Mitt Romney says he learns about what it’s like to struggle in a difficult economy by sitting down to chat with regular people. But the Republican presidential candidate doesn’t want anybody to see it — and his campaign won’t say who he meets with or when the meetings occur.
In interviews and on the campaign trail, Romney regularly says that he learns about the struggling economy by talking to people affected by it. Earlier this week, he said he meets with families “almost every day.” On Friday, Romney said the talks are “off the record” — and that he agrees to keep private the names of the people he meets with.
“Before I begin an event like this, I typically am able to sit down with a few people on an off-the-record kinda basis,” Romney said as he delivered his standard campaign speech Friday in Pittsburgh.
“I agree not to say who they are to the members of my media,” he said, before joking: “My media, I don’t have my media, I wish I had my media. To members of the media.”
That description was slightly different from one he offered on Tuesday.
“So far during my campaigns one of the highlights for me has been sitting down with three or four families almost every day without the camera there,” he said during an interview with CBS News. “Most of them are done privately — that is a wonderful way for me to understand how people are really feeling.”
Aides did not respond to repeated requests for information about the meetings and the participants, including when the meetings take place, who has participated or even which states they are from. Aides also wouldn’t say whether any meetings were held Thursday or Friday, when Romney campaigned in Virginia and Pittsburgh, respectively.
The meetings aren’t listed on Romney’s public schedule.
On Wednesday, a spokesman said Romney had no such private meetings before an appearance that day at a small business in Chantilly, Va.
“Almost every single small business.most every public event that we have, we have these middle-class families do a round-table with the governor,” Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said Wednesday when asked to explain what Romney said in Tuesday’s television interview. “It’s more productive to do it without the cameras. He hears from them about the Obama economy; he hears what their concerns are in the states.”
Romney has held a few round-table events with voters while cameras were present.
He held one with veterans in South Carolina on Veterans Day last year, with housing industry businesspeople in Florida before the primary and with business owners in Nevada before the caucuses. After becoming the presumptive nominee, Romney held a round-table with Hispanic community leaders in Arizona.
He also meets regularly with the owners of the companies who host his campaign events. Almost all of Romney’s stops on the trail are in warehouses or offices of local small businesses.
But instead of keeping these stories secret, he’ll often incorporate them into his campaign speech as sad examples of a suffering economy or to highlight what America’s entrepreneurial economy can do. There’s a struggling barber, for example, who’s putting off retirement. On the other hand, there’s an immigrant who came to the U.S. and founded a company that helps with pioneering spinal surgery. Romney appeared at that company, NuVasive, in southern California in late March.
“I’m amazed by the hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people,” Romney said Friday.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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