SALT LAKE CITY- A senior adviser to Mitt Romney said today that the candidate is staying "very focused and determined" after the leaked videos that suggested the candidate believes 47 percent of Americans are getting an undeserved free ride.
Making his way to the back of the Romney charter en route to Utah this morning, adviser Kevin Madden answered several questions from reporters traveling with the candidate today. Romney, meanwhile, stayed tucked in his seat at the front of the plane, coming into eyesight of the press only to grab belongings before exiting the plane and speeding off to a fundraiser here.
Madden came to deliver news that Romney's first television interview since the release of the videos would be later this afternoon on Fox News with Neil Cavuto. Fox News has frequently been the first stop for Romney during a crisis, using the cable channel to get his message to the largest number of conservative-leaning viewers as quickly as possible.
Madden said that while the campaign on a whole is aware of the videos, and the new portions that continue to be released, there's been "no sort of review of any kind" of the videos with Romney today. Romney did view the videos released yesterday, however.
As to whether the campaign believes this story line will blow over, it coming on the very day the campaign brass had vowed a "reset," telling reporters the intended on offering more specifics on the Romney agenda, Madden pointed at the press as the determining factor in how long the story goes on.
"I think sometimes that's up to you guys," Madden said. "I still think that the voters who have yet to make up their mind are highly concentrated on the solutions that the candidates are going to offer related to the economy, and that's what this campaign is really about; which is the big differences that we have on whether or not, how we're going to put the country going back in the right direction, how we're going to create jobs and fix the economy."
But the resounding message from Madden was all about focus.
In fact, "focus" was uttered no fewer than eight times in a single answer regarding how big of a distraction this has been for the campaign.
"We're still focused, I still think this is an election that is focused on the economy, it's focused on the direction of the country, and I think the voters right now who have yet to make up their mind are still viewing it through the lens of that, and our focus as part of a campaign message, the governor's focus and his message, is focused on talking about what he would do to help fix the economy, so we remain pretty focused and determined and the governor, I think the campaign is a reflection of the governor's approach which is very focused and determined," said Madden.