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GOP activists to Mitt Romney: Why aren't you winning?

By Kasie Hunt

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 15 2012 3:02 p.m. MDT

Like others here, he warned that if Romney loses, the Republican Party is certain to undergo a tough period. "Soul-searching," ''self-reflection" and "tumult" were the words others used.

"If the Republican Party loses this election, conservatives will have had it," Fischer said. "They will be done, finished."

Romney did not appear in person at the Values Voters gathering this year, instead appearing via video. His campaign clearly understands the nervousness among a group that's not Romney's natural constituency; it sent their favorite son — Ryan — to reassure them.

"I'm not the only one who has told Mitt that maybe he needs to talk more about himself and his life," Ryan told the group Friday morning, to scattered laughter from the crowd. "It wouldn't hurt if voters knew more of those little things that reveal a man's heart and his character."

Conference organizers said Romney himself has made personal overtures to evangelicals recently.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that he met with Romney one-on-one about two months ago, and he told the Republican nominee he was prepared to tap a network of pastors and travel the country campaigning for the nominee.

"When it comes to evangelicals and Mormons, we have theological differences, and they're significant, and we're not going to gloss over those," Perkins said. "But we have a shared concern for this country. And we have a shared set of values that can help get the nation back on track. And that's what he is emphasizing and that's what I think he needs to continue to emphasize to draw social conservatives into his campaign."

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Follow Kasie Hunt on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kasie.

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