Romney rarely does interviews with print media, preferring conservative broadcast outlets. He also regularly tapes interviews with local TV and radio reporters when he visits different states. But he doesn't often allow himself to be grilled by the reporters who know him and his record best and who tend to ask the toughest questions.
The campaign also limits opportunities to watch Romney interact with voters. It says he regularly meets with middle-class families before events, but those meetings always take place in private. The campaign does not release the names of those attending.
His campaign insists that almost all interactions between reporters and campaign staff be either anonymous or completely off the record. And he's only just now starting to allow his traveling press corps to share his campaign plane regularly. News organizations that travel with presidential candidates pay their own way, including plane fare, meals, hotels and other expenses, often thousands of dollars per day.
His aides are tight-lipped on even the most mundane issues, like travel logistics. And they are visibly averse to allowing the candidate to step into unscripted situations.
Even Romney finds a little humor in the sometimes tense relationship. While talking to reporters at the rear of his plane recently, Romney looked a few rows back at Rick Gorka, his traveling press secretary. "Rick is about to pass out. Gorka is," he said with a laugh and added, as if speaking for Gorka, "'What are you doing?'"
Gorka responded by waving his hand in a "wrap it up" motion.
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