Fallon: Romney Netflix Documentary Could Have Changed 2012 Race

While interviewing former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday's NBC Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon argued that if the Netflix documentary Mitt about the GOP candidate had been released before the 2012 election, voters may have made a different choice: "Because gosh, it was fantastic. And I was telling you, if you could have had that out, you know, while you were running, I think it would have been a different outcome almost....who knows?"

Fallon added: "But I mean, it was just so – it just showed you on a different side that no one's ever seen that side of you." Romney responded: "Well, Netflix was able to look at the real side of running for office, which is not what the candidate and, if you will, the tacticians are doing, but what the family's doing. So we got to see my family."

After Fallon suggested 2016 candidates should put out similar documentaries, Romney pointed out the flaw in such a strategy:

I think the challenge is to get people to actually watch it. I mean, who's going to spend an hour and a half watching a, you know, a promotional piece? Because you know if candidates do it for themselves for promotion, it's going to be kind of sappy....it would just be a one-and-a-half-hour ad. And who wants to watch that?

Romney shared his thoughts on the upcoming campaign: "I think you'll have, I don't know, ten or fifteen people on the stage at the first [Republican] debate. That'll be exciting. I mean, you'll see all these people talking about different visions for the country. On the Democratic side, it'll probably be Hillary and a couple of people who want to be her VP."

He added that Clinton "looks like she's a shoo-in, but you never know. The e-mails, the – who knows?"

Fallon seemed perplexed by the former Secretary of State's e-mail scandal: "What's the thing about the e-mails? I don't really understand what the big deal is. She had private e-mails? Or you're not allowed to do that?"

Romney explained the controversy:

Well, there are federal regulations that if you have kind of an important job like secretary of state that the country wants to have a record of what you might have said among your people and to others because this is after all the United States of America. And she didn't do – she didn't keep the records that are required by government regulations and that's obviously a big deal....Although I think the bigger concern will be her record as secretary of state. I mean, the world hasn't exactly gotten more safe and more prosperous during her term, and I think that's going to be a bigger challenge for her.

Here are excerpts of the March 25 exchange, aired early on March 26:

12:07 AM ET

JIMMY FALLON: We were talking and I said – did anyone see the documentary on Netflix called Mitt"?

MITT ROMNEY: I did.

[APPLAUSE]

FALLON: You saw it. We were talking about it. Because gosh, it was fantastic. And I was telling you, if you could have had that out, you know, while you were running, I think it would have been a different outcome almost. Because it was just – who knows? But I mean, it was just so – it just showed you on a different side that no one's ever seen that side of you.

ROMNEY: Well, Netflix was able to look at the real side of running for office, which is not what the candidate and, if you will, the tacticians are doing, but what the family's doing. So we got to see my family.

(...)

FALLON: And I was saying like – do you think that any candidates would be able to do a documentary like that and release it for this next – in 2016?

ROMNEY: I think it'd be nice. I think the challenge is to get people to actually watch it.

FALLON: No.

ROMNEY: I mean, who's going to spend an hour and a half watching a, you know, a promotional piece? Because you know if candidates do it for themselves for promotion, it's going to be kind of sappy.

FALLON: Oh, I see.

ROMNEY: This was done by a documentary filmmaker. He followed us around. He edited it. I said "Look, if I win, I get to edit it, alright? But if I lose, you can do whatever you want."

[LAUGHTER]

FALLON: "I'll wear a hot dog hat and I don't even care," yeah exactly, yeah.

ROMNEY: So he put it together, which made it obviously authentic and interesting and-

FALLON: So, yeah, it wouldn't exist, it wouldn't – too many cooks in the kitchen for that.

ROMNEY: Yeah it would just be a one-and-a-half-hour ad. And who wants to watch that?

FALLON: That's true.

(...)

FALLON: Ted Cruz is the first Republican nominee saying, "I'm running for president."

ROMNEY: Yeah. I mean he's a remarkable speaker. Very gifted, eloquent guy. And he'll make a big impression. But we've probably got-

FALLON: Are we too early? Are we too early?

ROMNEY: No, I think this is the right time for folks. Jeb Bush has been out working and some of the others as well. I think you'll have, I don't know, ten or fifteen people on the stage at the first debate. That'll be exciting. I mean, you'll see all these people talking about different visions for the country. On the Democratic side, it'll probably be Hillary and a couple of people who want to be her VP.

[LAUGHTER]

FALLON: Well, what's the deal? Is it a shoo-in? Is it automatic? Is Hillary Clinton running? I mean that's what we're all thinking, right?

ROMNEY: Just like it was in 2008. I mean, that was the way we felt in 2008, it was a shoo-in. She was going to be the nominee and there was this guy Barack Obama coming along, I gave him what, a 5% chance? And he becomes the nominee and the president. So this time it looks like she's a shoo-in, but you never know. The e-mails, the – who knows?

FALLON: What's the thing about the e-mails? I don't really understand what the big deal is. She had private e-mails? Or you're not allowed to do that?

ROMNEY: Well, there are federal regulations that if you have kind of an important job like secretary of state that the country wants to have a record of what you might have said...

FALLON: Okay.

ROMNEY: ...among your people and to others because this is after all the United States of America. And she didn't do – she didn't keep the records that are required by government regulations and that's obviously a big deal.

FALLON: She had a private e-mail.

ROMNEY: Yeah, I mean, she was corresponding with her people through private accounts, a server in her own home, and I think that's a concern. Although I think the bigger concern will be her record as secretary of state. I mean, the world hasn't exactly gotten more safe and more prosperous during her term, and I think that's going to be a bigger challenge for her.

(...)

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