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Romney whiffs on final debate query

November 28, 2007 |  8:36 pm

It was a minor muff, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ought to brace for a round of criticism in his home state and its environs.

He made a small -- but, for some baseball aficionados -- possibly unforgivable mistake at the very end of tonight's CNN/YouTube debate among Republican presidential candidates, decrying the "87 years" Boston Red Sox fans had to wait between World Series victories.

As The Times Joe Mathews quickly pointed out to us, every New Englander with the power of speech can tell you the BoSox waited 86 long years -- from 1918 to 2004 -- for a World Series crown. They won again, of course, this year.

Romney, 61, was born in Michigan and grew up outside Detroit before beginning his business career in Boston as a young man. Perhaps that explains his stumble.

It came as he was given a chance to add his two cents after Rudy Giuliani, in the night's last query, was asked to explain how, as a lifelong and passionate New York Yankee fan, he could have publicly acknowledged he was rooting for Boston in the recent World Series. The admission had caused an intense -- but appropriately short-lived -- flap on the campaign trial.

We know that in selecting the final question, those in charge of the debate were trying to end the two-hour face off on a light note. Still, it struck us as soooo last month!

-- Don Frederick 

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