"My pen rolled under there, and when I bent down to get it, there he was, plain as day," said Sue Gramm, a 61-year-old retailer from Ashburn, Va. "He was all crouched up in his suit, holding his knees so he'd fit."It took several focus group members about 20 minutes to get Romney to come out from under the desk, at one point trying to coax him out with truffles and foie gras, to no avail, according to Michael McConahey, a 54-year-old consultant from Herndon, Va.
"At first he just ignored us, as if we might just go away," said McConahey. "Finally he made like he'd just found a contact lens and tried to excuse himself from the room."
Confronted by the focus group, Romney then denied that he'd been under the desk.
"Well, your assessment of my recent whereabouts is just not accurate," Romney reportedly said. "So, one, we're going to have to be better informed about whether or not I've been under desks, or not under desks. Which I haven't been."
"So we told him that we'd seen him under the desk with our own eyes," said Leann Dunne, a 43-year-old homemaker from Vienna, Va.
"There's no question that people are going to take snippets and take things out of context and try and show that I've been under desks, or created the foundation for Obamacare, or changed my stance on climate change, abortion, immigration, sex, Harry Potter and my magic underwear," Romney allegedly responded. "I say phooey on them."
After being badgered by the focus group for several minutes, Romney changed his stance, saying that he had in fact been under the desk.
"I have never claimed not to be under the desk, and I'm not sure where you're getting that from," Romney told the focus group.
Told he's just denied being under the desk minutes before, Romney told the group that after studying the issue and in the face of new information, his stance on desk-hiding had "matured."
"That's what you have to do in the private sector, adjust to the situation as it changes," said Romney, noting that he'd spent over 25 years as an executive at Bain Capital, spending much of that time hiding under desks.