(CNN) - Mitt Romney responded in an interview broadcast Friday to recent conservative criticism of his campaign's direction, saying his effort to win the presidency is on the right track.
"I've got a very effective campaign," he said in the CBS News interview. "It's doing a very good job. But not everything I say is elegant."
The remark about his word choice was in reference to secretly recorded clips of fundraiser he held last spring which were posted online this week. In his remarks at the fundraiser, Romney said 47% of the electorate views themselves as victims, are dependent upon government services, and will vote for President Barack Obama.
The Romney campaign responded aggressively, with the candidate holding a press conference hours after the comments emerged. But the comments, Romney's response to them, and his criticism of Obama over violence in the Arab world in the previous week was all fuel to a narrative advanced by some conservative thought leaders.
Peggy Noonan, whose conservative columns appear in The Wall Street Journal, this week described Romney's campaign as "incompetent," and stood by her comments in a Thursday Column. Her word choice, she said, was "only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity.' "
And Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative publication The Weekly Standard, likened Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as "two presidential candidates who - when they thought they were speaking privately to their fellow 1 percenters - have shown contempt for fellow Americans."
In his CBS interview, Romney pushed back against charges that his 47% comment meant he was writing off nearly half of the country.
"I want to make it very clear, I want to help 100 percent of the American people," he said, echoing a new line he debuted on the campaign trail this week after the fundraiser video emerged.
Asked if he would apply his skills turning around businesses - a reputation which he and his supporters tout - Romney said his campaign "doesn't need a turnaround."
He also pushed back on recent national and battleground state polling which appears to give Obama a slight edge over Romney, either within or just outside of the sampling error for each survey.
"We've got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States," Romney said.
- CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report