By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Mitt Romney is on a charm offensive. He took reporters’ questions after Thursday’s campaign rallyinstead of keeping them at bay. He brought them warm chocolate chipcookies for the flight from Jacksonville to Palm Beach, Fla. Afterhe got off the plane, he walked over to show reporters a picture ofhis 5-year-old grandson, Parker.
It was “wild hair day” at school and the grandfather of18 had to share what had just come into his iPad. “You know how he did that? With Elmers Glue and egg whites. Ikid you not,” said Romney, whose campaign just a day earlierengaged in a standoff with reporters over access to the candidate.”Isn’t that something else?” He chuckled about the hair standing straight up. [ Photo Gallery: Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. ] “I never did my hair like that.
But I’m thinking aboutit,” Romney said before heading to a private fundraiser.”People wonder how I keep my hair like it is. It’s like, alittle Elmers Glue and egg white would go a long way. Is that toomuch?” Then the candidate with matinee idol good looks grew quiet. “I miss him.” Romney, whom critics brand as standoffish and cold, seems to betrying to win over the reporters who will travel with him throughElection Day — and their audiences. Acrylic Glitter Powder
On Wednesday, relationshad soured to the point of a Romney aide grabbing a reporter’s armwhile others blocked reporters from the candidate. The campaignissued a statement declaring the incident a mistake. On Thursday, Romney tried to ease the friction. Romney welcomed reporters aboard his plane early in the day, comingto the rear of the cabin to chat. China Acrylic Glitter Powder
He did not, however, want tocomment on a report that a super PAC was contemplating a $10million campaign to drag President Barack Obama’s former pastorinto the mix. By afternoon — and after that proposal was jettisoned underheavy criticism from both parties — Romney was ready toanswer reporters’ questions about it. And anything else, too. Romney seldom engages with the reporters. His aides try to keep himaway from an unscheduled moment, such as the one in which hedeclared he didn’t much follow NASCAR but he knew some of the teamowners. Magnetic Exercise Bike
Romney’s aides are trying to keep the candidate on script and awayfrom the traveling reporters who chronicle his campaign and knowhis record best. Romney prefers conservative radio hosts and localtelevision affiliates but recognizes the value in positiverelationships with the journalists who document as many of hismoves as the campaign will allow. Campaign aides say Romney regularly meets with voters privately;the campaign refused to allow reporters to observe his meeting inJacksonville on Thursday. But with the clash a day before, Romney made himself available toreporters. And if Thursday is an indication, he is looking tosoften his image somewhat.
“Warm and gooey. Get the rest,” he urged a reporter as hepassed out the freshly baked cookies while the plane made thehourlong flight. “Come on. Two-hander.” But asked about his weekend plans, he said he was heading to hishome in Wolfeboro, N.H., on Lake Winnipesaukee to open it up forthe season. The six-bedroom, 5,400-square-foot home sits on 11acres at the end of a private drive.
The Clark Point property alsofeatures a boat house and a stable and is estimated to be worth $10million. “I’m going to do that this Saturday,” Romney said, notingthe rest of his family would be elsewhere. “It will be mealone. Put the boat in the water.
Get out the picnic tables. Bymyself.” Asked if he was serious when he told the crowd in Jacksonville thathe and his wife were considering a move to Florida, he replied:”We love California. … But there are attractions to Florida.It has the right tax rates, among others.” Florida residents do not pay state income tax. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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