Speech prep: Ann Romney's wisecracks, welsh cakes and wardrobe
August 28th, 2012
12:41 PM ET
2 years ago

Speech prep: Ann Romney's wisecracks, welsh cakes and wardrobe

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Hours before she was to introduce her husband to millions of voters tuned into the GOP convention, Ann Romney joked to reporters she would present her remarks in a way those obsessed with social media could understand.

"The speech is being reduced to a tweet," Mrs. Romney teased her husband's traveling press corps in a lighthearted conversation on the couple's flight to Tampa.

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The wife of the Republican presidential candidate seemed to be working through any jitters with wisecracks and a lot of baking. On the plane, she handed out Welsh cakes made from her grandmother's recipe. She had spent the previous day churning out hundreds of the moist and chewy treats.

Political analysts are looking to Mrs. Romney, who finished writing her speech days ago, to address concerns about her husband's perceived stiffness by presenting him in a more personal, softer light.

She has often played that role in campaign events - reminiscing about growing up with a younger Mitt in Michigan, for example, or recounting how she raised five mischievous sons.

Tuesday night will bring a new level of scrutiny and stagecraft.

"I've never given a speech like this before, but I'm excited," she said.

Less than an hour after she landed in Tampa, Mrs. Romney was standing onstage in the convention hall to familiarize herself with the set-up.

One challenge she may face Tuesday night could be sticking to the scripted remarks.

"I think you will see that my speech is heartfelt, and I think a lot of you have been covering me long enough and you know I've never gone off a written text," she said, laughing. "So this is a unique experience for me, to actually have something written because I've never used it, no one has ever written a speech for me."

Mrs. Romney also admitted she found it difficult to read from a teleprompter - a skill she practiced alongside husband over the weekend.

In the build-up to her highly-anticipated address, even her wardrobe had become a ticklish topic, she said.

"The funniest thing of all is that [Romney strategist] Stuart Stevens, who wears his shirts inside-out, is advising me on what dress I should wear tonight," Mrs. Romney laughed. "So I know I've come really full-circle now."

Stevens worked with both Romneys on their speeches this weekend at their Wolfeboro home. When the couple ventured out to a nearby high school to practice speaking in a larger venue, Stevens was spotted wearing gray capri pants.

Mrs. Romney said she had never expected both her husband and other campaign advisers to weigh in on her fashion choices.

"It was going to be like my wedding night; I wasn't going to let him know what I was going to wear," she said. "But now they have opinions."


Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Florida • Republican National Convention
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...And hey, if you can get some of your help to carry Rafalca and her 6th place,or was that 30th place Olympic ribbon up there onstage with you, why, I know that the crowd would just go wild....especially those of us watching you from home.

    August 28, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. zandhcats

    People admire her merely because she was a cancer survivor and raised 5 children? I used to have no comment about her, till she said "you people" and I heard her response about the tax ret with angry voice "our life styles is nobody's business" from NPR.
    It's true if they are the private citizen but she forgot her husband was running a presidential campaign. Public has right to see their true characters.She'd have faced more harsh questions, in case, unfortunately, Romney wins the election. Look how the conservatives treat Michelle Obama, simply no respect.

    August 28, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    Mitt Romney has plenty of merit to stand on. As far as qualifications for the job, he is several notches up from Dr. Downgrade. It's time Americans got serious about who they elect and put in someone capable. Romney/ Ryan 2012.
    -------------------------------
    If Mitt Romney is so full of "merit", then why is he letting his wife overshadow him? Name calling? You know the rule, that action means you've lost the argument. Thanks, for playing.

    August 28, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Punctus

    Doesn't she have people who do this sort of thing for her? I mean, really, having to actually mix with the great unwashed masses?

    August 28, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Howard wrote:

    In 2008, obama promised transparency ... to fix our economy ......
    ---------------
    And then Republicans realized that they were going to lose the election, so they blew up the economy, "FIX THAT!", and gave $700 billion to Wall Street with no strings attached.

    August 28, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Independent Voter

    If you are not making 200k or above per year then to vote Republican is to "Vote Rich but Live Poor".

    August 28, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Look how the conservatives treat Michelle Obama, simply no respect."

    I looked, and felt nauseated. I won't do the same to Ann Romney. Neither will I listen to her speech. I'm just not interested in her, or her life long tribulations.

