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Jim Cole, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks to Charlie Miville during a campaign stop at New England Small Tube in Litchfield, N.H., Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.

MERRIMACK, N.H. — Mitt Romney says the tea party is good for Washington.

The Republican presidential contender's comments come as the Democratic Party tries to cast all GOP hopefuls under one tea party banner.

Romney tried to walk a fine line trying to appeal to his party's conservative base and moderates during a campaign event at Stanley Elevator in New Hampshire. He made positive comments on the tea party movement, which largely opposed any compromise with Democrats in the recent debt ceiling debate. Romney said the tea party has rightly helped change the agenda in Washington.

He also says political leaders need to try harder to work together and spoke about his cooperation with Democrats while Massachusetts governor. And he pledged to respect and regularly engage with Democrats if elected.