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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Romney Breaks Sunday Silence

GOP candidate to grant first Sunday news-show interview in two years.

Mitt Romney has been AWOL from Sunday talk shows.(Chet Susslin)

photo of Christopher Peleo-Lazar
December 6, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will make his first Sunday news-show appearance in nearly two years when he appears on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. The pretaped interview is to take place on December 17 in Charleston, S.C., and will air the next day.

Romney has been avoiding sitdown interviews with less-than-friendly outlets and reporters, but he’s been losing ground in the polls lately to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and has been criticized for avoiding the media. In a statement, Romney's campaign said that the former Massachusetts governor is "looking forward" to the appearance and pushed back at the notion that he's ducking interviews. Romney is appearing on Fox News Channel's Your World With Neil Cavuto on Tuesday following an endorsement by former Vice President Dan Quayle, and he plans several media appearances this weekend, his campaign noted.

But earlier this fall, Wallace called out Romney for being AWOL from his studio. On Oct. 30, the Sunday host complained that Romney was the only member of the GOP field who had not yet granted him an interview. “We have now interviewed all the major Republican candidates in our 2012 ‘One on One’ series--except Mitt Romney,” Wallace said at the end of the show. “He has not appeared on this program or any Sunday talk show since March of 2010. We invited Governor Romney again this week, but his campaign says he is still not ready to sit down for an interview.”

 

Romney's last appearance on a Sunday news show, on March 7, 2010--more than a year before he formally declared his candidacy--was also on Fox News Sunday. But Romney and the network have had a testy relationship of late.

A rocky interview last week with Fox Special Report anchor Bret Baier, where Romney expressed irritation at Baier’s questions, turned into a public-relations headache for the candidate. Baier later told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that Romney scolded him for "uncalled for" and "overly aggressive" questions.

The interview was one of a series: Baier had been interviewing all the Republican presidential candidates in the network’s Washington studio as part of a “Center Seat” segment, where a panel of reporters and columnists ask questions. But Romney’s team insisted that the interview take place on the campaign trail, so Baier asked written questions on behalf of the other panelists.

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