My take on him is that he was a pretty successful moderate Republican Governor of a liberal state in Massachusetts. He was successful because was moderate. Once the presidential campaigns came in 2008 and 2012, Mr. Romney was forced, during the Republican primaries, to abandon his centrist stances and move hard to his right. So far to his right, in fact, that during the 2012 GOP primaries Mr. Romney chose to describe himself as "severely conservative," which most people just laughed about. Romney dropped out of the 2008 campaign and was soundly defeated by President Obama in 2012.
A small scene from the new documentary "Mitt" recently released by Netflix has made a bit of a splash.
"That's what I start with: 'Dad,'" [Mitt] Romney explained. "I always think about dad and about I am standing on his shoulders. I would not be there, there's no way I would be able to be running for president if dad hadn't done what dad did. He's the real deal..."
"You're the real deal," said one of Romney's sons.
Romney didn't pause. "The guy was born in Mexico. He didn't have a college degree. He became head of a car company and became a governor. It would have never entered my mind to be in politics, how can you go from his beginning to think, I can be head of a car company, I can run for governor, I can run for president?"
Romney wasn't finished. "The gap --- for me, I started where he ended up. I started off with money and education, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School. For me it's moving that far" --- Romney held two fingers close together --- "For him, it's like that," Romney said, holding his arms wide apart.
I interpret these remarks as Mitt paying respect to his father for his accomplishments and enabling the younger Romney to have a life of privilege and a head start in life. I truly don't think he's a bad guy. I think he's severely out of touch. I think that he chosen to expound on this theme, while acknowledging that most people don't start with the advantages he did, he would've come across in a different, less detached, light. This could have served to temper somewhat his "47% comments." In a totally different reality, he would've used the story above, with some modified policies toward the poor and minorities, etc. never saying the 47% thing at all and who knows? Maybe a closer race, maybe a different outcome.