Associated Press
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney is no natural when it comes to "common man" politics.

He bets a Republican rival $10,000 on an impulse. He dismisses more than $370,000 in speaking fees as "not very much." And he slow-walks the release of his income tax returns but then blurts out a key fact: He pays about 15 percent of his income in taxes because he lives mostly on investment income and not a paycheck.

Such commissions of candor suggest a presidential candidate who is far from an everyman — and may have a tin ear for how he sounds to those who are. That could pose a special challenge to Romney in such states as hard-hit Florida, and beyond.