WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney says his heart said he was going to win the presidency, but when early results came in on election night, he knew it was not to be.

The Republican nominee told “Fox News Sunday” that he knew his campaign was in trouble when exit polls suggested a close race in Florida. Romney thought he’d win the state solidly.

President Obama ended up taking Florida and won the election by a wide margin in the electoral vote.

Romney said there was “a slow recognition” at that time that Obama would win — and the race soon was over when Obama carried Ohio.

Romney said the loss hit hard and he was emotional. Ann Romney said she cried.

The former Massachusetts governor acknowledged mistakes in the campaign and flaws in his candidacy.

But he joked that he did better in his second run for the White House than he did the first time around — when he lost the 2008 nomination to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

He said he won’t get a third crack at it.

Romney said his campaign didn’t do a good job connecting with minority voters, and that Republicans must do a better job in appealing to blacks and Hispanics.

He said his campaign underestimated the appeal of Obama’s new health care law to low-income voters.

But he knows that because he lost the race, it’s hard to tell the Republican Party to listen now to what he has to say about how to improve the party’s message.

The Romneys are living in Southern California and he’s kept a low profile since the election. He said “you move on” and that “I don’t spend my life looking back.”

Ann Romney said that after the election she was approached by TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” but declined to join the cast.

She said she’ll be turning 64 soon and “I’m not really as flexible as I should be.”