referencing comments Jeb Bush made about the GOP's demographic focus in an interview that aired on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday. "I'm concerned over the long haul, for sure," Bush said. "Our demographics are changing. And we have to change not necessarily our core beliefs, but the tone of our message and our message and the intensity of it, for sure... This is going to be a close election. Long-term, if conservatives principles our going to be successful and implemented, there has to be a concerted effort to reach out to a broader audience than we do today." He also told President Obama to stop blaming his brother for all of America's problems. "I think it's time for [Obama] to move on," he said. "I mean, look, the guy was dealt a difficult hand, no question about it. But he's had three years, his policies have failed. Rather than blame others, and I know that we were taught that that was kind of unbecoming, over time, you just can't keep doing that, maybe offer some fresh solutions to the problems that we face. But that's not going to happen between now and election day."
Marco Rubio said he doesn't like Todd Akin's chances to win the Missouri Senate race in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation. He said it would be almost impossible for Akin to pull off a victory after his "legitimate rape" comments. "As far as that particular race is concerned, absolutely, I believe his statements make it much more difficult, borderline impossible perhaps, for him to win that race," Rubio said. "I think that’s been clearly communicated to him both publicly and privately by a whole host of voices so we’ll see what decision he makes going forward." Rubio said he doesn't think Akin will jeopardize Romney's chances of being elected President, but he is jeopardizing the Republicans' chances of taking the Senate. "I think he's been informed of that," Rubio said. "Ultimately, he has to make the decision he feels is right. Everyone has informed him what the political consequences are."
You can watch the whole ~20 minute interview here: