Jansing and Co | October 10, 2012
>> much. there's a huge change in mitt romney 's strategy. nearly a third of his stump speech now devoted to telling personal stories. yesterday he revealed he once met a victim from the benghazi attacks. navy s.e.a.l. glen doherty.
>> you can imagine how i felt when i found out he was one of the two former navy s.e.a.l.s killed september 11 .
>> i'm joined by politico's national political reporter james holman . good morning.
>> good morning.
>> you have written about this self-humanizing change in strategy. what's behind the shift?
>> romney has discovered after running for president for six years that he can't rely on ann and his five sons and their friends to talk about how human he is, how big a heart he has. he has to do it himself. or a month out from the election, and the polls show serious problem for romney with likability. especially with women. if you ask what you think of mitt romney as a person, women say they don't like him favorably. the goal is to make him seem like a regular guy, that has emotions and has friends and has gone through ups and downs .
>> we should say the campaign denied reports that romney 's wife, ann, and their eldest son, tag, are behind this shift. they pushed it. basically arguing being who you are, but how significant has their influence been?
>> it has been hugely significant. we completely stand by that story. definitely there has been a push for romney to really improve his likability and you saw it before the debate. that's one of the reasons he did so well in the debate is because he started to humanize some of the lines he has been using that sound so technocratic on the stump. and it change it is whole dynamic when he is talking to the crowds. you heard in the brief clip you played, the crowd deflate after he told the story. and that's what happens. he's introduced three other stories, all three related to death, kind of depressing but also from the romney campaign's perspective, very humanizing.
>> it seems to me there is another message out there. not just that romney is this nice guy . but ann romney also has suggested by saying that her husband has changed positions on the issue, the president is kind of something of a bull write. in fact, in an interview that's air thing morning and i'm going to read this quote from her, it is like someone that's, you know, in the sandbox that like lost the game and they are just going to kick sand in someone's face and say you liar. i mean, it is like they lost and so now they are -- just going to saw okay, the game, between like the game. to me, it is poor sportsmanship . is there a risk kind of in this new strategy like -- who is the real mitt romney ?
>> absolutely. he's tried to do this personal touch before. back during the primaries when he was down in the polls. and he did it for a little bit. then he kind of pulled back. the other risk is that talking about a lot of the things requires him to talk about his faith. which he continues to be loathe to do. one of the three stories he's add flood the stump speech is about when he was the pastor at his church. first time he told the story he said this boy with leukemia, 13-year-old boy, had called him brother romney . the second story he said the boy called him mitt. so he -- he's definitely cautious about getting too personal or letting people in too close.
>> when it gets down to the final moments of polling, i mean -- obviously they think this is significant. the -- the sort of style versus substance. how significant do we think it is going to be? how significant does the romney camp think it is going to be n.
>> they think it will help at the margins. don't think it will be a game changer by any stretch. the -- there is some risk also in -- in being too macabre. too depressing in telling these stories. romney , i watched him now on the trail retell the same humanizing stories about half a dozen times. and he's -- he's changing the way he does it. this is an evolving strategy and will see if it works and like you just said, the --
>> curious about that. how does he change -- give me an example how he changes and telling the story? does he seem to be getting more comfortable with it?
>> he changes the punch line . his timing has i am proved. he is getting a little more comfortable with it. he -- making stories a little bit shorter. overall, kind of thing you see whenever a candidate updates his standard speech he gives multiple times a dawe.
>> james holman , it has been fascinating to read the reporting. thank you so much.
>> thank you.