Mitt Romney Guests on The 'Tonight Show,' Makes Subtle Santorum Dig and Talks Policy (Video)

Mitt Romney Baltimore Maryland - H 2012
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Mitt Romney Baltimore Maryland - H 2012

On the way to his Tuesday night appearance on The Tonight Show, one of Mitt Romney's aides told the Republican candidate not to try to be funny during his interview. Mission accomplished.

The former Massachusetts governor and near-lock to be the GOP nominee for President this year smiled and waltzed through his interview with Jay Leno unscathed, eschewing personal anecdotes to pitch his various policy proposals.

He was asked about Rick Santorum's blowup at a New York Times reporter over the weekend, and defended his rival's seemingly contradictory statements (about Romney being the worst GOP candidate) as a result of constantly being on camera and peppered with questions -- though he did get in a winking tweak when he said "Press secretary" in response to how he viewed the former Pennsylvania senator.

Largely, though, there was a basic presentation of white papers: how Romney would take on Obamacare (and he seemingly defended the individual mandate at question in front of the Supreme Court, saying that people need to buy insurance when they're healthy), his ideas to lower taxes, a slamming of President Obama's "hot mic" moment with the Russian president.

Romney seemed to have a friendly audience in the studio, and after the taping, he met with an even friendlier group of donors at a Hollywood executives fundraiser cohosted by former Lionsgate chief Harry Sloan and and Yahoo! director Gary L. Wilson.