These days, the campaign is working to show the human side of a candidate who aides say is warm, funny and down-to-earth in private — and provide a little bit of context to go with the scrutiny that's set to get much more intense as Romney moves toward becoming the GOP nominee.
To that end, the chat session at the back of the plane was followed by a formal press conference outside a Massachusetts polling place.
"There will always be in the world of media people who will find clip sentences to try and say something that you didn't mean to say," Romney told a bank of cameras there. "That's just the nature of the process."
No cameras were permitted by the campaign staff to film Romney on the plane, and reporters were prohibited from reporting much of what he said as a condition for getting access to him — as is often standard during presidential campaigns. The difference was plain: He told personal stories, spoke more slowly and cracked easy jokes when he knew it wouldn't be used in stories.
At his news conference, answers were quick.
He avoided specifics, saying he wanted to win in Massachusetts, his home state, but offered no predictions about states where the contests were closer. He refused to comment again on Rush Limbaugh's crude criticism of a Georgetown law student — on Friday Romney had called the remarks "not the language I would have used" — saying only that he planned to focus his campaign on jobs and the economy.
"I think we'll pick up a lot of delegates," was all Romney would say about Tuesday night. "This is a process of gathering enough delegates to become the nominee, and I think we're on the track to have that happen."
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