Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hugs Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R- Fla., during a campaign stop, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in Medley, Fla.
Romney is 'a notorious cheapskate' who repairs tattered ski gloves with duct tape instead of buying a new pair.

Politico's new eBook "The Right Fights Back" (Random House, 65 pages, $2.99) unearths slice-of-life nuggets about Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail in pursuit of the GOP nomination.

More pages of "Right Fights Back" are devoted to Mitt Romney than any other candidate. Authors Mike Allen and Evan Thomas unearth a treasure chest of compelling Romney anecdotes, including:

Romney is "a notorious cheapskate" who repairs tattered ski gloves with duct tape instead of buying a new pair; likes to fly JetBlue; and hates last-minute alterations to his travel itinerary because of the change fees airlines charge for switching flights.

The former Massachusetts governor jogs three miles every morning, even on days when the only way to log his three miles is to run laps around a Marriott hotel.

Romney enjoys eating KFC, but is sufficiently health conscious to pull the skin off his chicken or the cheese off any pizza slice he eats.

Allen and Thomas also share dozens of interesting insights about all the other major Republican candidates. Some highlights:

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum doesn't drink caffeine — much less alcohol. But while campaigning in September he indulged in one particular vice to help get him through grueling days: vigilantly monitoring his fantasy baseball team on his iPad.

When he's on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. greets the hotel staff every time he passes by. He didn't use to, but now does so on the advice of his wife, Mary Kaye.

GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich had the vast majority of his campaign staff quit en masse back in June to protest the candidate's unwillingness to put in the requisite time necessary for a serious presidential bid. Today, a repentant Gingrich compares his June plight to the Bruce Willis character in the movie "The Sixth Sense": "I was the only guy in the room who didn't know I was dead."

72 comments on this story

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour fully intended to run for president, but the former RNC chair changed his mind after reading his own "oppo," the opposition research his advisers were able to dig up on him as part of a due diligence practice. The things his staff unearthed were so abrasive, in fact, that his senior advisers felt embarrassed to present Barbour with the research results as a group — and so to maintain professional decorum they insisted on Barbour's chief adviser, Scott Reed, giving the file to Barbour "privately, just the two of them."

Released Tuesday, "The Right Fights Back" is the first of four "Playbook 2012" eBooks that Politico plans to release throughout the 2012 presidential campaign.

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com