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After a long media silence, Romney is suddenly everywhere

By Ashley Parker

New York Times News Service

Published: Monday, Dec. 19 2011 11:33 p.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney signs autographs after taping an episode of the "Late Show with David Letterman," in New York on Monday.

Associated Press

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Mitt Romney is coming to a television screen near you.

Romney's media blitz, which began in earnest last week with a series of print and television interviews, picked up Monday with renewed vigor.

Monday night, Romney was set to appear on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show, on Charlie Rose's PBS program and on "The Late Show with David Letterman," where he was to read a Top 10 list. He was also scheduled for MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday.

He had avoided the news media for much of his campaign. The thinking was that if his advisers kept him away from the press corps, they could create demand — allowing him to capture attention on big issues and at big moments.

But the strategy's downside became clear after an interview last month with Bret Baier of Fox News, in which Romney appeared defensive and irritated.

Because it was a rare interview, it was closely watched, and his discomfort was magnified and viewed as a gaffe.

Romney's busy Monday came on the heels of another much-anticipated interview: one with Chris Wallace for "Fox News Sunday."

Romney had not appeared on a Sunday show for nearly two years, and Wallace had waged a campaign to get Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, on his show, pointing out that every other major 2012 candidate had appeared.

The interviews were not the only steps Romney took to make himself more available. On Friday, after chartering a plane to fly him and his traveling press corps from Iowa to South Carolina, Romney came back to chat with the reporters, passing out hamburgers and turkey burgers from Hardee's.

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