Romney: Sequester not a success for Obama

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan

Mitt Romney may not be running for the White House any more, but he certainly came out swinging against President Obama in his first post-election interview with "Fox News Sunday," accusing the president of poisoning the negotiations over automatic spending cuts by "berating" Republicans.

"No one can think" that the fight over the sequester has "been a success for the president," last year's Republican presidential nominee said. "He didn't think the sequester would happen. It is happening, but to date, what we've seen is the president out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country and berating Republicans. And blaming and pointing."

"Now what does that do?" He asked. "That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."

The former Massachusetts governor also criticized the recent release of several hundred illegal immigrants detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The agency justified the release as a cost-saving measure forced on them by the across-the-board budget cuts, but Romney argued that the president should have prevented it. "I think if there are people who are incarcerated," he said, the president "should make sure that we're able to keep them in jail."

"Look, it's- again, it's politics," he said. "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?'"

In the interview, which airs Sunday, Romney also addressed the adjustment to life after the campaign trail. "We were on a roller coaster, exciting and thrilling, ups and downs," he said. "But the ride ends, and then you get off."

His wife Ann Romney, who also sat for the interview, agreed that it has been quite a change but added, "The good news is, fortunately, we like each other."