CHARLESTON, S.C. - Mitt Romney referred to himself as a "big boy" with "broad shoulders" who is ready to endure whatever negative ads are thrown his way by his GOP rivals as voting days grows closer and the stakes for the GOP nominee slot get higher.
In an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that aired Friday evening, Romney suggested that negative ads have a place in a campaign and the ability to withstand the attacks is essential.
"I'm a big boy, there are attacks against me, there will be attacks against all the candidates," said Romney, who taped the interview with Van Susteren in Greenville, S.C. "When the democrats come in with a billion dollars they'll be attacking all of us."
"If I can't handle a few attacks coming my way and the other guys can't, then boy, we're not going to be ready for Barack Obama," he said.
While the Romney campaign has yet to run a negative television ad, the pro-Romney SuperPAC, Restore our Future, has run several, focusing primarily on the current GOP frontrunner and former speaker Newt Gingrich.
Romney tried to separate himself from the SuperPAC, which is prohibited by law from communicating with the campaign.
"My virtue of the law I can have no involvement," said Romney, when Van Susteren asked if he felt comfortable with the negative advertising done by the SuperPac, before adding that he doesn't think negative advertising should stop.
"That's the nature of the political process, and people sort through those things," he said. "Trying to suggest that we're going to move into a nirvana style of political world just doesn't make a lot of sense."