WASHINGTON–Worried by Rick Santorum’s surging campaign, sometime GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney told a stunned CPAC audience that he is actually an adorably frisky kitten.
“Some people have misperceived me as a tall white man,” the former Massachusetts governor said in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual meeting. “That is false. I’m a cuddly little kitten. I invite anyone who doubts me to come up here and tickle me or scratch behind my ears and see what happens.”
A smattering of applause broke out but most of the audience sat in stony silence. “I’m skeptical,” said Harley Chuntz, a Republican blogger from Utah and Santorum backer. “Mitt talks like a kitten now but his record as governor shows few feline tendencies.”
Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades denied that the candidate’s “ball-of-fluff speech,” as some pundits here have called it, represented a desperate attempt at image manipulation to make Romney more appealing to conservatives. “Kittenishism is a part of Mitt’s heritage, going way back to his boyhood in Michigan,” Rhoades said. “Mitt was raised by cats and he still licks himself all over instead of showering.”