Romney Jokes About Cheating in Iowa Poll, Dodging Questions

This post, written by Garance Franke-Ruta, originally appeared on the Iowa Independent website.

Last night, at the pre-Straw Poll "Ronstock" concert at the Bali Satay House in Ames, a Ron Paul volunteer played back a recording of competing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joking about cheating in a State Fair popularity contest, stuffing the ballot box in Ames, and dodging questions across the state.

Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a group which has been shadowing Romney across the state, introduced me to Jeffrey Goines - which also happens to be the name of a character in the movie Twelve Monkeys -- who had been entertaining a group of gun enthusiasts with a recording he says he made at the Mitt Romney pre-Straw Poll rally, also held that evening in Ames. Goines said he attended the event to pass out Paul fliers and was not an official tracker for the Paul campaign.

"Gosh, those Ask Mitt Anythings, how many of those did we have? 46? 47? Unfortunately, people took us for our word," Romney joked, according to a sound clip on the digital recording device. "They asked me anything. There were some truly awful questions. But I, but I tried to dodge most of those. And I, I'll keep on doing that as long as I can."

Dudley, who described himself as "a different kind of gun nut" and carried an iPhone, was appalled by the joke, which he says was inappropriate given the administration's obsession with secrecy.

"This is America!" Dudley said. "The real story is him saying they're dodging questions."

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