(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