You have interviewed Mitt Romney for this book in January,
and I have to say, reading what he said in response to your question about the 47 percent of the American people as he characterized them,
I don't really know if he understands yet why people took offense at that comment.
There seems to be a bit of denial there.
What was your take?
Well, I had the same reaction, Jake.
I thought that,
he believes he said something different,
and the literal words obviously are the ones that people remember when he said that there's 47 percent of the country,
these are people who won't take control of their own lives.
And he continues to say, I didn't really say that.
And he went and got his iPad and started to read through some of what he had said and the question that he was asked.
He knows it was a damaging moment.
He believes it was damaging because there was the perception of what he said.
He still had trouble processing that it was the actual words.
You also got the sense in your book from both Romney and his son, Tagg,
that throughout the buildup to his announcement that he was going to run, he was looking for reasons not to run.
Do you think that lack of fire in the belly in some ways, do you think that might have contributed to why he lost?
You know, it may be,
although I think once he was into it, he was, you know, he's a competitive person.
He was a competitive businessman, and I think he was a competitive candidate.
But he had two reservations.
One early on was was he the best person in the party who might be able to defeat President Obama.
He said to me if some other people ran, and he mentioned specifically Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida.
He said if someone like that had gotten into the race, he might not have.
The other question he had was whether he was actually a very good fit for a Republican Party that is more conservative than he is, that's Southern based,
he's a Northerner, that he's evangelical, he's Mormon.
He said Stu Stevens, his chief strategist, always said to him this could be, you know, this could be a tough fight.
And so, he had some questions.
But as the field developed, Jake, the actual field that he was going to have to compete against, he decided he was the best of that group in order to go against the president.