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Gov. Robert Bentley said he thinks former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney didn't win the White House because he had difficulty relating to certain groups of people across the country.
"You can't always win the election but you have to love the people you serve," the governor said in an exclusive post-election interview.
"If you grew up like I did, coming from a very poor background. Neither of my parents were educated. My daddy didn't make any money at all. I understand how people live that way. I understand how hard people have to work to feed their family. If you've never lived that, it's hard to understand that" Gov. Bentley said. "And I don't think Gov. Romney really ever understood that."
The governor also conceded that the Republican Party across the United States has to do a better job of broadening its base. He said it needs to reach out to other voters. Despite the loss in the presidential race, Gov. Bentley did proclaim "I'm still proud to be an American."
Gov. Bentley also said he was thrilled that voters approved Amendment 2, his proposal to refinance $750 million in bonds to be issued as incentives to companies looking to locate in Alabama.
With Republicans controlling all statewide offices for the first time in the modern era, the governor also admitted that if there is going to be a major issue or division, it will likely be among fellow Republicans.
Gov. Bentley said, "We have to be good stewards of those offices."
Wins by Judge Roy Moore in the race for Alabama's Chief Justice and Twinkle Cavanaugh who earned the job of President of the Public Service Commission, Republicans have swept each statewide office since the 2010 General Election.
The governor said he is excited to work with his new colleagues, adding that he doesn't have any concerns about Judge Moore, who has proven to be divisive in recent years.
Moore was removed by the Associate Justices of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 after refusing to obey a federal court order to remove a granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Unified Judicial Building.
"I would not have approached that the same way he did" Gov. Bentley said. "And he will not approach it that way again."
Gov. Bentley says Judge Moore will be "just fine" in his role as Judge Moore.
Judge Moore will be sworn into office in January. He will replace Chief Justice Chuck Malone, whom Gov. Bentley appointed to the post after the resignation of Democratic Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb in June 2011.
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