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A 'Severely Conservative' Lexicon

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SEVERELY CONSERVATIVE MITT ROMNEY
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a Get out the Vote Rally February 13, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Last Friday, Mitt Romney caused a stir in Republican circles when he went before the Conservative Political Action Conference and declared himself "severely conservative" as governor of Massachusetts. Many were puzzled by the phrase, noting that the adverb "severely" was not commonly used as modifier signifying admiration and respect. Rush Limbaugh was especially confused. He played the clip on his radio show and then said, "I have never heard anybody say, 'I'm severely conservative.' "

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