Republican White House presidential hopeful Mitt Romney embraced Bill Clinton, saying the Democratic former president helped "elevate" his party's gathering this week.

Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday ridiculed the policy proposals of Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan as setting the pace for a "you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society."

"He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers," Romney told NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview airing Sunday.

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

Clinton's ringing endorsement of Obama, in which he formally nominated the president for a second term, was a major highlight of the Democratic convention, cheering and moving thousands of the party's faithful to tears.

He also made a point of taking down Romney's positions on a wide range of issues.

On the campaign trail, Romney has praised Clinton in a bid to sway undecided voters, saying the Democratic stalwart is a centrist and implying Obama has governed far to the left.

The former Massachusetts governor also criticized the agreement between the White House and Republicans in Congress to raise the US debt ceiling as a "big mistake."

"I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it," Romney said in the NBC interview, excerpts of which were provided by the network.

Romney said he would maintain defense spending at its current level, rather than making cuts as backed by Obama.

"I think is an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction," he said about the cuts.

Watch an excerpt from Romney's "Meet the Press" interview below:

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