Hopkinton, New Hampshire (CNN) - After the Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress thrust the topic of Mitt Romney's Mormon faith into the headlines over the weekend, reporters trailing Romney in New Hampshire on Monday peppered the candidate with questions.
Romney was not answering.
As he waded through crowds of voters after consecutive appearances in Milford and Hooksett, some in the political press pack tried to get Romney to comment on the controversy.
Romney kept silent and focused on gladhanding, as his aides shouted "No questions."
A spokesman for the campaign, Ryan Williams, said there would be no press conference either.
At the tail end of his stop in Hooksett, though, the flurry of questions finally seemed to get under his skin.
One reporter from The Daily Caller asked Romney his thoughts on Attorney General Eric Holder's handling of the now discredited "Fast and Furious" gunrunning operation.
Romney ignored him and moved on. But thirty seconds later, he came back to explain the rules.
"I do press avails and then I answer questions that are important questions in the length that I want to do but what I don't do is in a group like this is stop and rattle off questions to people just as we walk along," Romney said.
"So that way you don't get the chance to hear the full answer that I'd like to give," he continued. "So those are important questions. I'll be happy to address them in a press avail or the town meeting. But in events like this I don't take press questions because it doesn't give you or me the chance to have a full discussion of the topic."
Romney moved on, took a question from a voter, and hopped into a waiting SUV that would take him to his final event of the day, a town hall meeting in Hopkinton.
What's he afraid of?
This is the wrong approach. He should carry on, business as usual, but simply avoid questions about the pastor. Reacting this way shows that he either wants to hide from the questions, or that he is so upset by the "accusation" that he can't handle normal activities. Either way, it makes him look less fit for office.
He should come out strong on this, pulling no punches. Otherwise it will bring him down.
With the current national political atmosphere, it is good to see Mitt Romney is handling the media so well. As always he takes a polite and friendly tone, but sets the format and tells them he would like to answer their questions when there is time to do it fully. Not on the run. His experience is serving him well.
Hmm. Moderates and Liberals have been saying for months that Romney (and Huntsman) were going to have a problem with the Evangelical vote. Apparently neither candidate was realistic enough to understand just how much of a problem it would be ... and both are now either not commenting or becoming snarky themselves (witness Huntsman's earlier "moron" comment against the Baptist minister). This is what happens when you pander to a group of folks who really don't want anything to do with you ... they let you know how they really feel.
The way Mittens flip flops, I would not be surprised if he comes out in support of the crazy Rev. Jeffress' comments.
"Not now" is not the answer any voter should be willing to accept from a would-be President of the United States. Yet another perfectly scripted candidate is the last thing America needs today or ever. And if Romney is this tight-lipped now, don't count on him becoming more transparent and accountable if entrusted with the power and protection we afford those at the helm of this ship we call a republican democracy.
and there goes his frontrunner status slipping away...remember how well Palin faired with limiting and not answering questions on the campaign trail?
Mitt can't handle the pressure of a few reporters and a little heat about his beliefs what a shame another politicans without a backbone. The dems and repubs need to figure out what they stand for and stand. There has been too much caveonitis infecting both political parties. The government is just a big corporate puppet show and wall street and the banks and big oil pull the strings. We need to follow the lead of those middle east spring revolts and throw all those corporate puppets out of OUR COUNTRY.America its time to STAND UP FOR OURSELVES. We dont need elephants or donkeys to talk for us
In other words "we need to decide which way the political wind is blowing before we take a stand (which is subject to change, anyway...)"
Thats like walking into a job interview and telling his(Mitt) potential employer(we the people) that you don't want to answer any questions until you're ready. Well.. we see how well that approach worked for Palin. Guess what, Mitt? You dont have a right to run for President, you have the privilege. So go ahead, start ducking the media, and the hardball questions, and start giving soundbite speeches, and watch what happens...
I'm glad I took the time to read the entire article. I stopped to read it because the headline leads one to believe that Mr. Romney was following the example of the likes of Sarah Palin and avoiding the press because questions might lead to a closer examination of what he really stands for. However, if he really meant what he said when he explained why he wasn't taking questions at the time and will take questions when there is time for fuller answers, I admire him for his decision even though I will be not be voting for any Republican or Tea Partisan in 2012.
Anybody taking odds on the "Daily Caller" reporter getting to Hopkinton before Romney?
Hey Mitt. They're called press conferences. And americans see it as an expectation for a president. You might want to try it out now. Next summer's presidential debates won't be hosted by the tea party or fox news.
So if Romney wants my vote I have to get the ok from his aides?
So did he answer the question when he got to Hopkinton?
Good for him! We are trying to find out how he would govern the country, not give sound bites to an over zealous press.
Like our debates, nothing is accomplished with these on-the-run questions.
The republican candidates are now showing themselves to be cowards and not prepared or informed to answer question from reporters. These are the idiots that the republican'ts are trying to give to America? Stupid lasts forever fellas!
Translation: Romney doesn't have anything to offer.
I hope the Repub candidates rake the Obama admin over the coals on these issues posed by the press.