Washington: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney steers his campaign into a friendlier port on Thursday, a fundraising event and private dinner sponsored by former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Romney will be in the beautiful mountain valley of Jackson, Wyoming, a day after he faced a skeptical audience and was booed by some during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country's oldest civil rights group.

Romney has avoided appearing in public with Cheney or with former President George W. Bush both are seen as divisive figures by many of the swing voters he needs to win over if he's going to defeat President Barack Obama.

Polls show Romney and Obama virtually tied three and a half months before the November election.

The Cheney-sponsored events on Thursday evening at this resort town near Yellowstone National Park represent a welcome endorsement for Romney, who is eager to win over more of the party's base.

Romney doesn't have a close relationship with the former vice president, a veteran of five Republican presidential administrations and a huge draw for Republican donors.

While Romney speaks regularly with former President George H.W. Bush, he seldom refers by name to the most recent Bush to occupy the White House. On occasion he goes out of his way not to say Bush's name out loud and simply calls him "the predecessor" to Obama.

Cheney has generally shied away from politicking and he remains controversial, in part because of his hawkish foreign policy stances, including his support for interrogation techniques like water boarding.

Still, Romney has embraced Cheney in the past. Last year, he told an Arizona town hall that Cheney's "wisdom and judgment" would provide a model for choosing his own vice president.

Many of Romney's policy advisers were officials in the Bush White House. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently endorsed the former Massachusetts governor. With the campaign heating up by the day, the Obama and Romney campaigns traded accusations of lying.

The Romney camp's charge came in a hard-hitting new television ad that accuses Obama of misleading, unfair and untrue attacks. The Obama campaign hit back, blasting Romney's "big Bain lie" after a newspaper report cited a possible discrepancy in the presumptive Republican nominee's business record.


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