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Romney's '08 Iowa Chair On What Went Wrong: 'He Became Almost A Caricature Of Himself'

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Newscom

From Romney's 2008 Iowa chair Daniel Gross:

"No one questions his CEO abilities, but last time, he dove so far to the right trying to appeal to Christian conservatives that he became almost a caricature of himself. I think a number of people are skeptical of his ability to connect with the average voter."

National Journal reports Gross "hasn't jumped aboard" Romney's 2012 effort yet. As the magazine suggests, that's something of a common problem for Romney. Though he's among the biggest names in the nebulous GOP 2012 field and as close to a frontrunner as the Republicans have, NJ's Beth Reinhard reports that "nobody assumes he'll win."

TPM asked Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom for his take on Gross' view of the 2008 race. He didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.

But he gave Reinhard a different take on what happened in 2008 and suggested those holding their breath for a Romney 2012 announcement in the immediate future shouldn't hold their breath.

"The big lesson we learned from last time was that we got started too early," Fehrnstrom said. "We're in no hurry to announce our plans."