Romney defends himself as 'severely conservative'

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MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is explaining what he meant when he described himself as "severely conservative" at a conservative political meeting earlier this month.

Romney was asked about using those words when he and his GOP rivals debated Wednesday night in Mesa, Ariz. The state holds its primary Tuesday, as does Michigan.

Romney says "severely" means strict. He says he successfully pushed through several conservative policies as the governor of Massachusetts, a heavily Democratic state.

Romney says he enforced immigration laws, fought for English language immersion in schools, and worked with the Catholic Church to preserve its religious liberties.

He says he also managed the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games as a conservative.

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