October 9th, 2012
06:37 PM ET
2 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. Mrs Time

    Too bad Mitt is not like his father.

    October 9, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. cleo22

    this make me want to puke.

    October 9, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  3. Mia

    I will vote for Romney because he is a good son, good husband ,good father and keep faith in god ... No arbortion....

    October 9, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  4. DP

    Nice try – Sorry I'm not impressed. Too late for trying to pretend to humanize this candidate.

    October 9, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  5. Reasonably

    So no one's helped you – except that your dad gave you welfare to go to college, start a business, yadda. Go away, shiny hair man. If you're serious about your welfare stance then commit to ending corporate welfare. But you won't. You are what is known in the industry as a Spineless Bimbo.

    October 9, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  6. Sirned

    And yet he learned nothing about integrity from him....

    October 9, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  7. liyah

    This guy is as fake as a twoo dollar bill. He makes a mockery of the real sacrifices that people have to endure including having the sons enlisting into the US army. Deciding on whether to go to university or try find a job. You know real sacrifices instead he wants us to believe that he has any clue in understand the real pain of sacrifice. What has he had to sacrifice? Going to france instead of enlisting???

    October 9, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  8. PaulC

    Forgive me but it is difficult for me to imagine the Romney family having to sacrifice at all.

    October 9, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  9. Ms Edyeluv

    "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." ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Queen Ann-Yes, Mitt your doing a great job. I believe everything you say. Keep up the good lies to the American Peasant, Pauper, oops! Did I say that Mittens, I meant to say People.

    October 10, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  10. Mr. X

    Too bad its not your dad running instead of you, you overprivileged dork.

    October 10, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. GIUK

    I impressed. Not

    October 10, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  12. RGD

    Mitt Romney is a disgrace to his own father who released 12 years of his tax returns during 1968 election campaign. Mitt did not bother to release a single year of complete tax returns including detailed information on his foreign bank accounts. His 20 year tax summary showing that he paid average tax rate means absoutely NOTHING! It is clear that he does not trust American voters with his tax information so how could we trust him to be honest with us. No wonder only 47 percent of Americans will vote for him this election.

    October 10, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  13. jheron

    And thank goodness for the welfare system that his Dad lived off of for 3 years.

    October 10, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  14. anchorite

    Oh cram it. I want a President who works for Americans, not just puts up some image of being a great family guy so he can get elected and get tax breaks to all his buddies. If his dad gave his mom a rose every single day, that would be about four times the cost of what we got back in that tax "rebate" under Bush. Sounds like he didn't sacrifice very much. And even if he did, that's what his dad sacrificed, not Romney. Obama's dad had a rags to riches story, too, but apparently being black means you're an America hating Muslim even if in reality you're an educated atheist who loves America, as Obama's dad did.

    October 10, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  15. PHinMiami

    Mom & Dad were also Welfare recipients.

    October 10, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  16. jordan

    I wonder if he took his watch off and wrote dads name down when he and a gang he rounded up held a gay guy down and cut his hair off.

    October 10, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. Klw

    Jeez how come in the "election center" area of the home page, Romney is mentioned by name 9 times, while Obama's name is mentioned once, in a headline about efforts to defeat him? It's like Romney mania in the media and I see that CNN is no exception.

    October 10, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  18. mk1

    You know, given half a chance I might just start to cry over the hard life Romney has had. It is really touching.

    October 10, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  19. Cogito

    Yeah, poor dad, he had to release 12 years of his tax returns...Mittens can only do 2 years, lest we all find out about his amnesty for tax fraud...

    October 10, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  20. czar33

    Let's all cryfor Romney the LIAR! Ann is a KEPT women, all of the servents did the hard work raising "the GOLDEN boys" Romneys Mother was alazy kept women!

    October 10, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  21. czar33

    Romney is a LIAR

    October 10, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  22. 3 Branches

    George Romney sacrificed everything but his dignity. Mitt Romney sacrificed nothing but his dignity.

    October 10, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  23. maltesefalconx9

    No responses. I don't think that's quite accurate.

    October 10, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  24. Trustyone

    OK, first how much he loves his wife, (remember he wrote love message on a beach in French while the rest of young men of his age were defend our country?) now is his dad. Why did not he learn from his father to publish his income tax? why be so secretive?

    Why these wife, kids, parents nonesense have anything to do with our decision on whom to vote ? The more he says about his background, the more it reminds us that he is a Morman who are narrow minded and vicious – Read Amercian History Mountain Meadows Massacre and see it yourself.

    October 10, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  25. swipedcard

    Tired of these rehashed pro-Romney stories.

    Why is CNN so desperate to spew positive Romney stories? I expect CNN should be challenging the unforgiveable lies that Romney told during the debate, but instead CNN is busy rehashing pro-Romney stories.

    As far as his father, the late Mr. Romney would be utterly disgusted to see the spineless and shameless son who carries his name, willing to lie and deceive to "win at any cost" rather than fighting a virtuous campaign.

    October 10, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
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