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Romney’s road to nomination began with father’s aspiration

Politics » A path marked by missteps and distractions has honed a candidate that is focused on a theme: the economy.



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"I think now, given what America is facing globally, given an economy that has changed its dynamics dramatically over the last 10 years, you need to have someone who understands how that economy works at a very close level if we’re going to be able to post up against President Obama and establish a record that says this is different than a president who does not understand job creation," Romney said in an ABC News debate in New Hampshire.

Romney’s well-funded campaign, helped along by a super political action committee forking over millions, put staffers on the ground and commercials on the air. His team was unmatched in the GOP field, and by mid-May it had outlasted any major competitors.

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While Romney suffered his own gaffes — such as calling corporations people or noting that he liked to be able to fire people — the news cycle burned through those slip-ups quickly and moved on, unlike in his father’s day.

Kirk Jowers, a Romney friend and supporter and head of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, says Romney followed a path similar to his father’s but with the added bonus of not having to blaze it.

"He saw his father’s success in politics and public service, so he saw how much could be accomplished," Jowers says. "I’m sure he absorbed a lot of lessons from his parents’ losses, but there have been so many successes as well that he certainly had a balanced view."

Romney, in an interview with MSNBC aired Friday called his dad a "huge presence in my life. … I wish he were able to see what I’m up to right now."

Thursday night, on the stage with a backdrop built to look like a wall of family photo frames, Romney will be crowned the GOP nominee.

For Romney, the images likely are more than a politician’s prop.

tburr@sltrib.com




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