LACONIA, N.H. -- Last week, Mitt Romney began airing a new TV ad touting his conservative successes in what he calls the "toughest" of environments: Massachusetts, the largely Democratic state he led for four years. The first frames of the ad display grainy images of the Republicans' stock Bay State bogeymen -- Kennedy, Kerry, and Dukakis.
But campaigning today in New Hampshire, Romney acknowledged that he actually liked Democrats, had worked well with them as governor, and that that they love their country, too. Speaking to business leaders in Rochester, and then to high schoolers in Alton, Romney explained that much of what he accomplished in Massachusetts was done with the cooperation of Democratic leaders in the Legislature.
"I hate to admit," Romney told students at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton, "that I got good training and it actually worked out pretty well."
He's speaking now at an "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meeting in Laconia, stressing the same theme of bipartisanship.
"We've found in state after state that Democrats and Republicans can get along and get the job done," he said.
This is the same Romney who loves to pillory Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton before conservative audiences?
Look for Romney to face this issue again and again: Can he appeal to Republican primary voters and also appeal to independents and (if he's lucky) general election voters who want a less partisan atmosphere in Washington?