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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:32 PM

Romney works behind the scenes to attract conservatives

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-usa-campaign-romney-conservativesbre82l184-20120322,0,6922039.story

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mitt Romney, sensing the Republican presidential nomination will be his, is working behind the scenes to try to unify conservatives behind him and he may be gaining some traction.

Romney's objective is to ease conservative doubts about his candidacy raised repeatedly by chief rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who denounce him as a Massachusetts moderate who will forsake conservative views if he becomes the nominee.

Romney privately made the rounds on Capitol Hill on Thursday, meeting a leading conservative senator who has not endorsed him, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and holding a fund-raiser at a Washington hotel attended by several senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Romney sat down as well with Paul Ryan, the conservative chairman of the House Budget Committee.

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