Mitt Romney Visits Voters in Long Beach

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney toned down his campaign rhetoric the day after he sparred in a debate with main rival John McCain. Why? Might've been manners -- Romney was the guest in the home of a Republican family in Long Beach. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez was there.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Long Beach's Los Altos neighborhood, residents Sonja and Shawn Fife say, isn't usually a political epicenter.

Sonja Fife: We're all so involved with our jobs, and our kids, and our schools, and don't have as much time to discuss politics as probably we used to.
Shawn Fife: We're involved with PTA politics. (laughs)

Guzman-Lopez: The Fifes seemed smitten that candidate Mitt Romney was paying a living room visit to their neighbors Charlene and Greg Bennett. Romney sat between the Bennetts and their two teenaged kids.

Mitt Romney: Well, I want to ask you about money, but I'm not going to be too embarrassing here, so don't worry about that. (laughs) But, you work as a travel agent. Is that right?
Greg Bennett: No.
Charlene Bennett: I used to.
Romney: Used to.
Charlene Bennett: I used to, yes.

Guzman-Lopez: Romney wore shirtsleeves and a sky blue tie. He did most of the talking. Are taxes too high in California? Has 14 year old Garrett thought about college? Are you happy with your health insurance?

The Bennetts liked what they heard. They say they may vote for Romney. Greg Bennett thinks Romney's business experience would serve him well as President. Charlene Bennett likes Romney's relaxed poise.

No one talked at length about the race for Tuesday's primary vote. Once outside, Romney set congeniality aside and suggested that John McCain's Senate voting record makes him too liberal to be the Republican nominee.

Mitt Romney: Are we going to follow course where we oppose the Bush tax cuts, where we are in favor of amnesty for those that come here illegally, where we are for campaign finance restrictions?

Guzman-Lopez: The Bennetts didn't get any time in front of the microphone. Off mic, Romney apologized to them.

Romney: Sorry to make you stand out here like so many props. (laughs)

Guzman-Lopez: Romney's next stop was a furniture store in Westminster, on his way to the California primary on Super Tuesday.