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posted: 3/3/2013 6:51 PM

Romney: Heart told him he'd win, until he saw Fla.

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  • Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney admits he was fully convinced he was going to win when he sat down to watch returns the night of November's election.

      Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney admits he was fully convinced he was going to win when he sat down to watch returns the night of November's election.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney says his heart said he was going to win the presidency, but when early results came in on election night, he knew it was not to be.

The GOP nominee tells "Fox News Sunday" that he knew his campaign was in trouble when exit polls suggested a close race in Florida. Romney thought he'd win the state solidly.

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Obama ended up taking Florida and won the election by a wide margin in the electoral vote.

Romney says there was "a slow recognition" at that time that President Barack Obama would win -- and the race soon was over when Obama carried Ohio.

Romney says the loss hit hard and was emotional. Ann Romney says she cried.

The former Massachusetts governor acknowledges mistakes in the campaign and flaws in his candidacy.

But he jokes that he did better in his second run for the White House than he did the first time around -- when he lost the 2008 nomination to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

He says he won't get a third crack at it.

Romney says his campaign didn't do a good job connecting with minority voters, and that Republicans must do a better job in appealing to African-Americans and Hispanics.

He says his campaign underestimated the appeal of Obama's new health care law to low-income voters.

But he knows that because he lost the race, it's hard to tell the GOP to listen now to what he has to say about how to improve the party's message.

The Romneys are living in Southern California now and he's kept a low profile since the election. He says "you move on" from the disappointment and that "I don't spend my life looking back."

Ann Romney says that after the election she was approached by TV's "Dancing with the Stars," but declined to join the cast.

She says she'll be turning 64 soon and "I'm not really as flexible as I should be."

The interview was taped Thursday and aired Sunday.

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