Former Gov. Mitt Romney shared lunch Friday with the Massachusetts House Republican delegation as he sought to build hometown support — and tamp down potential backyard opposition — while he progresses toward a possible second White House campaign.
The expected 2012 White House contender maintained there was no political agenda to Friday's meeting.
"I'm just here for lunch and to talk to some friends and see what's going on," Romney said. "I love this delegation and to catch up. I care very deeply about this team, and they're doing great work."
Yet some attendees said Romney spoke of national themes, saying the country needed a new direction after two years of Democratic leadership under President Obama.
He also distinguished the Massachusetts health care law he signed as governor from the national one enacted last year by Obama. Romney said states — not the federal government — should be free to design their own plans for covering the uninsured.
Republicans hold just four seats in the 40-member state Senate. But the party gained 16 seats in the 160-member state House, pushing them over 30 members for the first time since 1996.
Some were backed by tea party activists, with whom Romney has maintained an arm's-length distance.
This program aired on January 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.