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Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who currently serves as the chairman of the Free and Strong America PAC, spent two hours on March 22 autographing copies of his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness at Deseret Books in La Jolla.

Several volunteers clad in red, white, and blue “No-Apology” T-shirts ushered groups of 12 book-holding signature solicitors inside the store until the crowd of 800 dissolved into a group of 20 cameramen and reporters.

Rumor had it there would be a sizable protest from the gay community urging Romney to change his opinion on gay marriage, but the dozen or so protestors went largely unnoticed.

When a local news reporter told Romney that there were some gay protestors asking him to urge the Mormon Church to “ease up on the gay issue,” he said, “I don’t tell my church what to do politically, and my church doesn’t tell me what to do politically. I certainly respect the right of everyone to express their views.”

When I asked the seemingly spellbound bystanders what it was they liked about Romney, it was unanimous (at least with the female population) that Romney was incredibly handsome. Others said they appreciated his integrity.

A press conference followed the book-signing. I trailed behind as the other reporters left the room and the store lights dimmed. I turned to Romney and asked, “If you had a magic wand, could tap your book and have it change the world, what effect would you want it to have?” After a moment of thought (and what could have been a twitch at the word "magic"), he looked straight into my eyes and said rather gravely, “I want my book to have an impact on people’s thinking. We’ve been put on a road to decline and I’d like to see people get back on the road to prosperity, strength, and security.”For video taken at the book-signing, click here.

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