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Mitt Romney tells 'People' about Jesus, beer, his iPad music

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 22 2011 9:16 a.m. MST

In this file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts mingles with the crowd during a campaign event at the home of Ovide Lamontagne Aug. 12, 2011 in Manchester, N.H.

Jim Cole, Associated Press

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In a new interview with People magazine, Mitt Romney candidly talks about the central role of Jesus Christ in his faith, drinking and smoking once as a teenager, and what music he has on his iPad.

Politico's Playbook tipsheet published an excerpt Tuesday morning from the forthcoming interview with People.

In response to the question, "If you could clear up one misunderstanding about Mormonism, what would it be?" Romney at first demurred but eventually chose to highlight the church's emphasis on Jesus Christ.

"That's not my responsibility as a candidate, and the church could do a better job describing that than I," Romney said. "But perhaps the greatest is that the real name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We consider Jesus the Son of God without parallel."

The former Massachusetts governor discloses to People that "I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once, as a wayward teenager" — but ABC News blogger Emily Friedman points out the admission isn't entirely new news.

"While many were shocked to learn that Romney had once tasted alcohol, this is an admission Romney has made before. In a June interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Romney said, 'I have tested alcohol. I tried it on one occasion. It was not a good experience. But drugs, never.' "

Asked about his iPad, Romney says he uses the tablet device while on the treadmill, and that loaded on the iPad he has Angry Birds, Scrabble and an eclectic collection of music including The Killers, Roy Orbison and the Eagles.

The Boston Globe published a brief summary of the new Romney interview beneath the headline, "People magazine bores into Mitt Romney's personal life, religious boundaries."

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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