Salon's Alex Pareene says yes. He argues Romney would get more positive coverage in the media if he were to sound "moderate" in public and allow surrogates and other Republicans to say controversial things.
Jon Huntsman showed that you can earn the label "moderate" without actually having moderate political beliefs. Jon Huntsman's actual policies were practically indistinguishable from Romney's. He endorsed the (original) Ryan plan. He said he'd repeal Obamacare. The press thought he was an apostate liberal because he professed to believe in global warming but he didn't support cap-and-trade. Guess what, that's also Mitt Romney's position!
If Romney pulled a Huntsman, his press would be positively glowing. The press loves the Rare Moderate Republican. And the conservative media wouldn't punish him for it as they did Huntsman, because the primaries are over and he's their guy. (They'd also note that his policy positions are still all the things they want, no matter how RINOy he appeared.)
You appeal to the mainstream press by listening to them describe what they imagine a candidate should do to appeal to "independent voters." So: Express Seriousness. Offer Straight Talk. Embrace your inner Scarborough. Disdain partisanship and extremism (on both sides) and commit yourself to forging bipartisan compromise and solving this deficit thing once and for all. Say "civility" a lot. No one will care if your solutions are vague nonsense because all moderate pundits come up with when tasked with figuring out how to solve their pet problems is vague nonsense.
Meanwhile, the shadow campaign — the mailers and robocalls and local radio ad buys — continues doing what it's doing now. Obama is a weak socialist and his welfare thugs will steal the election with voter fraud, etc.