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!"
@Jon: wikipedia is not a reliable source. You are in big trouble if this is where you get your info.
Ah, Ward and June Cleaver drop in from the 1950s.
Rolling dough is a lot safer than flipping pancakest.
Edit my comment....should be pancakes.
You are comparing apples to oranges,one state in the boom years against taking over a disaster within the entire country courtesy of the Republicans, and as Romney likes to say "Governors create job" not Presidents. All the most respected economists in the world said it would take 16 years to recover from the Bush years no matter who is in office.Mitts little stint in MA will be remembered most for being 47th in job creation
Good Grief!!! I thought I had stumbled upon a lost episode of "Leave It To Beaver!" If this doesn't have 1950's political candidate written all over it, then I don't know what does.
Looks like a scene out of the Stepford Wives (original version). Except this one has a Stepford husband.
He will be a better president than Obama. If Romney wins he'll serve two terms because he'll actually slow down inflation, lower taxes, lessen regulation, decrease spending and lower gas prices. If Obama stays in office everything will increase including the unemployment numbers. Factually speaking when Obama took office there was 500,000 more jobs in the u.s then there is now.
Plastic man is unqualified to be President. Let him talk.
Mitt will do and say anything to become the POTUS, he want so bad to play a role. Maybe, who knows he will achieve that his father couldn't. When that happens, I am sure there will be a celebration in Mitten’s and his friends’ household the rest of America will wait until happiness to trickle down.
Lol. Hmmmm....so he's afraid to wear Pink, now I'd say that was a definate symbolic message . A 1950s theme, and fear of a man in something Pink. He's talking to all the bigots out there, playing up the Ole Ward n June Cleaver act. He doesn't realize even in the 50s that Act wasn't reality. What a bad joke they are!
@mney 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.
Where did you hear this? He took MA down in job creation and piled on the debt. His grades in school were bad and he should have never been allowed in Harvard (except for his $$$$$).
I guess being 47th from the bottom up is good enough for you. Sort of like mccain being 492 in a class of 500!
Not real scholars, are they?
Great photo-op. It's a good bet that Romney, has never seen the interior of any kitchen. Not even the one the family maid serves dinner from. But there will be some looking at the photo, saying to themselves "man he'd be a great cook". Hell, he's never had his hands dirty with any substance, let alone such a lowly item as flour. Flour, feeds the masses, not the 1%er's.
I still think that Romney is stiffer than Al Gore. It doesn't seem that he fully understands the impacts of the plans he has released; not a whole lot there. He doesn't understand that the rules he wants won't help the middle class. What are his real plans because I don't hear it from snips from the stump speeches. What does he really stand for because I don't hear it.
ENOUGH OF THE FOLKSY CRAP! Tell us what your position is on something! You said you support the Paul Ryan budget plan – so we assume you want to trash Social Security and Medicare. You said you support "self deportation" – whatever that is... You said you like cheesy grits. Say something substantial you spoiled preppy!
Mitt's Plan, get rid of healthcare for the middle class, drop the regulations on Wall Street, get rid of Firefighters, Teachers, and Policemen.
This is his and the Republican plan for economic recovery.
Is there any thinking person who would buy into such a misguided way to handle the countries economic problem?
Obama seems good intentioned but a bit lst.... Coulda been great... I wish he coulda united us...give Romney a go....a decent family man who has had real succeses may be the answer even though he's not perfect.
when is Romney coming to any urban areas, like Harlem?
I find it disturbing that Romney has only been vetted back to 7th grade. Any othert hair-pulling or gum-chewing that we need to know about? Obama has been vetted to before he was even born and everything is perfectly laid out and presented for agreement. Did Romney perhaps get into any fights after some cut-off like third-grade?
Thanks to all the reporters in tow who asked the hard questions of Romney. How much diversity did you see in the crowds, average age, and crowd size? I can safely say these groups/crowds do not represent America as a whole.
What is it with the media love fest here? This guy refuses to answer any questions on his policies and the reporters are letting him get away with it. We still don't have any idea what he would do...that is scary. simply bashing the president is not an answer to what he would do differently.
Mitt Romney has always been proud of America and all of you on here who are against capitalism needs to go live elsewhere. I am sick and tired of people believing that others owe them. They owe them nothing!
I like Romney, but I think it is wrong that he avoided milatary service through his family wealth and privilage. I also can't support his hiding millions of dollars in foreign banks. I wish he would explain these things and maybe I could vote for him.......
In a sane world I dont see how anyone could want 4 more years of the incompetence that we have seen!
Being from Michigan, I safely say Robmey will not come near the urban areas. Everytime he comes here it's either the well to do, Oakland County or the small towns out in the middle of nowhere, where his audience mostly all look like him.
I also agree with those that say are they trying to be Ward and June Cleaver?? WTH?