is trying to be a Southerner. "I am learning to say y'all and I like grits, and things," he joked with a Mississippi audience Thursday night. "Strange things are happening to me."
Romney, who campaigns Friday in Mississippi and Alabama ahead of primaries there next week, has acknowledged that the next two states are an uphill climb.
The former Massachusetts governor told a Birmingham radio station that the South isn't a natural for him. "I realize it's a bit of an away game," Romney said, before adding that he's confident that he'll pick up delegates in the two states.
In the other primary contests held in the region, Romney finished a distant second to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina and Georgia and was nine points behind Rick Santorum in Tennessee. Santorum, who is behind Romney in total GOP delegates, and Gingrich are hoping to knock the other out in the two Southern states.
Romney has been endorsed by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who was elected last year.
Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, has spent nearly $7 million on ads running in the South, according to NBC News. The independent group has three ads running in Mississippi and Alabama.
This story first appeared in USA Today.