“The perception is quite different than the reality,” he continues. “I want people to remember that I was on the front lines on conservative social issues, on conservative fiscal issues, and standing up for conservative foreign-policy values. I wanted to reacquaint people with what they remember from four years ago.”
Indeed, after weeks of having Santorum and Newt Gingrich blasting his record, the former governor says it was necessary to push back — not with barbs, but with details.
“It would be nice if races were focused on people’s vision for the future,” Romney says. “But I happen to believe that the contrasts that are being spoken of today will be spoken of in a much louder voice by the Obama team. So, in some respects, it’s a good thing to get them out there and cleared up.” A rigorous primary, he says, can be healthy.
In the coming days, Romney plans to emphasize his retooled message, building upon his CPAC argument. “You go through the list,” he says as he discusses how he’ll frame his Bay State accomplishments. Fiscal issues, it seems, will form the heart of his stump speech. “We cut taxes 19 times. We balanced the budget.” But he will also tout his administration’s efforts to curb illegal immigration and his leadership on traditional marriage, abortion, and contraception.