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Asked About Global AIDS, Romney Says America Is "First Priority"

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

MERRIMACK, N.H. -- At a cramped town hall meeting at Thomas More College, Mitt Romney was asked if he would honor President Bush's commitment to fight the global AIDS pandemic and if he would "promise to only fund effective, evidence-based HIV prevention so as to not waste taxpayer money."

Romney chuckled before saying, "I'll tell you, I will look at the topic very closely and care very deeply about what's happening around the world, but I must admit that my first priority is getting America right and making sure that Americans have health care."

Romney went on to tell the crowd of about 110 that he and the American people have big hearts and that he wants to improve the lives of people across the world but that he would not want just to throw money at the problem.

"You see, I tend to be a person who is driven by analysis and data and careful thinking and the input of people with their feet on the ground, rather than just saying, 'Oh, this sounds like a good political posture, let's just jump and say we will do this and send a billion or two dollars off in another direction,'" Romney said.

Romney was also asked what would be the first thing he'd do as president. He said that he would bring together a great team of advisers.

"I love assembling people with different backgrounds, different perspectives," Romney said. "I don't expect everyone to agree with me and to think the same way I do. I want people that have different ideas — different views — that are willing to argue vociferously for the things they believe in."

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.