[lg policy] Romney Takes Language Lessons in Mississippi
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Sat Mar 10 15:46:00 UTC 2012
Romney Takes Language Lessons in Mississippi
By Patrick O'Connor
JACKSON, Miss. — Mitt Romney is testing out a new language during his
two-day swing through Alabama and Mississippi this week: Southern. The
former Massachusetts governor opened his remarks to hundreds at a
town-hall meeting at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market here with the
latest offering from his foreign-language repertoire.
“The governor says I have to say it right,” he told the crowd,
referring to his latest backer, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. “Mornin’
y’all. I got served right this morning, with a biscuit and some cheesy
grits. I tell ya’. Delicious.”
The buttoned-up former Massachusetts governor is making an 11th hour
appeal to Republicans in both states ahead of next Tuesday’s primary.
He even did a little house cleaning Friday when he abruptly
interrupted his question-and-answer session to stomp on a bug
scurrying across the cement floor. “Got him,” the White House hopeful
announced to the chuckling audience. “It wasn’t really a cockroach, I
Mr. Romney wraps up the his Southern swing with an event Friday
afternoon in Birmingham, Ala. At the town-hall, he offered Mississippi
Republicans a glimpse of the small-government conservatism that has
come to define his second White House bid, promising to lower taxes,
drastically scale back federal regulations and reduce the deficit,
with the goal of balancing the budget. To underscore the latter point,
he referred frequently to the kids in the audience. The front-runner
also gave the audience of taste of the aggressive foreign-policy views
he shares with his two top rivals, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Mr. Romney offered a slightly contradictory remark, during a well-worn
attack on President Barack Obama‘s foreign policy views, when he said,
“We may make mistakes as a nation from time to time, when we step on
others toes, and we’ll say we’re sorry for that, but apologizing for
America is something I will never, ever do.”
At the end of the hour-long event, Mr. Romney responded to a question
about what he’s looking for in a vice president by outlining his
criteria for a vice presidential pick, while strenuously side-stepping
any overt clues to who might be on a Romney shortlist.
“Are you available?” Mr. Romney asked the questioner.
“I don’t, at this stage, have any plans or names to give you of vice
presidential nominees,” he went on to tell the crowd. “We have
extraordinary Republican governors–and senators–and some former
leaders in our party.”
“The most important criteria of all in selecting a vice presidential
nominee is whether the person have the demonstrated capacity to become
president, if necessary,” Mr. Romney said. “And that’s the key thing I
He closed the session by reminding the audience that the Founding
Fathers said “the Creator” endowed Americans with their rights and
freedom — a message well-tailored for a state heavy with the
evangelical Christians who haven’t warmed to Mr. Romney as much as his
rivals in the states he’s lost, including those in the South.
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