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Mitt Romney: Give Herman Cain 'a good look'

October 10, 2011|By Maeve Reston
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets members of the audience after a campaign stop at a VFW Post in Milford, N.H.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt… (AP Photo / Steven Senne )

Reporting from Hopkinton, N.H. – Herman Cain has been surging in the fluid Republican presidential field, where voters seem to tire of their candidates almost as quickly as they rise. On Monday night, a North Carolina man who attended one of Mitt Romney’s events told the candidate he was looking to settle an argument between his brother and a friend about whether Romney or Cain had more impressive private-sector experience.

“I’m undecided so I wanted to give you a chance to convince me,” he said.

Romney, who had joked at a town hall earlier in the day in Milford that he would do his best to either answer questions or dodge them, took a pass.

“You know Herman Cain is a terrific guy and -- give him a good look,” Romney said of the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza. “I’m not going to try to convince you that my private-sector experience is better than his.”

“Both Herman and I spent our careers in the private sector,” he added, before taking a shot at his one-time chief rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry. “I think that’s one of the reasons both of us are doing pretty well in terms of public support is because we have not spent our life entirely in politics. We understand something about how the economy works. ”

Romney breezed over the highlights of his biography – his years as a consultant, his role in founding Bain Capital and his years as governor of Massachusetts. His gubernatorial term, he said, was a valuable lesson in applying private-sector experience to government – one he said Cain might have benefited from “because you don’t want to necessarily learn that for the first time as the president of the United States.”

“In my party, we celebrate success,” Romney said. “We each have our own experiences. He’s a great guy. Vote for either one of us and you will be happy.”

maeve.reston@latimes.com

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