Reporting from Tilton, N.H. — On the eve of what promises to be a combative debate, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney briefly sounded a conciliatory note, promising a concerned New Hampshire voter that the field of candidates would be able to be able to unite after a contentious primary fight.
Responding to the millions of dollars of negative ads that GOP candidates -- and the "super PACs" supporting them – have unleashed on one another, a man at Romney’s spaghetti dinner in Tilton on Friday said he was glad that Romney had not criticized former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in his remarks.
“As a Republican I’m concerned that there’s going to be a lot of negative ads back and forth. After all the dust settles and we’re finished hearing about ‘Romneycare’ and stuff like that on TV,” the man asked, “do you think there are going to be things that you and Newt and the other candidates can agree on and really come together so we can get Obama out of the White House?”
The former Massachusetts governor promised the crowd of several hundred that if he was defeated by one of the other candidates, he would work to elect the Republican nominee as he did when he lost to John McCain four years ago. “In the primary process, we’ll be going after each other. I mean, as someone said long ago, politics ain’t beanbags,” Romney said -- apparently referring to a phrase used by newspaperman Finley Peter Dunne’s fictional character Mr. Dooley, who said “Politics ain’t beanbag.”