Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could be excused for having flashbacks to the 1960s when he went door to door in Berlin, New Hampshire, on Thursday.

The former Massachusetts governor worked in France as a Mormon missionary from 1966 to 1968, one of the church's thousands of earnest young men (mostly) who knock on doors and proselytize. At that point Romney had plenty of doors slammed in his face, but on Thursday, not so much.

"This is a lot easier," Romney quipped to Reuters. "People speak English. They wish you Merry Christmas. They don't think you're a salesman. People used to come to the door [in France] and wag their fingers: 'No, I don't want anything.'"

Many French people at the time were "not happy to see Americans, because we were in Vietnam at the time. That was tough," he added.

Romney strode around the depressed paper milling town in northern New Hampshire, talking to residents in their front doorways, to dog-walkers, and to people in passing cars who slowed down at the curious sight of Romney, handlers and trailing horde of media. At one point he broke into a run, leaving even his bodyguards behind.