Mitt Romney says he would ‘clean house’ at GSA, Secret Service

Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he would "clean house" at government agencies beleaguered by growing scandals, saying those accused of wrongdoing had "violated the public trust."

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee was asked during an interview on the Laura Ingraham program what he would do about scandals at the General Services Administration, which threw a lavish Las Vegas conference on the taxpayer dime; the Secret Service, where agents allegedly hired dozens of prostitutes ahead of the president's Colombia trip; and the Department of Justice, where Republicans have questioned the "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I’d clean house," Romney said. "The right thing to do is remove people who have violated the public trust and put their play time and personal interest ahead of the interest of the nation."

Romney also discussed his general-election strategy, bragging he had "done pretty darn well in the primaries."

"There have been some real battles, and President Obama is a big target when it comes to his record," he said.

Ingraham asked Romney if he would display the "same zeal that we saw in the takedown of Newt Gingrich in Florida" when criticizing the president's record.

"This is not playing checkers. This is a very serious enterprise we're involved in. The question is going to come down to what kind of America we're going to have. ... There are some who will think this is a game," the former governor responded.

Ingraham also pressed Romney about what he meant about "moving beyond the Fox [News] true believers." Some conservatives have expressed concern Romney could pivot away from the positions he staked out during the primary process, but Romney said his comments simply meant that he would have surrogates start engaging new media outlets.

"I want to make sure we — I realize that, of course, Fox has a lot of independent voters, a lot of Democrats watch ... our message — in a network that is fair and balanced, there are some networks that don't give us fair play, and we go to put our people there, our surrogates there," Romney said.

The former Massachusetts governor is campaigning in North Carolina Wednesday.