ROCHESTER, New Hampshire—So far, Mitt Romney has made few major missteps in his pursuit of the 2012 Republican nomination, running a consistent campaign largely free of the errors that have caused his GOP rivals to stumble. But the former Massachusetts isn’t entirely immune from mistakes, and he often makes them when trying to work on what could be his greatest vulnerability as a candidate: his struggle to personally connect with voters.
Appearing on stage at a small but ornate opera house in this northern New Hampshire town, Romney was dressed as he often is on the campaign trail—in an outfit that was nice, but not too nice. He wore brown pants and a checkered button-down cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled up that was wrinkled just enough to seem informal.
As he walked the stage, Romney was cast against the backdrop of his family, including his wife, Ann; his brother; three of his five sons; their wives and five of his 16 grandchildren who have joined him on the trail in recent days. The roving family tableau is clearly intended to emphasize the steadiness of Romney’s character and personal life—a major theme that the Romney campaign plays up in its primary-state appeals.
Speaking to voters, Romney delivered much of the same stump speech he’s been giving for weeks—heavy on attacks against President Obama, talking up his experience in the private sector and boasting about his love of America. But on Sunday, he spoke in more personal terms about his experience as a venture capitalist—a profession that made Romney one of the wealthiest men ever to seek the presidency, while also providing fodder for attacks from Romney’s GOP rivals.
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