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. Name Bonnie

    Those people who writes and criticize Ann, could not even shine her shoes! Why can't you open your heart and make up your mind after her speech! She is beautiful! Jealous !

    August 28, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Here, the desperate ROMNEY camapaign is making another big mistake

    By hyping the impossible task that the speaches of Ann and Mitt would prduce great results, the disappointment will be terrible

    August 28, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. frank

    will someone tell ann that her husband will never be president.

    August 28, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. bob

    ann should talk about her two caddy's

    August 28, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. maltytasker

    I want to hear what Ann Romney says because after she admitted that revealing their tax returns would give the opposition "more ammo", maybe she'll reveal more info of interest.

    August 28, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Jersey Girl

    @zandhcats – Ann Romney didn't have cancer, she has MS. I had cancer back in 1993, but with surgery & radiation, it's all gone. With MS, I think it's chronic so it's fighting it everyday, some days are worse than others. I don't know what I'd prefer. I feel bad that she has to deal with MS, and feel bad she's married to a clueless robot.

    August 28, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. truth hurts

    Well I certainly hope she is as concerned about all those "food deserts" in America as Michelle Obama is!! I mean Obama created them with his massive umemployment record and has attempted to flood the deserts with BILLIONS in food stamps.

    The answer Romney has involves getting those people back to work and OFF of food stamps. They will no longer wander for years in the Obama desert of unemployment and food stamps. The choice is yours America.

    August 28, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. cali girl

    Bob, she should mention how the elevators for those caddies helps her with something or another.

    August 28, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. Suzanne

    Jealous of her, one of you asked - NOT HARDLY! It's her oh-so annoying references to "we" as opposed to including all the rest of "us" - elitist much?

    August 28, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Reload

    I can't decide if you are all misogynistic, bigots or a bad combination of both. The Romneys never had maids or nannies. They raised their sons on their own. This woman has more depth and more character than Michelle ever hopes to have. Yes, she grew up with money. Since when did success become so deplorable? Answer: since Obama waged class warfare. She is the real deal and as genuine as people get. You people are just a pack of haters.

    August 28, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. Glynda

    Good luck to Ann Romney tonight! A beautiful woman with a beautiful family! So, what's not to like?

    August 28, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. me Again

    I am looking forward to Ann as First Lady. Far more class than that thing in there now who hated America before her clown became President.

    August 28, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. aaron

    Is she Romney's primary wife? How many wives does he have?

    August 28, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Doesn't matter if Ann Romney gives a heart warming and cute speech. She isn't running for president, her husband is. It is up to Mitt to give the best speech of his life. Unkind remarks and comparisons about the spouses are mean sprited and empty.

    August 28, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. glorydays

    Nice comment about how boys taught you more than girls could have, Ann.

    August 28, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. GonzoinHouston

    I'm not going to pick on Ann before she speaks. If she keeps it positive and mostly about Mitt, then fine, I'll observe the "off limits" rule for wives. If she goes negative on Obama or Michelle, then she's just another politician and a legitimate target.

    August 28, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Sharon

    Ann Romney came from money and married money. She seems to be a pleasant woman, a good mother and grandmother. As to those of you telling others she did not have maids or other household help – look at the INCOMPLETE 2010 tax returns. 4 staff members are listed. She grew up with a household staff and that is how she ran her home. I don't dislike her but I do not need someone telling me how great Mitt is when his party is so out of touch with the middle class. I was laid off in 2010 – a plan that started in 2006 – and ended up with a job paying me 25% less. Same bills, less money. The economy is slowing coming back, the market is up (and yes I realize companies are holding their cash instead of hiring), the housing market is improving. Ann sees through the eyes of the well to do and that is what it is. Just do not tell us what Mitt can do. I really would like to see his 2010 Foreign Investment forms (not included in what he released). As to Truth Hurts comment on food stamps – I know many middle class families who are grateful they qualify – otherwise their kids would go hungry.

    August 28, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Fed Up

    Thank God for Cable. No more being forced to listen to all the lies.

    August 28, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Vanessa

    @Denna u said it perfect! I have medical issues myself & it' s an everyday battle to survive. I'm a mom as well & being sick makes it difficult. I worry everyday what will happen to my little one if i' m gone. I worry if my insurance will get terminated. Ann Romney doesn' t have to worry about that & let me b clear, i don't hold this against her, or like someone here posted, that we might b jealous, that is so not the case. Good for her that she doesn' t have to worry about that.. But I just can' t relate to her & i actually find her whole demeaner very unsettling. She seems mean, angry. & they complain about out first lady! Now there is a lady that i look up to & admire greatly.

    August 28, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  20. Ronincalif

    The libertards here are cruel and unkind but what do you expect. When you have nothing else to seak of then you attack.

    August 28, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. lyn

    Don't misidentify my emotions about Mrs. Romney as jealously. More like amazed the GOP thinks she can speak to the little people and we should kiss her ring. She can not fathom how the middle class live, nor does she care. The Kennedy's had more wealth than Romney can hope to have, but never gave the impression they were better than the rest of us.

    August 28, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. Don Jones

    Who could be more irrelevant to the thinking person than Ann " the pink poodle" Romney and Chris "the swine" Christie. I would love to have the Metamucil and Depends concession at this convention. These folks are so benign that even Isaac passed them by.

    August 28, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. jwp

    I find it interesting and disturbing at the same time. Just saw Mrs Romney giving comments to reporters on their jet to the RNC, It looked like a 737 by the seat layout. That plane hold 138 persons and I only counted 7 in the video. Thats a lot of gas wasted on empty seats. I guess if your spending other peoples money who cares?

    August 28, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. 0rangeW3dge

    Onward Christian Soldiers . . . Mitt will appear in his Crusader uniform to accept the nomonation

    August 28, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Glenn Rice

    Has she talked about how having her sons serve on Mitt's campaign is more important than military service yet?

    August 28, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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