DeWitt, Michigan (CNN) - Mitt Romney has followed a punishing schedule this week on a six-state, five-day bus tour chock-full of more daily events than he's held for months.
That practice, it seems, is paying off.
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The presumptive GOP nominee - known for his stiff manner and occasionally awkward jokes on the campaign trail - has garnered positive reviews on this rambling ride through small-town America, with a growing corps of reporters in tow.
On Tuesday Romney continued his forays into retail politics with a stop at a kitschy 1950's-era pie shop called Sweetie-licious.
The prank-pulling politician declined to don a hot pink apron (the brilliant pink hue mirrored the walls of almost everything in the shop), saying: "I don't care if I get dirty."
When owner Linda Hundt offered him a red apron, though, he accepted.
Romney - who confided he liked "cherry pie, blueberry pie and rhubarb" but was "not a fan of strawberry," displayed pie-making skills far inferior to those of his wife, Ann's.
"Is this a race, Ann?" Romney teased as she deftly handled the dough.
Then, when he inexpertly laid his crust in the pan, Hundt told Romney it was one of the best jobs a male had ever done with the crust.
"That's an important modifier," he joked.
Moments earlier, Romney displayed a similar flexibility when dealing with protesters shouting during his speech.
Several dozen people corralled across the street from his event began chanting "four more years" as Romney spoke to voters on the stump.
Many of the activists held signs that read: "Romney Economics: The Middle Class Under The Bus."
Romney turned to acknowledge the jeers mid-way through his speech, and incorporated the protesters' words into his remarks.
"I hear some people chanting 'four more years.' Who wants four more years of Obamacare? Who wants four more years of Dodd-Frank that makes it harder for banks to make loans to small business?" he asked, engaging his audience in a call-and-answer routine. "Sorry, the guys who want four more years, you can stay on that side of the street. We're getting America working again on this side of the street!"
Even Romney's stump speech has evolved over a series of appearances this week, as the governor tests new lines in front of new audiences.
Now standard is his answer to the reviving economies in many states he has visited. Even though some states are improving, he says, it's not thanks to President Obama's leadership.
"Unlike this president, I will get America on track to do something that a lot of people talk about and a few Republican Governors have actually done," Romney told several hundred supporters in DeWitt, Michigan Tuesday. "I'm going to cut back on the size of government and get America to finally be on track to have a balanced budget."
It is clear the GOP hopeful has fed off voters' support over his six-state span of events. He has confidently predicted wins in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan - all states that have posed a generally uphill battle for Republicans in recent election cycles.
At a German-themed village in Frankenmuth, Michigan, Romney offered a response to critics who say the Republican can't compete with his opponent's lofty speaking skills.
"You're not here because I'm some spectacular speaker, you all know better than that," he said Tuesday morning. "You know, instead that this is America and America is the answer to all good things and we are caring about our country we want to get it on track again, to care for ourselves and for the people of the world that love liberty!"
With those hairy, Mormon hands, shouldn't he be wearing gloves? Not to mention a hairnet? Or should we not be worried about RoboRomney?
I got nuthin'– Mit Romney
Lord oh Lord. another one of those Bain capital project??? Just so you know it, Romney, everyone in this country needs Obamacare. If Obamacare act strike down by high court, you know what, the country just adopt Mass Romney care, the same thing.
FOUR MORE YEARS is for those who is competent to lead, and Romney, you are not the one. For every critical issue matter to Americians, you have no comment, play dumb stay silent. At best, you follow whoever ahead of you, may be you have better luck with Gindwich.
First time in his life that he got his pinkies soiled and saw how food is prepared-
Momentum? is he brain dead?
In 2002, Romney became the 4th GOP governor in a row to occupy the governor's office in Massachusetts, and he won the election handily. And yet he left office as the least popular governor in the history of the Commonwealth, with a low, low approval rate of just 35%. It was so low that his chosen successor, Kerry Healy, was trounced in one of the most lopsided elections in Massachusetts history by Deval Patrick, who, as it turns out, is very close personally to Obama.
"If Mitt Romney is elected president, the U.S. will experience an economic disaster the likes of which have been recently seen in Ireland, according to Paul Krugman.
"Ireland is Romney economics in practice," the Nobel-Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist said on the Colbert Report on Monday. "I think Ireland is America's future if Romney is president." (h/t Politico.)
"They've laid off a large fraction of their public workforce, they've slashed spending, they've had extreme austerity programs, they haven't really raised taxes on corporations or the rich at all, they have 14 percent unemployment, 30 percent youth unemployment, zero economic growth," Krugman said."
Romney took the MA economy (ranked last in the country) and moved it up to 32nd. He inherited a deficit and left with a surplus. Compare this to Obama who has increased debt and unemployment.
Rolling in dough again?? How's that Cayman Island bank account going to accept this deposit?
Once again, not to belabor the point, Romney will you PLEEEEASE tell how exactly in specific details will you get America back on track!
Mitt really needs to stop trying to be a "regular guy" and just be who he is. It might be more interesting that way if he did.
Better save the Country then worry about bickering. Otherwise there will be noting to to bicker for.
Just like Bachmann at the meat factory, no hair restraint. We don't need health regulations.
There are many who chide Mitt Romney about being rich or out of touch with normal working class people. Keep putting him down, but the truth is that he worked while he went to school as a security guard to earn enough money to see his girlfriend while he was going to college.
He volunteered to serve his church, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, for 30 months which he was not paid to do.
It is easy, because of ignorance, to make fun of this man. But read his bio on Wikipedia and while you may not agree with his politics, you would have to admit he is a man that you would be glad to call a friend, and someone that you can appreciate his integrity and hard work. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, all his misspoken words, is as good of a man as we have ever nominated to run for President. Put down his politics all you want, but putting him down as a man … says more about you.
It's nice to see Mr. Plastic out with another one of his wives. What's her name, Anne No. 2?
I'm surprised he bothered to stop if protesters were around. In Pa he blew off hundreds of supporters and local Republican officials because a few dozen protesters showed up with former Gov Ed Rendell. Instead he stopped about 4 miles down the road and bought lunch – meatball sandwich – which he then changed to a meatball hoagie – he couldn't even commit to lunch! When asked why he left all those people sanding there waiting he said it was because Rendell was there! If he can't face a former Gov. and some protesters without running away, exactly what will he do if a foreign country stands up to him? Hide in the bathroom? For gods sake – man up!
Can't wait for President Romney to restore honor and trust.
Romney's pie filing is "Paul Ryans Budget Plan", the kind you don't ever want to eat.
Go Romney, time to get this socialist Obama out of office. Romney 2012!!!
I love u more everyday Mitt Romey, u are so kind and good, we can see it in your eyes. odumbo slowly shrinks too NOTHING BUT A LIEING CROOK WHO HATES THE AMERICA WE ALL LOVE, GOOOOO ROMNEY, U HAVE OUR VOTES AND U WILL WIN, GOD BLESS US AND AMERICA AND THANKS ROMNEY FOR YOU
poor mr. stiff, he really thinks he is goin to win. lol
We're all certain is pie making abilities qualifies Romney for highest office in the land.
Civility needs to start somewhere. If we can't say something positive, lest not say nothing. Our political leaders are a reflection of us. If we dig in and always find something negative to say, why do we think the politicians that represents us will be any different. In the wrods of the late Rodney King, Can we all get alone.
Jon, I totally agree with you! We can definitely place our TRUST in Romney...something we can't say about the current White House occupant.