Romney quoted that Popeye line three times in a 30-minute interview with POLITICO about his leadership style and philosophy, swatting away advice from Republicans to focus on connecting with voters in a more emotional, human way at this convention. Instead, he vowed to keep his emphasis — in the campaign and any administration to follow — on a relentlessly goal-driven, business-minded approach that has shaped his life so far.
"I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they're something they're not," Romney said. "You get what you see. I am who I am."
To press the point, he said the GOP would even try to turn Obama's still-high personal favorability rankings back on him at its convention this week, by making the simple case to voters: nice guy, failed president.
"I don't think everybody likes me," Romney said. "I don't believe that, by any means. But I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that. … He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn't work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do."
Romney pledged to bring corporate order to the West Wing. He promised to issue a checklist for his first 100 days, similar to the printed scorecard he used in Massachusetts; treat his Cabinet like a board of directors; and try to restart the economy using the hands-on management style that made him hundreds of millions of dollars.