Romney outreach aims to clinch conservative backing

Mitt Romney has kicked off outreach efforts to conservatives in order to gain their backing as he looks to take on President Barack Obama in the general election this November.

Mitt Romney has kicked off outreach efforts to conservatives in order to gain their backing as he looks to take on President Barack Obama in the general election this November.

The campaign involves public attacks on the president's economic record and reaching out to conservative groups via phone calls and weekly meetings.

The meetings have been hosted in Washington, DC, by Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform.

"I think they've done a good job," Norquist said of the Romney camp's efforts. "(Conservatives) will come around, but I think it's probably wise of them to do what they appear to be doing and that is reaching out and asking. People like to be asked."

The effort appears to be working. A record 69% of Republicans, including 80% of conservatives, hold favorable views of Romney, a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows.

A notable holdout in terms of GOP support for Romney has been Rick Santorum who dropped out of the Republican presidential race last week. Two recent incidents imply an endorsement might not be coming anytime soon from the former Pennsylvania senator.

A couple days ago, fundraising mailers from the former candidate appeared in Iowa mailboxes warning the GOP base to not support Romney. “It truly frightens me to think what'll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee,” the letter said. A Santorum spokeswoman later clarified that the correspondences were sent before he dropped out.

In a press call this week, Santorum also declined to endorse Romney. An endorsement from Santorum would likely be a great get for Romney as the former senator has leverage considering the fact he won 11 states with more than 3 million votes.

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