Aides Reveal Romney Plan to Beat—or Join—Bachmann
Candidate expected to play nice, surrender Iowa, stress economic skills
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2011 2:04 AM CDT
Michelle Bachmann, waves to the crowd during a welcome home event in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa last month..   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – Front-runner Mitt Romney has been playing nice with the other GOP contenders so far and that's unlikely to change even as Michele Bachmann solidifies her place as a major contender in polls, sources close to the Romney campaign tell the Daily Beast. Team Romney definitely sees Bachmann as a threat, but the candidate aims to "take the high road," avoiding direct attacks and possibly even surrendering conservative early-voting states like Iowa, where she's already leading, in order to focus on states like New Hampshire and Nevada.

Insiders say the Romney campaign believes a focus on his economic record will help defuse Bachmann. "From my conversations with people in the campaign, I think they feel Romney has a very unique set of skills that gives him an opportunity to show voters he can help turn around the economy," political consultant Chuck Warren says. "Bachmann doesn’t have those skills." She does, however, have the Tea Party appeal Romney is lacking, leading many Republicans to believe a Romney-Bachmann ticket could be a winner.