Of all the reporters’ questions lobbed at him Wednesday on his way out of the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, there was only one that Mitt Romney would address: “How do you expect to be president if you don’t answer questions from the press?”
The presumed front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination retorted: “I answer questions from the press almost every day.” But, as reporters pursued him down the halls of the Hart Senate Office Building, Romney added that he prefers not to conduct interviews “on the fly.”
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Two days earlier, political journalists didn’t need to run the Romney steeplechase. Their hands were full reporting how another candidate was dealing with the consequences of speaking “on the fly.” Having mistakenly suggested that she shared a hometown with John Wayne (it was actually not the actor, but serial killer John Wayne Gacy who once lived in Waterloo, Iowa), Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., had added another item to her already full tally of gaffes.
Romney and Bachmann are dominating the media coverage of the Republican presidential race right now with very different strategies for handling the Fourth Estate. He has few getting-to-know-you moments with the press and just as few bloopers to his name; she is known for opening up anytime, anyplace, to anyone -- and her slip-ups could fill a small book.