Romney resists hitting the panic button

While they can be under no illusion over how precarious their position has become, he and his brain trust are retooling their message rather than blowing up the game plan with a week to go before the critical Florida primary.

Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top national strategist, conceded that it had been a dismal week leading up to the South Carolina defeat but suggested that the campaign known for its even-keeled personality would not give up on its analytical approach in order to channel some of Gingrich’s more visceral appeal.

“I think that we got caught up about tax returns, so we’ve got that behind us, and I think we probably didn’t do as good of a job as we should have talking about big issues — we talked too much about process,” Stevens said. “Because people are angry does not mean they are looking for another candidate who is the most angry candidate. That just simply never seems to be the case, or you would have wonderful talk show hosts getting elected president all the time.”