Mitt Romney, the former front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, managed to do something Sunday that few of his rivals have done so far: He stood on stage at a tea party rally in front of two tea party buses, gave a 10-minute speech and never once uttered the words “tea” or “party.”

Instead, he stuck to the same message he has delivered across this state over the past few weeks, at house parties and town hall meetings, highlighting his record in the private sector and playing down his former role as the governor of Massachusetts, hoping to capture the anti-establishment fervor of the tea party movement.