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Romney compares Tea Party to GOP

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Donning official white campaign aprons, GOP candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann kicked off their Labor Day serving 450 Republican voters 1,500 hot pancakes this morning, before Romney gave a brief speech addressing Tea Party concerns and touting his new jobs plan, which will debut tomorrow.

Romney, who likes his pancakes with chunky peanut butter and maple syrup, attempted to dampen worries about his ability to mobilize Tea Party support the morning after a small group of Tea Party activists protested his speech at the Tea Party Express in Concord.

"We all like to read stories that show some conflict," Romney said, downplaying what he saw as a narrative he believes the media and Democratic Party are trying to push. "I appreciate the intent to make us look like we're fighting amongst ourselves."

"The Tea Party has at its center core a belief that government is too big," Romney said. "Sound familiar? That's what we've been saying for years and years as a Republican Party. And they're saying it well and loud. The Tea Party is a powerful movement saying government is too big and I couldn't agree more. And you're gonna see us Republicans come together. All of us agree that government is out of control."

Earlier this morning in South Carolina, Romney was endorsed by state treasurer Curtis Loftis, who has strong Tea Party ties.

In Manchester, Romney also previewed his jobs plan to be unveiled tomorrow in Nevada, saying that he will deliver a revised tax code, new trade deals, lower corporate taxes and a plan that would "bring regulations in line with other nations." When NBC News asked which countries he meant, Romney said he will provide details tomorrow.

On trade, Romney vowed that his plan would be "cracking down on cheaters like China."

In step with his usual stump speech, the former Massachusetts governor highlighted his private sector experience and slammed President Obama on job creation in his stump speech.

Romney is now en route to South Carolina for Senator Jim DeMint's Palmetto Freedom Forum this afternoon.