By Mary Lu Carnevale
Today is Mitt Romney’s 65th birthday, and Fox News host Neil Cavuto used it as an opportunity to ask about Social Security. Specifically: Is the well-to-do Republican presidential hopeful planning to sign up for Social Security benefits?
Mitt Romney greets supporters who braved the rain during a campaign stop at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Monday, March 12, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/ John David Mercer)
“I have no plans to retire at the current moment,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m not going to be doing that anytime soon. I’m still very much in the work force, I hope.”
The former Massachusetts governor, whose personal fortune became a campaign issue, did say that if he were to become president, he would push “to reduce benefits for higher-income retirees … and keep them high for lower-income folks.”
In the brief but wide-ranging interview, Mr. Romney dismissed a memo by GOP rival Rick Santorum‘s campaign suggesting Republicans could go all the way to the August GOP convention without a firm nominee. “Can you imagine anything that would be a bigger gift to Barack Obama than for us to go to the convention without a nominee?” Mr. Romney said.
Responding to Mr. Cavuto’s suggestion that he might have to pick a more conservative running mate, Mr. Romney replied that he wouldn’t pick someone like Mr. Santorum who didn’t support right-to-work legislation.
Mr. Cavuto also asked about whether the U.S. should withdraw from Afghanistan, as Newt Gingrich had urged during an appearance on Fox News Sunday after a U.S. soldier killed at least 16 Afghan civilians. Mr. Romney replied that “The actions of a deranged person are not going to shape American foreign policy.” That incident aside, he said the U.S. should regularly re-evaluate its mission there.
Mr. Gingrich said Sunday that the U.S. is “risking the lives of young men and women in a mission that frankly may not be doable.” He said the shooting must be investigated and “we have to indicate clearly and convince the people of Afghanistan that justice will be done and that we’re not going to tolerate that kind of thing.” He added that the families of the victims should be compensated.