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Iowa notebook: Mitt at church, tiny diner, Kardashians

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 11:02 p.m. MST

DES MOINES — Former University of Utah graduate student Jacob Fullmer, now a member of Mitt Romney's Iowa field staff, said the presidential candidate didn't mention Iowa's upcoming caucus vote during LDS Church services Sunday.

Fullmer said Romney, accompanied by his wife, Ann, and their son, Tagg, had little to say during introductions at the ward house. Tagg Romney spoke first, telling the congregation his name and that he was here for the weekend.

Then, Fullmer said, all eyes turned to the frontrunner in Tuesday's caucus vote, the first test for the field of candidates seeking the 2012 GOP nomination. "Everybody looked at Mitt, because they expected something grand and grandiose. And all Gov. Romney said was, 'I'm with him.' And that was it," Fullmer said. "I think Mitt is a very down-to-earth guy."

Fullmer, who left the U.'s public administration program to work for Romney, said he traded the classroom for the campaign trail because, "when I consider where our country is and the state of the economy, there's nobody else that I'd rather see in the White House."

How tight was the space at Mitt Romney's press availability at a tiny diner in Atlantic, Iowa?

Well, reporters were ordered to literally kneel in front of where Romney was taking questions, to ensure the TV cameras in the room were seeing the candidate, not the heads of fellow journalists.

Of course, that didn't stop the Romney staff from snapping a few pics of the awkwardly positioned press.

And who knew Mitt Romney had time to keep up with the Kardashians?

During a campaign speech in Council Bluffs, he referred to the 72-day marriage of Kim Kardashian and New Jersey Nets player Kris Humphries.

His largely older audience laughed when he called the gap between President Barack Obama's "promises and his performances the largest seen since the Kardashian wedding and 'until death do us part.'"

— Lisa Riley Roche

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