TODAY   |  January 24, 2014

Romney: I wish ‘Mitt’ didn’t include prayer footage

A new documentary, released Friday on Netflix, features intimate footage from inside the Romney campaign. The former candidate told Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview that he didn’t think the camera was rolling while he and his family were praying.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, we are back at 7:42 with more of our exclusive interview with former presidential candidate mitt romney . the new documentary "mitt" is available today on netflix takes a rare inside look at his two runs for the white house and reveals what it's like to watch an election slip away.

>> what do you think i should say in a concession speech? read what i have here. they also deserve congratulations.

>> governor romney, good morning again to you.

>> good morning, savannah.

>> were there parts of that documentary that were a little painful to relive? painful to watch?

>> that was one of them. on the night that you lose going back and seeing that is not one of the highlights of my life. put together a lot of footage and most of it's kind of fun. as i watch my sons and grandchildren, daughters-in-law interacting and supporting a guy under the microscope.

>> you must live a little dangerously to let a camera in and really see everything for that length of time.

>> well, there were some scenes i wish he wouldn't have included. a couple of scenes where we're praying, for instance. and i knew he was in the room, but i didn't know he was filming during our prayer. but he captured everything and put it together and it's kind of an unusual. i don't think anyone in the world of politics has before had cameras follow them around. they put together film that's not political, it's more personal and family oriented.

>> it's incredibly personal. and you mentioned the shots of your family praying. you see in this film how deeply you feel your faith, how important your faith is to you. were you conflicted about showing that side of yourself during the campaign?

>> well, i certainly wanted to make people understand i'm a man of faith and was proud of that. i didn't want to talk about doctrines of one church versus another. that wasn't my role. the church itself can do that. the fact i'm a person of faith was a important part of my presence and who i was as a candidate.

>> was seeing the prayers on film too personal?

>> it's a little unusual. you see a painting of george washington on his knees, but you don't have film of him actually praying and hearing the words. and in this case, we have my wife praying and me, as well, and we have scenes of ann and i hugging each other and talking very personally to one another. and he -- gosh darn it, he captured all that and actually used it.

>> one of the things people say about this movie, it manages in 90 minutes to do something your campaign never could, which is really show who you are. this personal side of you. do you think that's true? is this the real mitt romney ?

>> oh, i think it's hard for a campaign to do that. and we probably missed the opportunities that we might have had to do that. at the same time, campaigns have 30-second ads and debates and those are very narrow snapshots. what i'd love to see would be to have each candidate do a 1 1/2-hour film on themselves and the voters all have to look at three-hour films and make their choice.

>> one of the things you say in the film is when people lose a presidential election , when someone loses, they're branded a loser for life. do you feel that way?

>> well, if you go back and look at people who have run. just run and lose, they pretty much go off the stage. that's probably as it ought to be. but i'm not worried about that. i have plenty of time with my kids.

>> let's ask you about chris christie . i know you feel and you've said that you feel like he has moved on from this bridge scandal, handled it well. have you called him and offered support or encouragement?

>> yeah, i've been in touch with chris. and frankly, i think what you've seen is a guy who is a strong leader, he took responsibility, he fired people that were responsible for the scandal, and he has moved on as a leader. and i do believe the american people want to see a strong leader in the white house . and he is.

>> you see the bridge scandal and other allegations have come forward. they all seem to have a theme, which he uses, allegedly, hardball, sometimes bullying tactics against people who cross him. have you never experienced that side of him?

>> no, we get along well. we're close friends. and we're watching a washington that can't get the job done, chris does, and that's one of the reasons why he's as popular as he is.

>> you were asked by the "new york times" last week whether or not you'd consider running for president again. i have to put your response up on the screen. it says, oh no, no, no, no, no, no. i count 11 nos. will you never consider another run?

>> no, this is a time for chris christie , mike huckabee , jeb bush , john kasich , a long list, marco rubio , a lot of folks who should have a chance to be our nominee and i'm going to support the one who gets the prize.

>> you think hillary clinton is beatable if she's their nominee?

>> i'm sure she is. because i'm sure people recognize the country's not doing what it should be doing.

>> it's good to talk to you. thanks for your time, sir.

>> thanks, savannah.

>> "mitt" is available on netflix starting today.