Romney Says Bill Clinton 'Really Did Elevate the Democratic Convention'

By Susan Jones | September 10, 2012 | 10:33 AM EDT

( - "What about Bill Clinton," NBC's David Gregory asked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on "Meet the Press" yesterday. Gregory stated that Clinton "had quite an impact," and he wondered if Romney thought Clinton could be elected president today:

"You know, if the Constitution weren’t in his way, perhaps," Romney responded. "But I don’t know the answer to that.  But he did stand out in contrast with the other speakers.  I think he -- he really did elevate the Democratic Convention in a lot of ways.  

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"And frankly, the contrast may not have been as -- as attractive as -- as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who would go before him and who would go after."

Bill Clinton formally nominated Obama for president in a 48-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, the night before President Obama spoke to delegates.

In his appearance on "Meet the Press," Romney said he was "laughing" at Clint Eastwood, who memorably spoke to an imaginary Obama sitting in an empty chair next to the podium at the Republican's convention.

"Look, to have him get up and speak in my behalf was a -- was a great thrill," Romney said.

Pressed by Gregory to admit that Eastwood's performance was "a little bizarre," Romney said, "You don’t expect to have a guy like Clint Eastwood to get up and, you know, read some speech off a teleprompter like a politician. "You expect him to speak from the heart and that’s exactly what he did."