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. Suzanne

    As a Liberal, you'll get no apologies from me. I am NOT jealous of the Romney's money, but.......ANYone who has an elevator for their CAR in ONE of who knows how many homes cannot possibly understand me as a middle-class citizen - it's simply not possible. And, Mz. Ann's elitism belittles her.......

    August 28, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Pepou

    Just look at that woman! Oozes wealth, arrogance and stupidity.

    August 28, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Dan

    The Tax Returns is what America wants to know about,you know it is you people to you.

    August 28, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Harvty

    Old school liberals were open-minded. This new brand of liberalism is nasty, intolerant (ironically enough they regularly rage about this regarding conservatives), elitist, and apt to make broad generalizations.

    August 28, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. anonymous

    Enjoy your five minutes of fame, Ann. I wonder how Mitt will deal with his crushing depression when he loses the election in November? Do you think he will drink more? It was John McCain's arrogance that cost him the election, a condition from which the GOP collectively suffers. Enjoy.

    August 28, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. DENNA

    I hope she doesn't start that "Take Back the White House" garbage. It isn't gone nor has it been "taken over". The current president was elected, he did not stage a coup. You act like the GOP are the true owners of the White House. Ann, once they are finished using you, I would suggest that you fade quietly into the background because you are annoying.

    August 28, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. proud Canadian

    You arrogant selfish, self serving, and dispicable Liberals, how dare you criticize the Romneys for what the worked for all their lives. They were not always rich if you ever bother to know their life's storey unlike your President who lived in luxury all his life. You should be ashamed to denigrade someone who has pursued the american dream and became successul, are you willing to get out of the gutter and live your dream instead of knocking down others? Romeny has worked as Governor for no pay, has any Dems with means done the same? Has anyone given of his time to help the poor and needy in upwards of 60 hours a week for years has Romeny served as Bishop, Stake President and other non paying church calling? What have you done to make the world a better place for someone? I cannot vote but yet you Libs will let illegals and even dead people vote so you can continue your legacy of pilfering and loathesomness.

    August 28, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. MaryM

    Ann, sorry princess, its just not your time. "You People" Mitt and Ann, will have to go back to your own home, NOT the American peoples home, the White House

    August 28, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. rs1201

    Wow...I have never read such bitter posts...mean and just plain offensive. Ann Romney happens to be very wealthy...but that's not all she is...she's a very kind, down to earth, and charitable woman. She's a good mother and a good wife. She suffers from a disease that will probably end her life at too young an age and leave her family devastated. Yet...she doesn't let that tragedy affect her demeanor nor her continuous smile.

    Give it up people...there's nothing you can point to about the Romneys that could even suggest unpleasantness. There's plenty to point to at the Obamas to suggest unpleasantness...like the fact that Obama rejected a Catholic Cardinal's blessing at the Democratic Convention in favor of 2 hours of Islamic prayers...Now...all at once...how many of you out there can identify with needing 2 hours of Islamic prayers...not this American that's for sure!!!!

    August 28, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. proud New Jerseyian

    Thanks "proud Canadian". The political process in the US is a mess. The US Congress cannot or will not work together. There is plenty of blame on both sides of the aisle. Mr. Obama has failed to bring the congress together and the country together. President Obama is a terrific speaker and presenter but not a leader nor a doer. He has broken virtually all of his promises. He has made a mess considerably worse. Please, no more of the status quo. We cannot deal with the likes of todays politicians.

    August 28, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. workinprogress

    She seems like a beautiful and classy lady.

    August 28, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. LindaPP

    rs1201 where do you get your info? You must be high. We don't begrudge anyone who made themselves wealthy by hard work. But not when people hurt others to to make gains.

    August 28, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  13. Really?

    Wow- liberals still defending their false messiah and slamming a charming lady who they never met but hate because she is wealthy.

    August 28, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    If you are rich or even in the $500,000 in come range, then You will be insulated from what Mitt will have in store for Americans. However if you are not , then don't pretend that you are. Vote for Obama because he's working hard for the middle class. Ann Romney donates money to Planned Parenthood. Yes, the same Planned Parenthood that Mitt said he would defund if elected. I wonder what else these two disagree on?

    August 28, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. Sharon

    Proud Canadian, why do you think the Romneys made their own money. George Sr was head of American Motors, Governor of Michigan and a member of Nixon's Cabinet. They lived in Bloomfield Hills and Mitt went to a premier private school, in the early 60's tuition was approximately $2500 per year (by the way, that's what my father made to support 5 people). Ann's father was the president of his own company and she went to Kingswood (the female part of Cranbrook). Mill was a trust fund baby.
    rs1201, her MS was diagnosed in 1998 – with the care she has been receiving will most likely live another 15 years. I have a sister in law diagnosed in her early 30's and has been wheel chair bound since the late 1990s. She has good medical care but nothing like the Romneys can pay for.
    As for rejecting a Catholic blessing – let's wait until next week and see what happens at the Dem convention. I personally do not want a religious zealot like Dolan telling me what to do.

    August 28, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. tabpierce2

    It's sad at all the personal attacks on Ann Romney. Bitter, petty, people. We're Americans, we're better than that.

    August 28, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. hutchmutz

    She sounds as plastic as he does.

    August 28, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  18. hutchmutz

    "You People" speaks volumes.

    August 28, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. Jim

    Ann, what are your thoughts about evolution? What about climate change? What about the fact that America will be less than 50% Caucasian very soon now? Are you as supportive of atheists as you are about Mormons and Episcopalians? What are your thoughts about the death penalty? Do you care about Darfur? Or is success in your mind only corporate and individualistic in nature? Would you support Mitt if he decided to invade Iran? Would any of your boys serve?

    August 28, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. fire everyoneNoffice

    Her speech has me yawning along with others who are actually at the convention. Thank god this phony speech is over. I wonder who wrote it as it was canned slogans from B movies laced with a degree of nervousness and awkwardness as she herself had a hard time believing what the teleprompter was telling her to say. What a joke.

    August 28, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Name Elaine1Doll

    Wonderful speech! May God continue to richly bless Ann and Mitt! And the path to the White House!

    August 28, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  22. Tam

    She is a beautiful woman. BUT - we are not electing her.

    August 28, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  23. Woman In California

    I just finished watching Amnesty Ann and I can guarantee you one thing: she will NEVER get this minority, hard working, successfull businesswoman's vote. Her entire speech was I DID THIS and WE DID THAT – yes, they did with millions of dollars as a head start.

    I am so sick and tired of her always looking at the world from the inside of her mansions and private country clubs and working women will REJECT you Ann because we know you know NOTHING about us or our struggles. You only share our female body parts but not our minds or our hearts as your soul was LOST a long time ago to greed, selfishness and vanity. In Novemer, I will take away the memory of you on stage pretending to be humble and at the same time telling us to "get out of your business" and then, I will gladly cast my vote for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

    August 28, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. Observer

    Her speech could have been better. I am not sold. She said nothing that I don't already know. I was expecting more, I guess it was all the hype.

    August 28, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I caught bits and pieces of tonights festivities. All in all it was boring, not well thought out, and without much substance. Obama is bad just isn't cutting it for me. Pundits can spin it all they want. It wasn't a good start.

    Oh, yeah. What's up with the gushing praise of Ann Romney? It's a bit too much to swallow. She gave a good, but substance free speech. Leave it at that.

    August 28, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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