Facing intensifying attacks from Democrats, however, Romney has fine-tuned a message to address such criticism, insisting that he will not apologize for his success. Expect that message to continue as he faces new rounds of questions about his business career and continued reluctance to provide more than two years of tax returns.
He may be shifting his focus and delivery, but his broad message has not changed over the last year. He has consistently focused on the economy and his record in the private sector. And while he periodically attacked his Republican opponents on the campaign trail, he usually saved his most heated criticism for Obama.
A memo released by campaign manager Matt Rhoades late last week suggests he’ll continue that tack.
“We now know that only one campaign is going to run on President Obama’s record of the past three-and-a-half years in office — and it’s not the Obama campaign,” Rhoades wrote.
Regardless of his specific message, however, Romney’s delivery at times can seem stiff, even to supporters. He speaks with the measured tone of a former business executive, methodically scanning the audience from side to side. The Otterbein crowd greeted him with a standing ovation but wasn’t inspired to interrupt him again with applause until 27 minutes into the speech.
And he struggled to hold the younger crowd’s attention at times.
“I think America’s going to fall in love with Ann Romney,” said senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who last month suggested Romney would handle the transition to the general election like an Etch A Sketch. “I think they’re going to fall in love with Mitt Romney and the entire family.