From NBC/NJ's Erin McPike
LONDONDERRY, NH -- One day after his first appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Romney faced an onslaught of questions from reporters about his answers on the show, as well as from a voter who chastised him for not answering all the questions he was asked.
Asked about why he was mistaken on the show about his non-endorsement from the NRA during his gubernatorial race, Romney explained, "We checked with them again and said, 'OK, what are the signals here?' And they said, 'Well, we didn't give you the official endorsement,' but they phone-banked members here around Massachusetts, or in Massachusetts... So it was, a if you will, a support phone bank, not an official endorsement."
He was also asked about getting emotional at yesterday's Meet taping -- and perhaps a little bit at the event today, too -- and he responded, "I'm a normal person. I have emotions." He went on to explain that he attended more than 40 funerals of those in service while he was governor and said that it was usually quite emotional for him. "I have emotion just like anyone else, but I'm not ashamed of that all."
As for McCain's endorsements -- from the Des Moines Register, the Boston Globe, and Joe Lieberman -- Romney replied, "You know we each get good endorsements. I can't get them all."
With New Hampshire senior Sen. Judd Gregg (R) standing right next to him, as he campaigned with Romney all day, the former governor said, "I'm real proud to have Sen. Judd Gregg and his endorsement." He added, "If I get first choice, I get him."
Asked if he was surprised by the Register's choice, he gave an emphatic, "No." "Look," he said, annoyed. "You're going to get lots of endorsements. I was very proud of one I worked hard to get," naming National Review's backing of him last week.
The event Romney was hosting at Insight Technology was supposed to be a military-focused event. Romney tends to group his events for a day -- or sometimes for a week -- around a certain issue area, which usually amounts to just a slightly bigger than usual focus on the area in his stump speech. Despite today's focus the military, other than a voter who pressed him on Iraq, there was very little on the topic.
Late into the Q&A session, a man in the audience stood up and waved a questionnaire at him, explaining that a woman distributing them was escorted out of the room and had been told she wasn't welcome at his event. He then asked if Romney supported that sort of thing, and if he would answer all questions.
Romney kept stating that he believed he answered the man by saying he answers questions. "I was on Meet the Press yesterday, for Pete's sake." Finally, he took the paper and indulged the man by speed-reading three questions and answering them, but he was visibly irritated.
The first question was about the cost of the war, and Romney fired back an answer he's given before about his bigger concern with the war is the cost in lives, not dollars. "I don't want to get out of Iraq to save money; I want to get out of Iraq to save lives," he concluded.
There was another question about nuclear weapons, and he said he had spoken with Henry Kissinger yesterday, and he stressed that now is not the time for the United States to rid itself of nuclear arms, pointing out his lack of confidence in Kim Jong-Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinehad to completely denounce nuclear weapons in their own countries.
Even in New Hampshire, Romney couldn't escape a couple of questions about Huckabee. He praised a reporter for asking about his new "contrast" ad out in Iowa today for calling it a contrast (rather than an attack), and he said that he wouldn't say where or when, but at some point, he will shift back to a message about his own candidacy.