While on the campaign trail for his father, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, 31-year-old Josh Romney has toured some memorable places, including John Wayne's birthplace in Iowa and what is billed as "the world's largest truck stop."
The younger Romney, who is in Springfield for part of this weekend, also intends to "do a little exploring" in the capital city and take in sights such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
But the main reason he's in town is to drum up support for his father, a former Massachusetts governor vying to become the GOP nominee for president next year. Josh Romney's Springfield schedule included a Friday night speech at the National Federation of Republican Women's eight-state conference and an open house from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. today (Saturday) at Sangamon County Republican headquarters, 1132 Sangamon Ave.
State Sen. Dan Rutherford, a Chenoa Republican who chairs the Romney presidential campaign in Illinois, invited Josh Romney to Springfield.
All five Romney brothers are helping their father, and their campaign-related travels are featured on a blog at http://fivebrothers.mittromney.com/.
In an interview Friday afternoon, Josh Romney said he expects his father to spend a lot of time in the Land of Lincoln, which has moved up its 2008 primary date to Feb. 5.
As for Mitt Romney's prospects in this state, his son said: "I think it's a little early to tell what's going on in Illinois. He was here two weeks ago, in Chicago. He's raising a lot of money in Illinois, which is good."
Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and, when asked about the role of religion in his father's campaign, Josh Romney said, "I think in a lot of ways it's positive because people want a man of faith. They don't particularly care which brand of faith that man belongs to."
Josh Romney acknowledged that some critics have claimed his father "flip-flops" on the issues, but he said the accusation is "simply not true."
"He did on abortion, there's no doubt about that," Romney said (his father formerly supported abortion rights but now opposes them). "He's been really consistent on everything else."
"I think the ability to change one's mind is not necessarily a bad thing," the younger Romney added added. "I would say it's probably more dangerous to find someone who's unwilling to change their mind when they realize they're wrong and sticks to a position merely because they held it a few years ago."