Mitt Romney and his wife have spoken for the first time about becoming "nobodies" after losing the US election, comparing the campaign to a roller-coaster ride that is now over.
In his first interview since being defeated in last November's vote, the former Republican presidential nominee said his months on the campaign trail were "exciting and thrilling", with "ups and downs".
"But the ride ends, and then you get off," he said. "And it's not like, 'Oh, can't we be on a roller-coaster the rest of our life?' It's like, 'no, that ride's over'."
His wife Ann compared their abrupt exit from public life after the election to their experiences of the hierarchy of the Mormon Church, in which Mr Romney was once a senior cleric.
"In our church, we're used to serving, and you can be in a very high position, but you recognise you're serving," Mrs Romney said.
"And now all of a sudden, you're released and you're nobody."
On her husband's campaign, she said: "It was an amazing thing, and it was really quite a lot of energy and a lot of passion and a lot of people around us... and all of a sudden, it was nothing. But the good news is, fortunately, we like each other."
Mr Romney, who has spent almost four months recuperating at his beachside mansion in La Jolla, California, also used the interview to attack his former presidential opponent, Barack Obama, urging him to stop "flying around the country and berating" his political opponents.
"The president has the opportunity to lead the nation and to bring Republicans and Democrats together," Mr Romney told Fox News.
"It's a job he's got to do and it's a job only the president can do." (© Daily Telegraph, London)