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After tough night, Romney talks about his father's humble beginnings


Despite a disappointing day, Mitt Romney delivered a speech from Denver Tuesday night that has received some high marks from several commentators.  Romney made a point to distinguish himself as the only candidate in the race to never serve a day in Washington, used words from the President’s 2008 convention speech in Denver against him, and turned to a portion of his life and personality rarely discussed; his admiration for his father.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Romney's references to his father were powerful, and Robert Costa of The National Review agrees that the reference to the Romney family’s humble beginnings, as oppose to Mitt’s experiences at Bain and the Olympics, have a better chance of engaging a conservative base which has made very clear that they don’t quiet get him.

"Romney had a horrible evening, stumbling in Minnesota and Missouri. But in otherwise flat remarks in Colorado, he hinted at a new subject for his stump speech: his father, George Romney, the former governor of Michigan. For Romney, that’s significant — a recognition of his need to illustrate his monochromatic politics with personal color. It may be strategic, nothing more than a couple lines for Great Lakes State Republicans, who’ll vote later this month. But for conservatives who are itching to learn more about Romney, they were welcome remarks.

More than anything, Romney has struggled to connect. He has won primaries and performed ably in the debates. He’s well on his way to the nomination. But there is emptiness to his success. On the trail, voters tell me that they respect him. They admire him. But they don’t know him. They don’t understand what makes him tick. They sense a decent, driven man behind the cagey speeches and awkward interviews. But they’re not sure. They don’t know his story.

That’s a shame, and a blunder on the part of Romney’s campaign. 'The Rise of George' is the one story this stiff candidate seems to be great at telling — better than he is at singing patriotic songs, talking up the Sports Authority, or even praising Ann."

In hearing the Harvard-educated millionaire talk about his father selling paint on the road as a means to pay for gas and hotels, we are reminded of Santorum's well-received Iowa victory speech talking about his coal-miner Italian Immigrant grand-father.

“There were a lot of reasons why my father could have given up and set his sites a lot lower, but my dad believed in America,” said a choked up Romney.

"And in the America he believed in, a laf and plaster guy could work out to be head of a car company. And a guy who sold aluminum paint out of his car could end up being governor in one of the states he sold that very aluminum paint.”

It's a refreshing turn of events for it reminds conservatives and even makes the case to independents that Republicans are not the party solely driven by the 1 percent and dumb religious people voting against their own economic self interests as many academic elites and some in the media enjoy depicting the GOP. First Santorum, and it would now appear Romney, are reaching out to a good faction of the GOP and independents who are blue-collar or first generation white-collar voters with immigrant parents and grandparents, who understand the oppression of freedoms in nations overseas. Making the case that President Obama threatens the social mobility and lack of restrictions on free enterprise available in America that this faction of Republicans and Independents cherish so much could be the winning formula in November.

Romney's speech Tuesday night from Courier- Journal:

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