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Mitt Romney changes his strategy. Why the shift now? (+video)

A top Mitt Romney aide says the GOP presidential nominee plans to be more specific about his policy plans, now that more voters are paying attention to the race. But there is probably more to the move than that.

By Staff writer / September 17, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, Monday, Sept. 17.

David McNew/AP

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Is Mitt Romney really changing his electoral strategy? That question arises because that’s what a top Romney aide says the GOP nominee has done.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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Senior adviser Ed Gillespie in a conference call with reporters said Mr. Romney is shifting to provide voters with more specifics about his policy plans. Voters “are eager to hear more details about policies to turn our economy around,” said Mr. Gillespie, adding that Romney won’t outline new plans so much as “reinforce” proposals he’s already issued.

The “timing is right” for this move, added Gillespie, as millions of voters are now tuning in to Campaign 2012 after the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

As to what this might mean in practice, an ad posted Monday on YouTube by the Romney team provides a hint. Titled “The Romney Plan," the 40-second ad lists the main categories of Romney’s longtime economic plan: new trade agreements and a crackdown on Chinese trade cheating; deficit reduction; and tax and regulation reductions that help small business.

Gillespie also listed some of Romney’s preexisting energy positions as the sort of thing that might get a bigger push in days ahead. Romney would approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, allow more exploration for oil and drilling on federal land, and so forth. These are “specifics that people go, ‘Oh, I see, that’s how you could get to be energy independent by 2020,' ” said Gillespie.

Candidates have lots of different strategies for lots of different things, so it’s hard to judge whether Romney’s Boston team has really changed its overarching view of the election. We’d think they probably haven’t, given that they’re not talking about any sort of real departure from things they’ve said before.

But what this does appear to be is a shift in communications strategy to try to refocus the election on the economy and where it's headed.

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