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More Romney React

Saturday, May 5, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I interviewed Governor Romney on tonight’s program. The transcript will be posted here later, and the audio here. We reviewed the debate and some of the topics covered as well as the format, and then moved on to Romney’s reading habits. He assured me that while his guilty pleasures did indeed include science fiction –he mentioned Orson Scott Card— Romney also likes Louie L’Amour and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Romney also assured me that he had never attended a Star Trek convention.

Plus, more Romney reactions from the Romney campaign:

The Politico Editor-In-Chief John Harris: CNN’S JOHN ROBERTS: “Hey, who do you think did the best job of selling themselves last night?” JOHN HARRIS, EDITOR IN CHIEF, POLITICO.COM: “Well, I thought Mitt Romney, who’s introducing himself to most Americans who are not familiar with him. … I thought he gave a very polished, forceful performance that clearly is going to attract a lot of second notices.” (CNN’s “American Morning,” 5/4/07)

National Review’s T.J. Walker: “Mitt Romney won Thursday night’s debate by every objective standard of style and substance.” (T.J. Walker, “Who Won The First Presidential Debate?” National Review, 5/4/07)[# More #]

· Walker: “Whether it was Romney’s genial laugh, his upbeat persona, his non-arrogant confidence, or his complete mastery of head, body, and hand motion, he couldn’t have been more at ease if he were attending a backyard family barbecue. Regarding substance, Romney appeared to be the smartest kid in the class without sounding cocky.” (T.J. Walker, “Who Won The First Presidential Debate?” National Review, 5/4/07)

Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin: “Mitt Romney, Grade: A-, Passed his first high-profile test with aplomb. Showed the sunny-side-up optimism, smoothly relaxed demeanor and mechanically thorough preparation that have won over donors and talk show hosts alike. Never rushed his answers or got flustered. Deftly told a Ted Kennedy joke and closed with a stone cold hit on Hillary Clinton/Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi. Voters getting their first real look at Romney probably liked what they saw.” (Time Magazine Website,, Accessed 5/4/07)

The Wall Street Journal‘s John Fund: “How did the candidates fare? Mitt Romney made a positive impression on many viewers.” (John Fund, Opinion Journal’s Political Diary, 5/4/07)

· Fund: “But I’d have to say it was Mitt Romney who came out with the most momentum from the debate. He certainly looked and sounded presidential.” (John Fund, Opinion Journal’s Political Diary, 5/4/07)

U.S. News & World Report‘s Michael Barone: “I think that the candidate who probably advanced his cause most was probably Mitt Romney. He came into the debate not nearly as well known… He managed to show a sense of command and got into some specifics on major issues like health care.” (Fox News’ ” Fox News Live,” 5/4/07)

NBC’s Meredith Vieira: “A lot of people felt last night he looked and sounded the most presidential of the group.” (NBC’s “Today Show,” 5/4/07)

CNN’s Jackie Schechner: “A Good portion of conservatives online felt that Romney had an excellent night. They said he was relaxed, he showed warmth he answered the questions well.” (CNN’s “American Morning,” 5/4/07)

The Politico‘s Mike Allen: “From the Spin Room to the Carl’s Jr. near the headquarters hotel, The Politico’s informal read of the consensus order of finish for last night’s GOP Presidential Candidates Debate in the Air Force One Pavilion of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: 1) Mitt Romney.” (Mike Allen, “Politico Playbook: Mitt’s Moment,” The Politico, 5/4/07)

National Journal’s Marc Ambinder: “He won new fans with his performance tonight.” (Marc Ambinder, “The Debate: Post-Spin Analysis,” National Journal’s On Call, 5/4/07)

Fox News’s Gretchen Carlson: “A lot of the bloggers this morning saying that they thought Mitt Romney won this debate.” (Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” 5/4/07)

Slate‘s John Dickerson: “For a candidate that is still introducing himself to voters, Romney hit that mark as well as a candidate can.” (John Dickerson, “The Gipper Debate,” Slate, 5/4/07)

MSNBC’s Dan Gilgoff: “I think to the extent that there was a winner in last night’s debate, it actually might have been Governor Romney.” (MSNBC’s “Live,” 5/4/07)

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza: “WINNERS: Mitt Romney: Many viewers were likely getting their first look at the former Massachusetts Governor and he clearly looked up to the job. Romney was engaging, optimistic and telegenic. He generally gave answers that reflected a familiarity with the big issues and used humor effectively…” (Chris Cillizza, ” GOP Debate: Winners And Losers,” The Washington Post‘s The Fix,, Posted 5/4/07)

Nashua Telegraph Columnist Jennifer Horn: “Without doubt former MA Gov Mitt Romney was the winner by every scale. He was the most presidential of all, and not just in the way he combed his hair. He was clear, decisive, firm and unwavering. He was strong on defense, abortion, immigration, healthcare and the economy. He was likeable, respectful of the other candidates and set the tone for the entire debate.” (Jennifer Horn, “First GOP Debate,” Jennifer Horn Online, 5/4/07)

· Horn: “He was, in fact, one of only two or three on the stage who left you with the impression that he could actually be president of the most powerful nation on earth. There is no question that Gov. Romney has risen to the top of the pack after last night’s debate.” (Jennifer Horn, “First GOP Debate,” Jennifer Horn Online, 5/4/07)

CNN’s Candy Crowley: “Mitt Romney, who has been trying to get his name out there, certainly showed he could go toe to toe with some of the better-known names, so he may have done himself some good there in his continuing effort to get his name out there…” (CNN’s “Live,” 5/4/07)

National Review‘s Mark Levin: “Mitt Romney looked the most presidential. He seemed very comfortable responding to questions, including the nutty ones, and came across as a principled conservative.” (Mark Levin, “Last Night’s Republican Debate,” And Another Thing… Blog,, Posted 5/4/07)

Annenberg School Director Of Debate Gordon Stables: “Governor Romney had the best night in terms of introducing himself to a national audience and doing so in a way that was personable but still confident on the issues.” (MSNBC’s “Live,” 5/4/07)

The Boston Globe‘s Scott Helman: “…Mitt Romney, in his national coming-out party of sorts, delivered a largely comfortable, confident performance that left his advisers beaming.” (Scott Helman, “Republican Candidates Show Their Differences,” The Boston Globe, 5/4/07)

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