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In First Post-Election Interview, Romney Calls Race A 'Magnificent' Experience

It was not the outcome they had hoped for, but in his first interview since losing the presidential election, Mitt Romney said he and his wife are moving on.

Speaking to host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Romney described last year's presidential race, his second attempt at serving in the White House, as a "great, thrilling experience of a lifetime."

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to, but the experience itself was magnificent," Romney said.

Both he and his wife, Ann, said they did not expect to lose to President Obama last November.

"I think we were convinced that we would win. We saw that the polls were very close, but we knew that the energy and passion was with our voters," Romney said. "And my heart said we were going to win."

The former GOP presidential candidate described to Wallace the "slow recognition" on election night that he was losing, especially as Ohio's election results started coming in.

"By 8 or 9 o'clock, it was pretty clear that we were not going to win," Romney said.

Ann Romney told Wallace the disappointment she felt was beyond any personal hopes she had of living in the White House.

"It was that crushing disappointment, not for us, our lives are going to be fine," she said. "It's for the country."

Romney says while he knows his defeat means he will not be "the leader of the Republican Party," he would still like to have a means of influencing the GOP's tactics, and addressing national problems.

"It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done," he said referring to the "gridlock" over the sequester, the across-the-board cuts that went into effect Friday. "No one can think that that's been a success for the president. He didn't think the sequester would happen. It is happening."

During the interview, the Romneys also described their post-campaign life, which included an offer for Ann Romney to compete in Dancing With The Stars.

Mrs. Romney said she declined the invitation.

"I'm not really as flexible as I should be," she said.

Romney said he and his wife are now looking to the future.

"Of course, you rehearse all the mistakes that you made. And I went through a number of my mistakes, I'm sure. And then you think about the things that were out of our control," Romney said. "But you move on. I mean, I don't spend my life looking back."

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