    August 28, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. BIGDOG

    First ime responding to anything. I find it's scary that most of YOU PEOPLE who post to these articles are so ill-informed about politics, yet you are the ones who put Obama in . ROMNEY/RYAN IN 2012

    August 28, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Samantha

    All yah women speaks against Ann Romney? Have you raised 5 kids? Have you have MS? and I am pretty you'd hope a man as rich like Romney will or had swift off your feet. So come on, be fair. As Bill Gates said, "IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT YOU ARE BORN POOR. BUT IT IS YOUR FAULT IF YOU DIE POOR". Any woman would hope their husbands or boyfriends have money. Jealousy?

    August 28, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Every time the Romney campaign tries to humanize him it backfires. Accept him as is, you know, the kind of guy who says things like the "...trees are the right height...", "I like grits..."

    Blah.

    August 28, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. myviewis

    Ann Romney could learn a thing or two from Michelle Obama who knows how to dress, that woman wears the most gorgeous, stylish clothing I could wish in my closet, the woman has very good taste.

    August 28, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey, there. Not sure if you'll be watching tonight, but if you do, have a bowl of popcorn on me, OK?

    August 28, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    Samantha wrote:

    All yah women speaks against Ann Romney? Have you raised 5 kids? Have you have MS? and I am pretty you'd hope a man as rich like Romney will or had swift off your feet. So come on, be fair. As Bill Gates said, "IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT YOU ARE BORN POOR. BUT IT IS YOUR FAULT IF YOU DIE POOR". Any woman would hope their husbands or boyfriends have money. Jealousy?

    ____

    No Samatha, I wouldn't because well, I like to sleep at night KNOWING, I didn't get my money by hurting someone else and as a religious person, I don't believe the Romney's will EVER get to heaven because well, you know the scripture.

    August 28, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. cali girl

    Samantha, raised 5 kids with nanny's and maids scheduling the soccer pickups and drop off. Can't say I know any of those women but they do exist.
    I do personally know 2 women who have MS, and daily life is a struggle that Ann has never had to face. The finest of healthcare and any and all therapy she could ever want at her fingertips.
    Most women know well their stations in life, whether that is facing tough times keeping the maids hired, or just working everyday to keep food on the table. And just so you know, women are not waiting on a man to make their life for them. Women are getting higher education and joining career ladders.

    August 28, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota:
    If I do watch it will be in your stead my friend, with popcorn at the ready (wink!).

    August 28, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Since her husband won't address the issues, Ann Romney should talk aboutl the missing tax returns and the $77,000 tax write off for the fancy dancing horse in her speech to the RNC.

    August 28, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. julie

    independent voter I like that can I use that term ? Vote rich but live poor...............lots of mitt kissers will do just that live POOR.............that would make a good bumper sticker "vote mitt vote rich- live poor"

    OMITT MITT 2012

    August 28, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. CURIOUS

    Let them eat cake.

    August 28, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Hank

    Saw a clip of angry ANN-toinette, making a mountain out of a molehill, over one afternoon when one of her useless sons came home crying over whatever a kid would cry about-and alexithymic Mitt, sitting by her side and holding onto to her apron strings, as usual. She's as phony and obnoxious as he is, and probably loses him more votes every time she makes her STUPID COW COMMENTS.

    August 28, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. SCOTO

    Its a peculiarity of American politics that somehow its deemed important for their spouses to be involved with us.
    The Britiish for instance would be bemused by the idea that somehow this is of any interest to the electorate. Sensible country.

    August 28, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. allens

    oh than ann is really some woman. not, she is a droid and second rate citizen in the mormon church and the romney house hold.

    August 28, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Brooke

    Independent Voter

    If you are not making 200k or above per year then to vote Republican is to "Vote Rich but Live Poor
    This is a good one and so true.

    August 28, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. wjchucklebutt

    How can something be "heartfelt" if you're just reading what someone else wrote?

    "I think you will see that my speech is heartfelt, and I think a lot of you have been covering me long enough and you know I've never gone off a written text," she said, laughing. "So this is a unique experience for me, to actually have something written because I've never used it, no one has ever written a speech for me."

    Most important – will she be using a Teleprompter? Because only Socialist Muslim Marxists use those.

    August 28, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. trowe

    It amazes me how many comments on here talk about Ann Romney talking down to people as they do the same to her. I hope many of you are hiding behind your computers and are not like this in real life.

    August 28, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. PDXwins

    Don't worry, Ann. We all knew what you meant when you said, "you people."

    August 28, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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