October 9th, 2012
06:37 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney on debate inspiration from his father

(CNN) - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday confirmed and elaborated on his wife's disclosure, first to CNN, on how he handles his first moments onstage at a presidential debate.

"I write my dad's name at the top of the piece of paper to remind myself of all that he sacrificed to give me the opportunities I now have," Romney said in the interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, which aired on "The Situation Room."

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"I think about his passion, his passion for the country. Dad was devoted to ideals that motivated him," Romney continued. "I mean, the guy was born in Mexico with nothing when he came to this... country, rose to be head of a car company, a governor."

Romney's wife, Ann Romney, first described her husband's debate stage ritual in a recent interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

"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," she said.

"And that's amazing, because he loves his dad, respects his Dad," she said of her husband. "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."

In her interview with Borger, Ann Romney also said her husband next makes eye contact with her in the audience.

"He has to find where I am. And- he just- he needs just that connection," she said. "And almost after every answer that he gives, he'll find me in the audience, to see, 'Was that good? Was that okay?'"

After watching video of his wife's interview, Mitt Romney told CNN that "of course I look at Ann every chance I get."

"She's usually looking down," Romney said. "She's usually pretty nervous during the debates, but I look to her to see if she feels like I've done a good job."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak, Kevin Bohn, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Marty, FL

    Romney should inspire to uphold his father's precedent of releasing several years of tax returns.

    Do not trust what Romney is hiding.

    October 9, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |

    The magic underwear is working.

    October 9, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. fire0bama

    Go Gov. Romney and Go America!

    October 9, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Log Cabin

    Remind us again how Mitt got out of going to Vietnam.

    October 9, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. Hillcrester

    And think of his dad's struggle to get all those years of tax returns released when he ran for President. This con artust

    October 9, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Hillcrester

    And think of his dad's struggle to get all those years of tax returns released when he ran for President. This con artist acorn surely fell far from that oak.

    "i knew George Romney, and you Mittens are no George Romney."

    October 9, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. Bootstomper

    He can Chanel his dad all he wants but his father was a better man than mitt.

    October 9, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. The 1 Prophet

    most Americans create their own America so I don't understand why candidates think people need a president to make them Americans

    October 9, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. Pander Bear

    We already elected a Republican with Daddy issues and look where it got us.

    October 9, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. flyonthewall

    Lets recall your tax returns, just like your dad did. Dont being a lieing cheat....show them to the american people.

    October 9, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. kuewa

    Romney evidentily fails to recall his Dad's sacrificial release of multi-year tax returns.

    October 9, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  12. Sinator

    Do you know what I recall about your dad, Mitt? He showed us his tax returns.

    October 9, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. us_1776

    One thing's for sure.

    Romney's dad would be supporting President Obama if he were here today.


    October 9, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. Cathy

    Hey Mitt why don't you follow your Dad's example and release the rest of those tax returns?

    October 9, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. mittens

    Romney's dad, George Romney, even released 12 years of his taxes, and spoke out about the importance of full financial disclosure. I guess Mitt didn't really learn any of his dad's integrity.

    October 9, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. fatlip

    FUNNY!!! He is inspired by his father but does not follow his father's lead in revealing his taxes like every other presidential candidate has... what a liar... what else is he hiding?

    October 9, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Mark

    Has Romney talked about why he had only one term as Governor of MASS. Do you know why. He left that state with the biggest debt ever by any Governor. He left the schools in a MESS. No jobs in the state. People were really ready to throw him out. Romney left MASS just as G. Bush did the USA when he left, greatest debt ever, 2 wars, lost of tens of millions of jobs, left the USA in a Depression.
    The Republicans just cannot run a state or a nation. They don't have the smarts. Vote wisely in Oct and Nov because if Romney wins, it means the end of the USA as we see it now.

    October 9, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  18. kbob365

    GEORGE Romney warned against pandering to the right-wing fringe, against a GOP becoming the racist, classist, Machiavellian party that it now is. Too bad Mittens would rather listen to the sound of Koch brothers' cash rolling in than to his dad's own lectures.

    October 9, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. Sam

    Romney and his campaign will say anything to get elected. Does he think we are so dumb? If Mitt Romney really wants to make his father proud, the first thing he should do is follow the tradition started by his own father and release his last 12 years of tax returns. George Romney said, "One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show."

    October 9, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    "He has to find where I am. And- he just- he needs just that connection," she said. "And almost after every answer that he gives, he'll find me in the audience, to see, 'Was that good? Was that okay?'"


    Did I lie well enough to fool all these poor, ignorant "victims" into voting for me?
    Yes, says Ann, it's easy to fool the poor, ignorant lazy fools.
    The Romney's.

    October 9, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. islander

    I'm Canadian............please, please...all you U. S. voters..... give everyone a break. A Romney Presidency will at least work towards restoring relationships. Your Mr. Obama was such a huge error. You voted for change as you should. You received negative change, leaving you with no change. We now know two things. 1. Obama was/is a total failure in delivering on his promises.....no matter whose fauly everything is !.....2. Romney MIGHT be a better choice. Don't choose the one who has already demonstrated what a poor choice he has been. He tried. He failed. Next........!!!!!!!..

    October 9, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. plain&simple

    Romney the little boy looking for approval, nice wholesome American kid. Always talking with little to say. These stories to humanize this man say just how managed he really is. We've already weathered one president trying to gain fathers approval and it got us into a war. Let's not do that again.....please!!!!

    October 9, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. hillplus

    Love the Romneys. They are the salt of the earth kind of people!!

    October 9, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Valar Morghulis

    It would be much easier to vote for Mitt if he was more like his father George or his mother Lenore. Until recently that question was really in doubt and still remains so to many voters. Which Mitt will occupy the White House? The one who stated he is a "severe" conservative and the 47% who don't matter in front of his wealthy contributors or the one who has compassion for the 100% and wants to see everyone succeed?

    It really is a sad state of affairs when our choice is between Obama and Romney.

    October 9, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Lone wolf

    Wow, not only does he waffle, he is now using the Obama technique of telling stories about his family and people he has met. Which Romney will show up tomorrow.

    October 9, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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