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What Mitt Romney needs to achieve at GOP national convention

Mitt Romney needs to keep the focus on the travails of the US economy under Obama, and to humanize himself by telling his personal story, Republican analysts said during the Sunday talk shows, in advance of this week's GOP national convention.

By Staff writer / August 26, 2012

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kisses his wife, Ann, during a campaign rally on Friday in Commerce, Mich.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Tampa, Fla.

Mitt Romney’s task at the Republican National Convention this week will be to keep the focus on the struggles of the US economy under President Obama and to tell an appealing personal story about his life and accomplishments, according to conservative politicos and commentators speaking during appearances on the Sunday talk shows.

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Mr. Romney will also strive, they said, to steer the conversation clear of political land mines such as the recent "legitimate rape" comment by Rep. Todd Akin (R) of Missouri.

Romney will show he’s “a good, decent man who gave away his father’s inheritance, and everything he did, he did to success,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on CBS’s "Face the Nation." “I think both Republican and Democratic parents are wishing for their kids' success and the American dream and not the glass-half-empty America that President Obama is trying to sell this country."

Recent polling data show the vast distance Romney needs to make up against Mr. Obama in terms of connecting with voters.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in August shows Obama with a 58 percent to 23 percent lead in being judged “easygoing and likable,” a 52 percent to 24 percent lead in issues concerning women, and, perhaps most important, a 52 percent to 30 percent advantage in being perceived as caring about average people.

A step toward introducing Mitt Romney, Family Man, was evident in a joint interview of Mitt and Ann Romney aired on "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."

The couple laughed often, with Mitt looking on admiringly as Ann answered several sharp questions from Mr. Wallace about her political disagreements with her husband (she demurred) and their feelings about Planned Parenthood (to which Ann had donated in the past and which Mitt has said would lose its federal funding under a Romney administration.)

The two shared a big laugh when Ann said she didn’t weigh in on policy matters.

“I didn’t know she didn’t give advice on policy,” Mitt said with a broad smile.

Ann Romney even offered her advice for shopping at bulk retailer Costco: “You take a sharp right, go way down to the back of the store, shop the outside of the aisles.”

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