The Washington Post

Romney: Obama ‘exudes an air of likability and friendliness’

NEW YORK -- Likability. It’s been Mitt Romney’s Achilles’ heel for years. U.S. voters, polling shows again and again, just don’t like him all that much. And, the same polls show, they like President Obama a good deal better.

Now, with Obama apparently opening a lead over Romney as the presidential campaign enters its final phase, Romney is trying to diminish one of the president’s greatest attributes.

“The president exudes an air of likability and friendliness, which is endearing,” Romney told ABC News. “But at the same time, I think people recognize that he has not done the job they expected him to do and that he promised he would do.”

In an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America,” anchor George Stephanopoulos presented Romney with a specific finding from this week’s Washington Post-ABC News poll. When voters were asked “Who would you rather have dinner with,” Obama led Romney by 19 percentage points.

“Try and convince people that they’re wrong,” Stephanopoulos told Romney. “Bring us inside. What would dinner be like at the Romney home?”

“It’d be chaotic, all right?” Romney replied, laughing. “You’d have grandkids climbing all over you. Probably some food would be thrown from one side of the table to the other by one of my grandkids. It’d be a lot of fun. By the way, that’s my favorite dinner in the world is with my kids and my daughters in law and with my grandkids.”

“So I can’t tell people who would have more fun at whose table,” Romney continued. “But I can tell you the president’s a person that a lot of people like. I don’t dislike him myself and wish him the very best. But I think the American people are looking for someone who has the capacity to help them get good jobs and more take-home pay. And I do.”

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.



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