October 2nd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Ann Romney: 'Dad' is always with Mitt at the debates

Washington (CNN) – In a candid and personal interview, Ann Romney tells CNN her husband's debate routine includes paying homage every time to a very important person in his life, his father, the former Michigan governor, George Romney.

Ann Romney tells CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger that "as soon as he gets on stage...he takes off his watch and puts it on the podium...then he writes 'Dad' on the piece of paper," at which point she becomes emotional because the elder Romney was a strong influence in both her and husband's lives.

Tune to CNN for Wednesday's presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.

"And that's amazing, because he loves his dad, respects his Dad. Doesn't want to do anything that would not make his father proud... I love the fact that Mitt does that. So he writes that."

But there is more to the routine, she says. "And then he looks in the audience and he finds me. He has to find where I am. And– he just– he needs just that connection. And almost after every answer that he gives, he'll find me in the audience, to see, 'Was that good? Was that okay?'"

The full interview will run in the 7 p.m. ET hour on CNN Wednesday.

In the interview, Mrs. Romney says she tries to fill the role in the lead-up to the debates and during them that her family has dubbed for her: "the Mitt Stabilizer."

"I'm there for him. We're there for each other emotionally all the time. In the last 20 debates that we did in the primary– I felt that was my most important role."

Even on stage, she tells CNN, "there's an emotional connection that's happening between the two of us during the debate itself."

While the Republican nominee is getting plenty of advice from all corners, she tells Borger her advice to him is for him to be himself.

"He has to feel what he's gotta say, when he's gotta say it. He's gotta listen to his own instincts. And of course it's– he's gonna be getting a lot of advice. But he's gotta listen to his own instincts more than anyone else's and trust that."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Mitt Romney • Presidential Debate
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Bill

    How heartwarming. He still loses November 6.

    October 2, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Wow...I'm finally speachless (you wish). Mittens might as well dig up his father's corpse and spit in its face every time he refuses to release his tax returns, and this is the pitiable cry for sympathy and "please believe he has human emotions...no, really, we promise he does" that the Mittens campaign comes up with???

    October 2, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    So s George Romney standing with Mittens saying "atta girl" every time Mittens tells the American public to STFU about his tax returns?

    October 2, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. beevee

    This is all abunch bologne just to win the sympathy of the debate viewing audience. If Romney has any merit he will stand a chance.

    October 2, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. the situation

    I guess Mitts is challenging his inner Luke Skywalker and using the force to talk to his father.

    October 2, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Tell WBush to be with him along with Karl Rowe.

    October 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Give me a break Ann! George Romney is rolling over in his grave at this disappoitment named Willard Milton Romney. Dear old dad set the precedent of releasing multiple years(12 years) of taxes, while his son is blatantly hiding them from the American People who demand to see them. The apple certainly fell far from the tree.

    October 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    This woman is so removed from the Middle Class world, she could be on another planet.

    October 2, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    While George may have been brain washed, I think he would be embarrassed with Mittens failure to release taxes, his son becoming a birther, Willard's 47% comments, and Mitt self deporting his own Dad, not to mention Mitt's overseas accounts.

    October 2, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. CBR

    Somehow these statements make me uneasy. I am not sure what to believe. Why tell us this now when Mr. Romney has been in so many debates to even win the nomination.

    Mrs Romney may have the gift to make Mitt Romney appeal to some of us. However many of us have had Dads and have Dads who have shaped us and we were particularly close and really respected our Dads. They shaped our values and the values my father shared are not reflected in the GOP values or Mr. Romney's.

    October 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    I feel a little sorry for romney , he may have been a sucess in business , but he has been a total failure in politics and I think its time to get out after his upcoming landslide loss to president Obama ,its just something that wasn't ment to be !!!!!!

    October 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Pete

    What a hypocrite thinking ole dad is in his prayers and his dad is rolling over in his grave on that one!!His dad set a presidence in 12 years tax returns,Romney does just one legally ,the other rigged to make him look better,how ignorent,how arrogent,how pathedic politically!!

    October 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    Paying "homage" does that mean he'll produce those long awaited tax returns (like his father did) or is she just being silly as usual?

    she tells Borger her advice to him is for him to be himself.

    You mean the way he was in the video? That self? Thanks for the advice Ann, the sooner you drop in the polls the better for all of us.

    October 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Palin 2.0: I can see the Federal Reserve & IRS Building from the Swiss Alps

    October 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Borderless

    Why are we interviewing the spouses at this crucial time in a presidential debates? It really doesn't add anything. I'll say the same thing I said about Michelle Obama. Not news worthy, next topic.

    October 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    "Dad" is spinning and barfing in his grave at his son's flip-flopping, lying and refusal to release his tax records.

    October 2, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "This woman is so removed from the Middle Class world, she could be on another planet."

    Ha...I can just see her hopping on the wonderous flyign Rafalca and trotting off to to the 15,000s.f. mansion on Neptune (complete with Rafalca elevator of course) while wearing a tinfoil space helmet.

    October 2, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Ann Romney: 'Dad' is always with Mitt at the debates◄
    Oh Really!! Then DAD should relay the message, "show all your taxes NOW son, it's not to LATE!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    October 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Paying "homage" does that mean he'll produce those long awaited tax returns (like his father did) or is she just being silly as usual?"

    Nah..."homage" in this instance means he takes a dump on his dad's grave and then spreads it around with his tax returns each April.

    October 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Indy

    I thought Mitts wrote Joseph Smith on that piece of paper, and asks for his Dads forgiveness for hiding his 12 years of tax returns

    October 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Khaleeshi

    What a phoney snob – go home Ann.

    October 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Yonni

    Mitten doesn't seems spiritual to me.He has no moral compass, may be he just need a reminder to his promise to do better than his father did in life . It must be a legacy thing for him

    October 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. skeeterworks

    Do we want a President who needs so much hand-holding? If running for office is "a difficult time", how would he handle the actual job?

    October 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "If running for office is "a difficult time", how would he handle the actual job?"

    No shyte. Seems to me this is the fun part hehe

    October 2, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Sal

    Sniffit

    Wow...I'm finally speachless (you wish). Mittens might as well dig up his father's corpse and spit in its face every time he refuses to release his tax returns, and this is the pitiable cry for sympathy and "please believe he has human emotions...no, really, we promise he does" that the Mittens campaign comes up with??
    *********************
    Your such a low life piece of trash

    October 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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