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Mitt Romney

Ask Him Anything

Romney remains unflappable as he sticks to his conservative message

December 30, 2007|Michael Finnegan

Racing around Iowa, New Hampshire and other states, Mitt Romney keeps a frenetic pace in his campaign for the presidency.

He dashes along parade routes, gives speeches in hotel ballrooms, mingles at receptions to raise money.

If the former Massachusetts governor and investment executive fails to capture the Republican nomination, it will not be for lack of gusto. All told, he has fielded questions from voters at more than 130 "Ask Mitt Anything" forums in states with nominating contests in January and February.

His demeanor sunny, his manner polite, Romney has given the same responses to familiar questions hundreds of times over, each day with as much pep as the day before. He rarely stops smiling, even as he fends off frequent queries about whether his switches to more conservative stands on issues such as abortion were driven by conviction or expediency.

His wife, Ann, and one or more of their five grown sons often campaign alongside Romney, their presence a reminder that he hopes to be seen as a paragon of family values. At most stops, he vows to stand up for tax cuts and a robust military.

In the end, Romney is banking that Republicans will judge him to be their party's most conservative and most viable White House contender. -- Michael Finnegan

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