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Josh Romney helps campaign for father Mitt Romney
Politics » He scoffs at stereotype of Mitt as robotic and stiff — he’s “incredibly fun-loving.”


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Josh Romney hopes that he, too, can help correct stereotypes about his father — that he’s robotic and out of touch.

"That’s the furthest thing from the truth, that he’s anything like that," Romney says. "I look at my dad as someone who is incredibly fun-loving. I look at him with my kids. He’ll get down on the floor and wrestle with them. He likes to be with our family more than anything else in the world."

At a glance

It’s not always a warm welcome

Phoenix » Ron Paul supporters booed Josh Romney off the stage Saturday at the Arizona Republican Party convention, as he sought to solidify support for his father’s nomination.

Hundreds of state GOP members were gathered at Grand Canyon University to elect delegates for the national convention in July in Tampa, Fla., which is expected to select Mitt Romney as the official Republican nominee to challenge President Barack Obama.

“We cannot afford four more years of President Obama,” said Josh Romney, the third of Mitt Romney’s five sons. “We need someone to step in there and turn things around.”

But Josh Romney had to stop repeatedly as people booed and yelled for Paul, who has continued campaigning in the Republican primary. All other challengers have dropped out of the race, and Romney has a commanding lead over Paul.

But Paul supporters are flooding state conventions, recently winning delegate majorities in Nevada and Maine.

Josh Romney tried to appease the crowd, but as he wrapped up, with an admonition to choose the preferred slate of Mitt Romney delegates, the crowd exploded with competing boos and cheers, cutting him short.

Some attendees said they heard Paul supporters chanting outside that Mitt Romney is “the white Obama.”

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Romney also says his dad is a frugal man, despite his fortune.

"He hates waste. I can assure you that as a guy who vacations with him, he is like that through and through," Romney says. "We’ll go on vacation and he’ll go to Costco and stock up on food and breakfasts and lunches so we don’t have to waste money."

Mitt Romney’s campaign has spent no money at Costco this cycle, according to federal records, but Josh Romney doesn’t rule it out.

"He loves Costco."

Ups and downs » Josh Romney concedes the campaign isn’t always a joy ride.

He was the one who introduced his father in Colorado on the night he lost the caucuses there — and Minnesota and Missouri — to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Then there was the time the Romney son ran out of gas on a lonely stretch in Nevada while campaigning.

Not too long ago, Josh Romney appeared at an event in Washington, only to draw protesters from Occupy D.C. He walked over to the sign-wielding group and introduced himself.


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"You go out and shake their hands, and they’re actually very nice," he says. "People are passionate about their politics. The Ron Paul folks are nice, too."

So far, members of the youngest generation of Romneys — Mitt Romney has 18 grandchildren — have appeared at select events, though Josh Romney notes his kids, ages 1 to 9, aren’t galvanized by the campaign yet.

"I don’t think they really even know what the heck is going on," Romney jokes. "They’ll turn on the TV and they’ll see my dad and say, ‘Hey, Papa is on TV.’ They get excited and then walk away and start playing with toys."

tburr@sltrib.com



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