Romney on ‘Frontrunner’ Memo: ‘I Value People Who Exaggerate on My Behalf’

Jul 22, 2007 11:02am

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: Mitt Romney disagreed Sunday with his senior strategist’s assessment that he is the new frontrunner in the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

"No, I’m far from the frontrunner at this point," said Romney when asked if he considers himself the frontrunner. "I value people who exaggerate on my behalf but unfortunately there are a couple of guys who are pretty strong out there. I’m still an underdog and battling hard."

The July 20 memo, which was written by Romney strategist Alex Gage, was published in Sunday’s Washington Post

. Gage argues that Romney, not former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is the true frontrunner in the crowded GOP field.

Giuliani "is now trailing in four of the five key states that fall before Feb. 5," writes Gage. The memo goes on to note that the average of public polls conducted in June and July show Romney leading comfortably in Iowa and New Hampshire and more narrowly in Nevada. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., leads the way in South Carolina, while Giuliani is a strong first choice only in Florida.

Romney made his comments to reporters after speaking to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly in Washington, D.C.

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