Mitt Romney ratchets up his visibility in New Hampshire

Published: Monday, May 2 2011 9:58 a.m. MDT

Mitt Romney is pushing hard for Republican support in the early battleground state of New Hampshire.

Romney was one of five candidates appearing in the Granite State on Friday at the Americans for Prosperity Presidential Summit. However, as a New Hampshire newspaper reported, "after the (other four candidates) leave at the close of the weekend, (only) Romney will return Tuesday for an intimate meeting with some business leaders in Nashua."

The Washington Post wonders if Romney's presence at Friday's forum is an indicator that Mitt is abandoning the low profile he has maintained throughout 2011.

"Public appearances by Romney anywhere this year have been rare," writes Post scribe Dan Balz. "He announced the formation of his campaign committee with a low-key video on his website. Major speeches have been fleeting (although advisers say those will come in due time), as have television appearances or interviews. When Romney has wanted to say something about an issue, he has picked the safest of all forums: the op-ed pages of major newspapers."

The Los Angeles Times frames Romney's performance at Friday's forum as part of an effort to refocus the public dialogue surrounding upcoming Republican presidential primaries away from Donald Trump and birtherism and onto President Obama's economic record. Conversely, a New York Times blog uses a minor grammatical gaffe Romney made on Friday as ammunition with which to excoriate Mitt.

On another front, a video message recorded by Romney elicited minimal applause or cheers when played at a National Rifle Association event over the weekend. Per Politico, that tepid response illustrates Romney's tenuous relationship with the NRA.

"This year," Politico writes, "almost all the serious top-tier (GOP) candidates have solid ratings from the (NRA). … One possible exception is Mitt Romney, who signaled support for the assault rifle ban and the Brady gun control measure during his 1994 run for Senate."

Finally, word has leaked that Romney will hold a mega-fundraising event next Tuesday in New York City that will target "well-known business honchos and hedge fund financiers."

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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